National Receptionist Day: Talking with Lily Bramwell

National Receptionist Day Our People
8 May 2024

Happy National Receptionist Day to all of our Portico people! Every year, this day recognises the hard work and dedication of Receptionists and Guest Service Hosts from across the country, playing a fundamental role in maintaining the reputation of a company and its team by providing unparalleled guest services.

In celebration, we had the pleasure of speaking with Portico Guest Services Host and CROTY Awards finalist, Lily Bramwell. Exploring Lily’s role and her career so far, we learn more about the intricacies of the role of a Receptionist, and just how important this guest facing position is for any business.

Please can you introduce yourselves and your role within your team?

My name is Lily Bramwell, I am 20 years old and a fun fact about me is I am utterly obsessed with flamingos! This is because they are unique, vibrant, and colourful which are morals I like to base myself on. I am a Guest Service Host where I make sure clients receive a memorable and seamless experience, in addition to what goes on behind the scenes. We are a smaller team compared to other sites with only four Guest Service Hosts along with one team leader and one manager… We are constantly operating and moving but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Congratulations on reaching the final of the CROTY Awards! How has your role developed since beginning your career as a Guest Services Host to your recent nomination?

Thank you very much! Where I am young and still developing in my career, I have only been based at one site for just over two years now, gaining as much knowledge as possible. However, I have been in the customer service industry since I was fourteen from working in retail to merchandising! All these valuable skills from working in multiple fast paced environments I now use to help me in my current role today.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a Guest Services Host, and how has your experience been so far?

I have always loved making sure clients get the best possible experience and I enjoy the sense of immense achievement that comes with it. We are the heartbeat of any organisation and have the power to instantly uplift and change someone’s mood. This can be from a friendly smile, conversation or asking someone if they are okay. I have loved every minute of it and continue to do so! I have also learned so many new skills that I use not only in work but outside of work too. It is the ability to understand and be compassionate towards other people in the hospitality/FOH industry as we can sympathise with the pressures and challenges that comes with our role.

Can you share some of the most memorable interactions you’ve had with clients or visitors while working at the front desk?

On a Friday, I ask staff members what they will be getting up to on the weekend; so, when I see them the following week, I ask them how it was. It’s a great way to start a conversation, they leave with a memorable impression, and I end up slightly jealous of what they got up to! It is the little personal touches that help maintain and develop strong relationships. It is very memorable for me as every time I see their facial expression of shock and delight it fills me with a sense of fulfilment.

In your opinion, what are the most important qualities for a successful receptionist, and how do you embody these traits in your role?

Everything starts and finishes with having a positive attitude and a smile on your face. The power of a welcoming smile is so contagious. Especially on those days when you are not feeling at your best. I know immediately when I walk into work feeling like that, the FOH team will easily put a smile on my face. I find that you naturally absorb the positive energy of others, which in turn makes your day and the day of others better! I then take this forward with me and embody it when people need it most when I am at reception.

What do you enjoy most about being a Guest Services Host, and is there anything you are looking forward to in the future?

It’s got to be the diversity of the role and the people you meet from many different walks of life, with no day or requests ever being the same. The role constantly challenges you in many ways through its versatility, which has helped me personally grow in confidence as a person.

Having only been in the industry for the last two years I fully understand there is so much for me to learn. However, this excites me as I am extremely keen to explore new industry practices, styles of service and constant development of technology. I cannot wait to see where my career with Portico will take me!