Front of House: Making first impressions count

The Front of House role shares many close similarities with that of a Receptionist.  Much like a corporate Receptionist, the Front of House position is of the utmost importance for every organisation that utilises a Front of House team.  They are usually the first person (or people) a client or guest meets at a venue and as we know, first impressions count!  Members of the Front of House team are the voices and faces that breathe the brand.  It is crucial that they set the right tone of customer experience from the outset.  

 

Typically found in private members clubs, high end restaurants, prestigious hotels and luxury fashion brands, it is important that they are professional, extremely well-presented and understand customer service at the highest level.  We are seeing more and more companies recognise the importance of a Front of House team such that these roles can also be found in boutique finance houses, hedge funds, luxury goods and property companies. Front of House staff are true multi-taskers, totally unflappable and ensure that any problem, no matter how large or small, is seen through to successful customer satisfaction.

Being Front of House is an excellent career opportunity to start and also grow a career from.  Either that may be a ‘foot in the door’ opportunity which in turn manifests into openings elsewhere in an organisation.  Or it may mean specialising in the Front of House experience and becoming a sought after individual in their own right as a Front of House Manager or Service Manager.  A high-quality senior member of a Front of House team can command a strong remuneration package. Similar to Receptionists, Front of House meet everyone in the organisation; from the CEO or managing directors to key clients who are equally as influential in the outside world.  It’s a place where your name can be on the lips of high profile individuals and you can build your contact book – countless individuals have started their career in Front of House before going on to other prominent positions.  Being in close contact with CEOs and people at the very top, creating that extra delight factor can help a Front of House team member stand out from the crowd.  Remembering names, showing initiative, keeping one step ahead - it's a place where you can be remembered for all the right reasons - and very quickly too!

Front of House/Receptionist job responsibilities:

  • Greeting visitors, clients and VIPs
  • First point of contact on the telephone and directing enquiries/taking accurate messagest
  • Liaising with key stakeholders – internal and external
  • Taking coats, getting drinks
  • Caring for meeting rooms and other facilities
  • Relaying information to the back office
  • Organising transport, taxis and couriers
  • Relaying and arranging catering requirements
  • Some administrative tasks and database management
  • Security of the venue

In a smaller organisation the Front of House team may take on extra, back office duties which could be akin to having a hybrid role as a Personal Assistant, Team Assistant, Office Manager or HR administrator. This can make for a fulfilling role with additional responsibility and opportunities to aid future career moves.  Either way, no two days are the same, there is a lot of variety and you will spend a significant amount of time away from the desk.  Medium to large size organisations will have more than one Front of House individual and may split the roles out into Reception activities and other Front of House tasks.  Normally Front of House teams work on a shift or rota basis which can add flexibility to the role.

Front of House skills & qualifications

High quality customer service, smart presentation and personability are key for Front of House staff.  They must represent and echo the company brand and culture to all they engage with.  They will always need to be well presented but the style will vary from establishment to establishment.  Front of House staff and Receptionists should be well-spoken and articulate communicators. They will need to be confident speaking to high profile individuals as well as back office colleagues.  A ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude is always essential.  The key to this role is about providing an exceptional, five-star service to everyone you meet.

 

In terms of prior useful experience, there are lots of options that could lead to a Front of House. For a lot of people it may be their first job but experience in luxury retail, high-end hospitality or travel may help secure a role.  Front of House also has a lot of crossover with corporate receptionists – this experience is also sought after when hiring for a Front of House role.  Salaries can start from £22,000 upwards in London with Front of House Managers able to command £50,000+.

If you’re looking for Front of House, Reception, Personal Assistant, Executive Assistant, Private PA, Virtual Assistant or other Office Staff jobs please contact one of our recruitment consultants on 020 7468 0400 or email us

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