One of the aspects of our rooms that guests always seem to comment on are the flowers. We take the time to make sure each guest is greeted with fresh flowers — whether it’s in a vase on the nightstand or in a bigger arrangement near the window — the moment they walk into the room. People are always so thankful for the flowers. Friendship Manor relies on flower delivery nearly every couple of days, which allows us to make sure we have fresh flowers for every room. We’ve relied on the same company for years, and they really come in handy, especially when we need large arrangements of wedding flowers for a guest’s reception or ceremony, which is actually pretty common.
Owning a bed and breakfast might seem like an easy job to have and a fun way to make money, especially if you live in a beautiful resort destination. However, one must not make the mistake of treating this job like you are also on vacation. It is going to take a lot of hard work, long hours, endless crisis management and excellent people skills to turn your business venture into a success. Here are some tips on starting a bed and breakfast.
Find the Ideal Location
First and foremost you have to find the perfect place for your bed and breakfast. Now, we are not just talking about the location in terms of great views and being close to attractions, but there are more aspects that you should consider. Think about how much access the bed and breakfast has. Remember that people coming from foreign destinations will need to be able to find their way easily and could be using some kind of public transportation. Try to find a suitable location close to transport and main routes.
Another element about the location to consider is the area, particular street or suburb you are in. Make sure that you are situated in a friendly, good neighborhood, on a quiet street that will create a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere for your guests.
Research your Competitors
There are probably tons of other bed and breakfasts in your immediate surrounds. This does not mean that you shouldn’t start your own establishment. It just means that you have to carefully consider what you offer, how you offer it and try to set yourself up in a niche where you are unique and can compete effectively with other bed and breakfasts in the area. Find something different that you can offer, whilst keeping your prices in line with the others.
Educate and Familiarize Yourself with the Industry
Starting a bed and breakfast is something that you need to have some knowledge or previous experience in, and this is where many entrepreneurs go wrong. They assume that it is an easy industry to crack where all you need is some time and money to invest, a friendly personality and you will succeed. It is important to learn about the hospitality industry, how you should be running your establishment, how to draw up proposals and arrange business meetings etc. It is advisable to take some courses or attend some seminars if you have never worked in a bed and breakfast, guest house, or any kind of hotel before. Hiring and accountant, a financial planner or business manager is also important to keep things running smoothly.
Design, Setup, and Hire Staff
Starting a bed and breakfast will require staff to attend to guests, and it requires a clever design, appropriate décor and comfortable furnishings to create a warm, welcoming space for guests. Look at what other bed and breakfasts offer, like fresh daily linen, pillow mints, complementary tea and coffee and other little favors that all make their stay enjoyable. Ensure that your bedding is extremely comfortable, providing top of the line sheets, pillows and mattresses, and also spend money on building a state-of-the-art bathroom for each suite.
Now, all that is left for you to do is advertise and market your new bed and breakfast, by creating a website, printing out brochures, and approaching local magazines and travel guides to give you a little promotion.
For travelers who may have had the pleasure of spending time at The Friendship Manor Bed and Breakfast, you know full well the experience that a true bed and breakfast has to offer. Simply walking through the restored front entrance way is enough to make you feel right at home. This is lodging taken to the next level, and it certainly doesn’t end at the front door.
Each guest is greeted, without exception, by one of the owners. Maybe not so much a greeting, as a welcome home. There is no fuss with administrative details aside from your name of course, and then you are quickly whisked away to the comfort of your awaiting room. After a brief explanation of the fundamentals, you are left to relax and recover from your trip in unconditional privacy.
The accommodations are certainly what you would expect in any successful bed and breakfast. There is a small compliment of rooms, each telling their own story. The decorations all have a subtle country flare, and nothing is too over the top. If that could be possible here.
This B&B is the perfect example of lodging that caters to the seasoned bed and breakfast traveler, as well as couples that might be testing the waters. Each room has its own bath, and the beds are comfortable and up to date. For visitors that can’t seem to totally let go, there is WiFi, and a moderately sized flat screen TV with cable, discretely tucked inside a beautifully restored wardrobe.
