A hotel porter is a hospitality professional who ensures that hotel guests are provided with services that enhance their stay. The specific responsibilities of a hotel porter differ depending on the hotel and the region in which the porter works. In all cases, the job’s primary focus is on providing excellent customer service and ensuring that guests are as satisfied as possible so that they will return.
Hotel porters may work primarily outside the hotel, with bellmen working inside the hotel, in large hotels. When guests arrive, an outside hotel porter collects their luggage and ensures that it is delivered to their rooms. When the customers are ready to depart, the porter gathers their belongings and loads them so that they are ready to depart. Hotel porters may also assist guests with errands such as purchasing theater tickets, dropping off and collecting dry cleaning, calling cabs, and other similar tasks.
Porters may also work as bellmen in smaller hotels, where they show guests to their rooms, demonstrate the room’s features, and act as a point of contact for guests who require assistance, in addition to handling luggage outside. Bellmen report any problems with the room to maintenance personnel, and they may assist patrons with changing rooms if their rooms are unusable for any reason. They also run errands for guests, make reservations for their guests at local restaurants and entertainment venues, answer questions, make recommendations for regional attractions, and assist in emergencies.
In the event of an emergency, a hotel porter assists guests with safe evacuation and the implementation of safety plans. Porters can also help hotel staff with tasks like moving furniture, organizing rooms, and managing guest requests. Hotel porters, in the absence of a doorman, hold the door open for guests while also managing their luggage.
This is a physically demanding job. At all times, a hotel porter must be courteous, professional, friendly, and outgoing, as well as able to work long shifts. A hotel porter may work for eight hours without getting a chance to sit down, but no matter how tired he or she is, he or she greets guests with a smile. Porters may also be required to run a variety of errands without complaint, some of which may appear unreasonable. Porters’ pay tends to be low, unless they work in a large hotel where they are ranked and have the opportunity to advance to a higher pay scale. Porters, on the other hand, can anticipate tips for good service.