When you travel, do you stay at B&Bs? If so, do you let them know you’re an innkeeper? Why or why not?
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An article on Travel Agent reports on a number of urban boutique B&Bs that cater to the younger generation by doing things like serving breakfast until lunchtime and offering virtual guidebooks that guests can download to their phones. Do you cater to the Gen X/Y/Milennial demographic? If so, how?
"At the Blue Belle Inn, we serve breakfast until 11 a.m., and on occasion, have given Gen X/Y/Millennial guests who want to sleep in free lunch instead of breakfast. While some retro aspects of our historic inn may appeal to them, a stroll downtown to St. Ansgar's quaint gift shops and our wonderful front porch swing are not what most of them are looking for. Younger guests do appreciate some of the same things our older guests do -- they like murder mysteries and the classic children's books our rooms are named after. But they're also very concerned with having 'something to do'. To meet that need more specifically, we advertise that we have a casino nearby, mountain bike trails, hiking and canoeing on the Cedar River, and stress the more physically active things that are offered in our area. For some, it might mean recommending the local bar / hangout instead of our romantic, candlelight dinners. But for other younger guests, we have found that our Fondue Feast, with Swiss cheese fondue, meat, vegetables and potatoes grilled on a Swiss Raclette Grill, and chocolate fondue for dessert is very popular. Like with everything else, you listen to what guests want, and do your best to provide it for them -- in the most creative way you can."
— Sherrie Hansen, The Blue Belle Inn B&B and Tea House, St. Ansgar, Iowa
"We offer long leisurely breakfasts from 8:30 to 10-ish; the latest we served one was 2:30! Whilst we cannot do this if we are full for those who arrive late from New York on a Friday, we try to accommodate them! We offer a full range of wi-fi/multimedia etc. including burning CDs of a music selection for some folks, putting contemporary books from our library in rooms, providing all up-to-date magazines, and even playing smooth electronic dance/chill/urban cool tunes in the breakfast room. We print off TripAdvisor/BedandBreakfast.com, etc reviews for local restaurants. We even e-mail inns that clients might be moving on to and inform them that the client likes a particular pillow style/breakfast beverage etc. We try to get folks to actual post comments on Yelp etc. We have created a Facebook page. We try and answer the phone or respond to any e-mail with personality and a little humour, not the automated ‘have a nice day from us’. Our phone answer machine changes weekly with sometimes music, local British dialect answers (that causes a few issues!) and the offer of an extra ‘banger’ at breakfast to those who bring us gifts from the big city. All in all we try and relate to the 21st-century needs of clients, which does cause us to pigeonhole our market, but we passionately feel that what you do, you should do well. Do not be all things to all people."
— Dora and David, Woodstocker Inn, Woodstock, VT
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