Lesson Plan for Handling Guest’s Complaints


There will be inevitable times when guests have a problem about something and will complain about it.
Sometimes the guests complaints will be justified, such as being brought the wrong order in a restaurant or
not getting the kind of room that was booked or being over charged for a service. Sometimes the
complaints will be unreasonable, such as a guest demanding an up graded room at no extra cost or
becoming anger over a short delay. Whether the problem or complaint is justified or not, it must be
handled with dispatch and professionalism.

The kinds of problems and complaints that hotel employees are likely to encounter are as varied
as the guests themselves. Look at a few of these examples.

Expressions Used for Handling Guest’s Complaints

Possible problems or complaints

Complaint: There are not enough towels in my room.
Response: I’ll have housekeeping deliver more towels to your room right away sir.

Complaint: The sink is leaking in the bathroom.
Response: Sorry for the inconvenience, maintenance will be by shorty to fix the problem.

Complaint: This tread mill doesn’t seem to be working properly.
Response: I’m sorry miss, why don’t you used that one over there.

Complaint: I seem to have misplaced my tennis racket. Has one been turned in?
Response: Not yer sir, but I’ll let you know if someone does. What is your room number?

Complaint: I specifically requested an ocean view, but the room I was given has a view of the pool.
Response: I’m sorry about the mix up sir, we’ll change your room immediately.
Complaint: This soup is not warm enough.
Response: I apologize for that ma’am. I’ll have the chef warm it up immediately.
Complaint: Why is our order taking so long?
Response: Well sir, you ordered the steak very well done and it takes a little longer.

Dialogue About Handling Complaint

Guest: When I first arrived I was assured that a bottle of Chivas Regis would always be in the mini-bar.
    Well I’m here now and the bottle isn’t. What kind of hotel are you running here anyway!
Staff: I sincerely apologize for the oversight sir. We have been exceedingly busy today because of the
    convention. I’ll have a complimentary bottle delivered immediately. Please accept it with our
Guest: Well, I should hope it would be complimentary. Thank you. Good bye.

Guest : This tea is sweetened, and I specifically wanted unsweetened tea.
Staff: I’m sorry ma’am. I’ll bring an unsweetened tea immediately. Please excuse the mistake.
Guest: No problem, things happen.
Staff: Here’s your tea ma’am. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Enjoy the rest of your meal.
Guest: Thank you.

Guest: I had reserved a tennis court, but it has has been taken over by someone else.
Staff: Yes sir, I understand. But we have a policy that if a party is more than 15 minutes late for a starting
    time, we schedule the courts for other waiting guests. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. Would you
    like to reschedule?

Guest: I requested the eggs over hard, these are over easy.
Guest: Sorry about that sir, let me make you some more right away.

Guest: We ran out of toilet paper. Is it possible to get more?
Staff: Of course, ma’am. I’ll send more up immediately. Is there any thing else you require?
Guest: Now that you mention it, could you also bring up a six pack of Heineken?
Staff: Yes ma’am, I’ll notify room service and have them send some to your room.
Guest: That would be great, thanks.

Individual Activity- Handling Guests Complaints: Appropriate Responses

One student makes a typical complaint that a guest may have. Other students give a response. The
teacher decides which student gave the best response based on language, grammar use, and
pronunciation. The person with the best answer gets a point. The student with the most points wins.
Have the students give several complaints.

Other links for Complaints

Making Complaints
Complaints for Business English
Complaining about Products
How to Complain


For more ideas about teaching in the hotel industry take a look at

Hotel and Resort English

English expressions used for handling guests complaints- Hotel-tefl.com