What's in a day?

The one tool all reservationists use with flair is the telephone. If you're based in a hotel, you’ll handle calls from guests who want to make a room reservation, so you'll need to understand the rate strategy, be thorough in recording the booking and be quick to spot an opportunity to upsell. However, if you’re a reservationist in a restaurant, you’ll not only take table reservations, but you’ll be responsible for transferring bookings onto the floor plan.

Other aspects of the job can include meeting and greeting clients, liaising with the hotel concierge, answering emails and telephone enquiries, and working with the rest of the reservationist team to build customer relations and field complaints.

Key responsibilities:

  • Dealing with guests over the telephone
  • Taking and inputting reservations
  • Negotiating rates in hotels
  • Upselling, or offering a more expensive room to the customer

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What sort of hours will I work?

Roughly 40 hours a week on a five day basis (which might mean some weekends)

What’s the best bit about being a reservationist?

You can make the difference between a booking being won or lost, so it’s heady stuff.

And the worst?

Well, you need to make sure the bookings are won rather than lost, so there’s pressure to succeed.

What skills do I need?

  • IT literacy, with experience of packages such as Excel, Fidelio, MS Word etc
  • Impressive time management and organisational skills
  • Dazzling telephone and communication skills
  • A friendly but professional work ethic

What qualifications do I need?

None in particular, but a good basic education and any IT, sales or administration qualifications won’t go amiss.

Who would it suit?

In this job you get front line action, so you’re going to have to be somebody who gets a kick out of working with the public. You should be comfortable using the telephone and – in hotels in particular – you need to be confident in your negotiating and sales skills, because promoting more expensive packages is a key part of the role.

What sort of salary can I expect?

On average about £14,000-£18,000, but this can rise to £26,000 – for instance, in restaurants the role is often broader.

Where can I go from here?

The obvious move is to reservations or reception manager, but you could also branch out into guest relations or other sales roles, such as conferences and events.

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