Front Desk challenges (I) Facing drunk guests

When we work at the Front of the House in a business that is opened all day long, sooner or later we will have to face a guest that has drunk too much.

We have the right not to serve a guest that is drunk. This right protects the safety of the staff and the wellness of the other guests, and is taken into account in all the hotels I have heard about. This means that normally, even if we face the trouble (occasional drunk guests) we are protected.


Reality is more complex. There are many factors that will condition the situation in many different ways, and there is only a piece of advice that is completely true: “there is no magic recipe”.

It is easier to avoid a drunk guest coming in, than to expulse a drunk guest when he is already in.

This is the most evident conclusion; but what to do when the guest has drunk in our property? May the guest have a room booked for tonight, so he does not need to leave the property even if he is drunk.

We face a very delicate situation: this kind of guests is very difficult to deal with. Room Service orders cumulate by a guest that menaces with making a scandal if the server does not harry up. This guest will become even angrier if we answer him “sorry Sir, but I am afraid we got rid of… (Whatever)” You may imagine the answer if what we answer him is that we simply refuse to serve him anymore tonight.

We receive some insults from the other side of the line. The guest booked the room few months ago, as many other people, so it is not possible for us just to simply “refusing” this guest in our property. We need to be patient; we need to wait and to manage the situation in the best possible way.

When the night ends, the day lights announce the end of a very difficult night. The stress is over and it is time for us to think about what happened.

We need to make a strong effort to avoid drunk guests, in order to minimize the risks of dealing the trouble that this kind of guests can generate. In case we cannot expulse a guest because he is part of the hotel guests, it will be necessary for us to avoid the other guests to be disturbed.

Taking into account all this, we need to remember that politeness, comprehension and diplomacy are generally useless face to drunk guests; we need to identify when we have to stop being diplomat for starting using other strategies.

Whatever it happens, it is always good to remember that drunk guests represent one of the most delicate trouble we may face when working during a night shift.

Javier Guijarro Segado


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