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Things were hopping in the front office this Friday afternoon. Guests had been checking in for the Glamder wedding, which would last two days and was taking up a block of 20 rooms. It was a major wedding for the resort, and the sales department was very pleased. It was still the shoulder season, so an event such as this was welcome at this time of year. However, with the wedding room block, the resort was nearly fully occupied.

At 7:30, two men arrived at the front desk to check in a little late for the rehearsal dinner. The front desk agent, Clarice, greeted them cordially and requested their names. One introduced himself as John Jones. Clarice identified the correct guest record for John Jones, scanned it briefly to determine if indeed he was with the wedding party, how many days he would be staying, and the number of people in the room. She noticed that there was only one booked for the room and asked whether he was traveling alone. He explained that his buddy had decided to attend the wedding at the last minute so they drove down together from Oregon.

Clarice reviewed the guest record again, taking notice of the room assignment and the price quoted for the room. Mr. Jones had been assigned to a small, less expensive room in the south wing of the resort for the rate of $120. The room had only one queen size bed and a pullout sofa. She took a look at the men and wondered who would get the pullout sofa since both were well over six feet tall.

While pondering what to do next, she asked whether they had ever stayed at the resort before. Mr. Jones said that he, his wife, and two children had stayed at the resort just eight months ago and loved it. The had planned to go to Europe, but world circumstances influenced them to stay closer to home. They had stayed in a lovely suite and really enjoyed their time at the report. The friend, however, had never stayed there.

Clarice then asked whether they would be comfortable in a room with a queen bed and a pullout sofa. Mr. Jones quipped that since he was paying for the room, he would take dibs on the queen bed. The other gentleman didn’t complain, but was little disappointed. Clarice thought for a moment and asked whether they would like an upgrade to a more comfortable room. She couldn’t guarantee one, but would see what she could do if they gave her a few moments. She asked them if they would like to have refreshing drink in the lounge while she checked on room availability.

Since the men were late already, they decided a few more minutes wouldn’t matter and that they would have a drink. After ten minutes and another check-in, the men were back wondering if anything had been found. Clarice said that the only thing she could find was a junior suite with two queen beds. It was a very comfortable room and would be the envy of the other wedding guests. She said it was $100 more per night. As the wedding party would last two nights, the total additional coast would be $200. Mr. Jones was quick to respond to the suggestion by saying he would be pleased to split the difference with the resort, meaning that the additional charge would be $50 per night.

Clarice pondered the offer. She cringed, wondering what her supervisor would have to say about upgrading guests from the lowest-cost room to one of the nicest the resort had to offer for only $50 per night. Her superiors had always pushed for getting top dollar for the suites.

On the other hand, Clarice had noticed that the suites hadn’t been selling to walk-in customers. At this time of night, the room might not sell anyway, she thought to herself. And, what were the chances of the room selling the following night when it wasn’t reserved in advance? Clarice wondered whether to take the additional $50 per night and risk upsetting the supervisor whom she knew didn’t like selling below rack rate, or just leave the two guests in the less expensive room. She thought for a moment and then decided to go with the upgrade. The two gentlemen mean were thrilled when they passed the front desk later that evening on their way to the rehearsal dinner. They has called their wives and told them of the warm reception and they would have to plan a visit in the near future.

The following day the assistant front office manager asked to have a word with Clarice about the upgrade decision she’d made the previous afternoon. They had a brief discussion while Clarice answered phones for the PBX operator who was taking a dinner break. As expected, the assistant front office manager wasn’t very pleased with the upgrade decision. Even though Clarice tried to explain her reasoning for the upgrade, the assistant front office supervisor couldn’t see her point and asked her never to do it again.


1. Did Clarice use good business sense or was she just being nice?

2. Should the supervisor have been called to help with the decision?

Please explain in detail your responses to both questions.

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