The hostel front desk is a vital part of your hostel. This is where your guests get their first impressions, and all the action takes place: from guest communication to organizing daily tasks such as check-ins, maintenance and housekeeping.

The reception is the eyes, ears and face of your operations. As a hostel manager, you'll want to enhance customer service, which is the first step to improving the hostel front desk performance. Let's look at the best ways to do so.

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7 ways to improve your hostel front desk performance  

Front desk staff welcome guests upon arrival, answer their questions, respond to requests and handle operational activities. They may even be the ones cleaning and handling other essential tasks. Here are some ideas for improving their performance and customer service. 

Training is key 

Training your staff to master hostel front desk operations is essential to your hostel's success. While resources can be limited, you don't want to skimp on this, as it will set your property apart because the human factor is highly valued in the hospitality industry. You can train staff on handling issues so that they are prepared to manage crises and mitigate the potential effects on your hostel's reputation.

Investing in training improves staff retention too. A happy team is less likely to look for work elsewhere, despite a high-turnover industry. Create a structured program that teaches practical skills and how to provide feedback for improvement so that staff is more involved in the decision-making process. The goal is to empower them to make decisions and become better problem solvers.

Procedures matter 

When it comes to running a hostel, procedures matter. You need to ensure that all daily front-desk tasks are clearly documented so that everything is clear no matter who's working. Create a digital manual – it'll make searching for questions easier while helping to onboard temporary workers without prior training. 

Empower your front desk to make decisions 

Empowering receptionists to make decisions should be your top priority because things often can’t wait for a manager to step in. Giving the front desk the authority to make important decisions and take quick action will streamline processes.   

Ask for feedback 

Guest feedback can enhance front-desk customer service. You can use it to identify the gaps in service and improve from there. If your guests say check-in is too slow, you can implement mobile check-in or a self-service kiosk to speed things up. Guests will appreciate that you're improving the service, which enhances their satisfaction with your property. 

Put yourself in their shoes 

Empathizing with your guests is the key to excellent customer service, so put yourself in their shoes. If they've traveled a long way and are cranky because they can't check into their room, offer another possibility. Store their bags while they wander around, give them access to the communal showers, a space where they can change until their room is ready, or offer drinks upon arrival.  

Seeing eye-to-eye with your customers helps you to intuitively understand what they need and what makes them happy, thus boosting guest satisfaction levels. 

Organization is key

Great service requires great organizational skills. If your front desk knows how to handle tasks and where to get the answers, they'll grow more confident in their roles. One way to do this is to create a checklist for each shift, which helps the receptionist on duty understand all the responsibilities.

Implementing hospitality technology to communicate between departments improves team coordination and automates menial tasks. A PMS like Mews allows you to create checklists and store everything under the same digital roof.

Technology helps your team stay organized to offer better customer service. 

Implement online check-in 

Whether through mobile check-in or a self-service kiosk, streamlining check-in is one of the best ways to improve customer service. Filling in the personal information and payment details before arriving makes the process faster and easier for the guest and the front desk staff. Ensure your front desk software provides this functionality.

Do you want your team to focus on guests or deal with tedious admin? Exactly. Happier staff provide better service, so empower them to shine in their roles using modern technology.


We’ve looked at how to enhance the hostel front desk customer service. Improving service involves training, asking for feedback, empowering staff and ensuring your front desk sticks to procedures. Clear operating procedures will help avoid disgruntled guests at your hostel and improve your overall front desk performance.