A group of friends started working at a hotel's front desk after finding it abandoned. Their story went viral on TikTok.
18.09.2023 - 20:03
Three friends said they went into "manager mode" last week after arriving at a La Quinta hotel in Nashville only to find the front desk was left unattended.
In a series of TikTok videos posted by 27-year-old Aaron Howard, the friends chronicled their adventure, which began once they saw no one was actively working the front desk to check them into their room — so they said they started "working" the reception area themselves: The trio told Insider they began answering phone calls, assisting angry customers, calling shuttles, and even serving breakfast once people began filing in around 6 a.m.
A video about their experience went viral with over 900,000 views and over 120,000 likes. Commenters joked the friends deserved free stays with the hotel as well as "hotel concierge" to be added to their resumes.
In a statement to Insider, a representative for La Quinta's parent company, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, confirmed that the front desk had been unstaffed that night.
"Following conversations with the hotel's management team — this location is an independently owned and operated franchise — it's our understating this incident occurred due to a staff member prematurely leaving an overnight shift in the early hours of the morning and not notifying management," the statement read.
The representative added that once management was notified, they sent a new employee to staff the front desk. The employee who left their shift is no longer with the company, the representative said.
"Hotel management has advised us the staff member in question is no longer with the hotel and at this time, are working to address and make right any concerns from impacted guests, including the three individuals at the center of the story," the statement continued.
The representative said that included a two-night stay at one of Wyndham's resorts, in the form of rewards points.
While the hotel stay is a nice perk, the friends said that landing a freebie wasn't why they made the videos.
"We didn't expect any compensation," Kenzie Brooks, one of the friends, told Insider. "We were still going to pay and stay there as normal when an employee got there. Just do good things with good intentions."
According to Howard and Brooks, a new employee arrived for their shift between 7 and 8 a.m.
Before the employee arrived, though, the friends spent a few hours putting their new hotel management skills to work. They looked around to make sure the employee hadn't fallen asleep somewhere, and even called the manager, who they said had no idea that the front-desk employee had left. They spoke with a maid, who told them "no one had been there for hours," they said.
Once it was clear no one was around to help them out, the friends got to work.