After some uninterrupted quiet time in the room, mingling in the downstairs study seems to be the common practice. There is always a welcoming glow in the fireplace, and wine and cheese seem to mysteriously appear as soon as there is any chance you might run out. At The Friendship Manor Bed and Breakfast, this is the room where you get acquainted with your fellow guests.
Although there is no dinner served, the owners and staff are more than helpful when it comes to giving you the rundown of local restaurants. There are no menus, or stacks of flyers at the front desk. Each couple is given suggestions based on what they might feel like eating that evening.
Dinning out is refreshing, and gives you a chance to explore the town and plan your next day of sightseeing. Most restaurants are on the water, and the warm sea air is just enough to make you want to take a nice long walk back to your room and settle in for the night.
Get your rest my friends. The continental breakfast, complete with homemade muffins, fresh squeezed juice, and mouth watering fruit, is incredible. Should you need a bit more than muffins, poke your head into the kitchen. They will be more than happy to fix you something extra special.
For any weary travelers who may find themselves in the vicinity of this B&B, you would be remise in not inquiring about a vacancy. Enjoy your peaceful stay.
Many people may think that it would be easy running a bed and breakfast, but the reality is that it involves a lot of dedication and hard work. If you are interested in running a bed and breakfast, then it is important that you understand some of the day to day and weekly things involved in such a venture. To help you understand it a bit better, we will now look at some of those things in detail.
The first thing you need to consider and understand that running a bed and breakfast is not a job you can do by halves. You can expect to work long hours and be at the beck and call of your guests virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during their stay. You have to be up early enough to supervise or take part in the preparation of breakfast for them and make sure that they are well looked after.
To actually get customers through your b and b doors takes a lot of hard work. Gone are the days when you could simply put an advert in the paper or yellow pages, you now have to advertise online and get involved in some degree of internet marketing. You need to make sure that as many people are aware of your bed and breakfast as possible. Once you have generated interest in your bed and breakfast, you need to keep that interest.
If you are planning on running a bed and breakfast in a town that has high levels of tourism, you will need to accept the fact that you will have competition. It would be a good idea to check what the competition is offering their guests in comparison to what you are offering. You will need to think of things that you can offer to your guests to entice them to your place instead of the others.
This is where good PR comes into play when running a bed and breakfast. You want to give your customers a reason to return. Customers are only going to return if you give them great service. Normally people are looking for a level of comfort that hotels can’t provide them with. If you give them home cooked meals and a very personalized service.
Similarly to a hotel, they also expect a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness. So if you have a garden, it would be a good idea to hire a groundskeeper or gardener to stay on top of it and keep it in pristine condition. It is also important to stay on top of the sanitation of your bed and breakfast. No-one wants to stay in a bed and breakfast that is untidy or dirty.
With sanitation in mind you also have to give thought to whether you want to accept customers who have pets. Obviously, allowing pets into your bed and breakfast will increase the workload of you or your cleaning staff. As well as this you will have to consider things like check-ins and late arrival charges. There are many other factors to consider, so it would be important to do thorough research on running a bed and breakfast before you even start looking at properties.
The notion of “Bed and breakfast” (or simply “B&B”) stands for a lodging establishment which is usually small. Just as the name implies, this type of establishment offers over-night accommodation services along with breakfast. Generally speaking, B&Bs don’t include other meals in their offers.
Bed and breakfasts are small inns or even private homes and most of them have less than ten rooms which are available for possible customers. However, such accommodation establishments have lower prices compared to hotels and throughout the time they have proven to be a great and affordable alternative mostly for young people who love to travel but can’t afford spending a lot of money on pricey hotels.
In America, many bed and breakfast inns attempt to lure in potential guests by creating historical environments. In addition, some owners of old houses or bigger properties turn their estates into guesthouses by decorating their homes with furniture styled in an antique fashion.
