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Step by Step Guest Complaint Handling (SOP)

February 20, 2010

Here is step by step guest complaint handling guideline for hotel or restaurant staffs.


When a guest with a complaint or request approaches you, follow the basic steps of Making It Right.

Listen: Listen intently making mental notes, with the right body language- put on a serious face, nod your head. (Take notes if the information is very detailed and specific)

Apologize with Empathy: Apologize and put yourself in the guests’ situation. No matter how insignificant the matter is to you, it must be dealt with seriously.

Find a Solution: All problems have a solution – that’s the approach to use. Try and find the simplest and clearest solution. If you are unable to do, inform a supervisor or manager.

Follow Through: After the problem has been resolved, go back to the guest to ensure he is satisfied. Even if the problem is being solved by someone else, you were the one who the problem was brought to- follow through accordingly. Take personal responsibility of the issue.


The guest, who is complaining, should be informed of the action(s) being taken every step of the way. If you are unaware of what to do, inform the guest that you will inform a Supervisor/Manager and follow up with him/her within the next 10 minutes. Just tell the guest:

“Mr/Mrs/Miss “X” I will inform the situation to my Supervisor/Manager and I shall revert back to you within the next 10 minutes.”


Inform the Supervisor/Manager of the situation – make sure to give him/her all the information, including a background on the guest.


Supervisor/Manager must contact the guest and explain to him/her that he/she has been informed about the situation. The Supervisor/Manager must apologize for the situation and offer him/her an alternative or plus him/her with something that the guest feels “outweighs” the problem.

If the guest is still not satisfied, the Department Head must be informed.


After a solution has been reached, the key person who dealt with the guest on this case should go back and check to see if the guest is satisfied.


A log must be maintained detailing the situation.


The entire Making it Right procedure should be completed within 24 hours.

Topics Covered in this Guide



Provide all the information in the log. Come up with a decision if you are unsure.

Ensure you revert to the guest every step of the way.

Neglect any minor complaint.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sawrobthu November 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm

thank you very much
this is very helpful


2 prasanna August 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

thank you ! it is very useful.


3 Harish July 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

nice site
it will help to all who are doing their jobs and related courses


4 madhusudan tiwari May 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

dear madam thanks for such informative notes……


5 Gede Artika March 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

Thank you so much,,,,
it’s very helpfull,,,
success to you,,,


6 MAHESH KUMAR September 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

sir plz tell me how take order in restaurant


7 Hotelier Tanji September 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm
8 sudesh July 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

hi thanks i am getting right notice ,,,,,,


9 Thiri April 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

Dear Sir, Madam.

I’m working in a 4 star hotel in bagan. I have to handle lots of problem form guests reservation ( SOP ) and this is the best suggestion. Thank you so much for your help.


10 BHARATH April 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

very very informative…..


11 manasseh yilbissa December 9, 2010 at 12:20 am

pls am an operation manager with a hotel in Abuja, what are the primary role in operating in hospitality industry?


12 Rivany October 18, 2010 at 7:35 am

What an excited knowledge… I like it very much n I need them all…


13 Hotelier Tanji October 18, 2010 at 7:52 am
14 ketut marjana July 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm

thank you! it is very use- full for hospitality industry worker,
I am working at the Villa in Bali,very help- full for my field.
best regards to all tutorial


15 Prakash July 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hi ..! could you please provide me with notes for handling emegencies in hotel industry


16 Anjali Sisodia April 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Hi! could you please provide me with notes for Food & Beverage Control, Food Safety & Quality?


17 Nhyl Borja February 25, 2010 at 10:59 am

this is very educational, but i hope you can provide us with ideas on handling complaint on a fastfood/restaurant scenario this would be a great help..


18 franklin February 21, 2010 at 9:12 am

nice tutorial.


19 Abdullah February 21, 2010 at 9:11 am

This is Abdullah. I am working in a 5 star hotel in Dubai. I have to handle lots of problems from guests and this is the best suggestion i have ever got. Thank you sir/madam for this tutorial


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