The business seems to be going very well, since throughout the United States of America there are quite many historical properties that have been turned into B&B establishments. In the last decade alone, bed and breakfasts have enjoyed an economic boom, thus rising the completion in this business and, as a direct consequence, the services offered by these establishments have significantly improved.
Bed and breakfast inn owners, like many other business owners, saw the marketing force the Internet provided and made good use of it by conducting some changes. Many B&B inns evolved from basic buildings and modest services to beautifully decorated mansions with elaborate furnishings and even luxurious amenities. This change happened throughout North America in the late 90s.
When you use the services of a bed and breakfast establishment nowadays, it is absolutely normal to have free access to Internet, parking areas that are free of charge and even some small luxuries. In some of the best B&B establishments of superior quality in the USA it is even possible for customers to enjoy certain hotel-like services, such as beauty SPA sessions or on-the-house wine and cheese evenings.
Even the best bed and breakfast establishments in North America have to face some fierce competition from the rest of the lodging and accommodation industry. This is why such private businesses tend to grow and even accept new partnerships in order to make a bigger profit. Bed and breakfast inns that have the possibility to offer lodging for a larger number of people have also started to offer other services. In North America, for instance, it is not uncommon for a B&B to offer business meeting spaces and even wedding services.
Generally speaking, B&B guests are offered private bedrooms with their own bathrooms along with breakfasts offered by the host, in the dining room or even in the kitchen. Guest houses like bed and breakfast inns are mostly privately owned businesses, which represent the primary source of income for their owners. In most of these guest houses, the cleaning and the cooking are done by the owners themselves. Bigger B&Bs hire specialized staff to take care of such details, but the prices vary accordingly.
Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or taking a fun cross country road trip with your best friend, one of the best parts about staying at a bed and breakfast is waking up in the morning with the breakfast aroma whiffing into your room. In fact, many travelers say a bed and breakfast is only as good as its breakfast menu.
Many bed and breakfasts offer a buffet style spread of gourmet treats. Of course, good old fashioned comfort foods like buttermilk biscuits and gravy are also very popular. There is an increasing trend to serve locally grown food with fresh fruits from local orchards, fresh vegetables from organic farms, wild meat like venison and quail, and other locally collected wild foods like mushrooms and berries. Belgium waffles with self serve toppings bar is also a popular option.
If you are staying in an area with more than one bed and breakfast, you’ll often notice stiff competition between them. This is especially true for the breakfast menu where each will claim to have the best. As they try to top each other, you can expect an extra delicious treat on your vacation. Each bed and breakfast boasts about its own special recipes and popular items like fresh baked banana bread can be made a thousand different ways.
Many bed and breakfasts offer regional specialties on their menu. If you’re traveling through the Pacific Northwest, you may get treated to marionberry scones and perhaps a bowl of fresh picked thimbleberries. Don’t be surprised if your scrambled eggs are served with smoked salmon and chanterelle mushrooms. If you happen to be staying in New Orleans, you may be served fresh baked beignets dusted with confectioners’ sugar and chicory coffee. If you’re in Alabama, you’re like to offered country ham and southern style creamy grits. In Pennsylvania, you’re sure to get various types of German sausage. In Vermont, you’ll almost certainly get fresh tapped pure maple syrup with your hot cakes. In the Southwest, you may be served a Mexican inspired breakfast like huevos rancheros, scrambled eggs with corn tortillas and a special tomato based salsa.
Serving up a spectacular cup of gourmet coffee is also part of the bed and breakfast culture. Many bed and breakfast will serve fresh ground coffee and some even roast their own beans. The aroma can be so intoxicating you may never want to leave. Some bed and breakfast have their own unique blend and will happily sell you some to take home. Another popular addition to the beverage menu is herbal tea made with locally grown organic fresh herbs.
Most bed and breakfasts will accommodate special diets such as a diabetic diet or a nut allergy if you let them know if advance. Even if you don’t let them know in advance, many are beginning to serve options like gluten free baked goods and stevia sweetened cobblers.
The delicious home cooked food at most bed and breakfasts are certainly part of why some people prefer them over hotels and motels.