Our Members Speak Out
Question for November: What are some of your favorite
holiday memories at your inn?
Email your responses to
Sandy@BedandBreakfast.com. If we publish your comments, we’ll thank you
with a $25 credit in our Featured Properties Auction program!
Do you need extra help this fall and winter? Or maybe you know
an aspiring innkeeper who is looking to dip their toes into innkeeping.
Employment for Innkeepers forum is here for you. Check it out today!
You were asked:
Does your 24/7 job ever get to you? How do
you combat innkeeping burnout?
can get to you, especially if you are single and have to be
there for walk-in business. I make a point to take at least one
day off each week with a replacement innkeeper to take charge. I
try to dine out when I can, especially for breakfast, or after
everyone is checked in on a Saturday night. I have my hair done,
get a manicure/pedicure or a massage each week to reconnect with
the human touch. I maintain private quarters and do not let
guests enter, as I need that refuge and privacy. I make sure to
get away in the winter on a cruise and/or singles golf weekends
where it is warm. I try to entertain friends as much as
possible, again, because I need to be there for check-ins or
walk-ins.” -- Sally,
Woods Hole Inn, Woods Hole, MA
“I've been at this for 13 years and may never burn out. The
secret is to hand your B&B to an innsitter for a week or two, or
more. We spend four months of the winter in Florida; I just came
back from two weeks in Germany; last November we spent two weeks
in China. Every year we take a trip to some exotic place, plus
spending time in Florida.
“It's remarkably easy to find an innsitter among your family,
friends or neighbors. It seems to be a job that everyone has
‘always wanted to do’. This summer my innsitter was a fellow
who is a school teacher and has the summer off. What better way
to earn some extra money and have fun at the same time? I pay
25% of the gross room revenue (minus taxes), and I use someone
local. Winter is slow and mostly weekend guests. My innsitters
have ‘real jobs’ during the week and love to pamper my guests on
weekends.” -- Sandy Rademacher,
1899 Lady of the Lake, Skaneateles, NY
“I felt compelled to answer this one because although we
typically participate in the 24/7 work cycle of innkeepers, we
actually work a 24/6 and occasionally a 16/7. After spending
decades in a corporate environment and having twice experienced
‘burnout’ in my days when I had no flexibility or control over
my work schedule, I immediately determined that when I became an
innkeeper, I would have control over my schedule -- and I do.
The simplest habit to create once becoming an innkeeper is the
ability to say ‘no,’ which simply equates to setting boundaries.
In our lives, the word ‘no’ translates into ‘our time’ by use of
our reservation system (blackout days) and turning our ‘happily
full’ sign to ‘no vacancies’. We block out days on end and even
weeks when we have a scheduled trip. On our mini-breaks, we hire
a ‘baby-sitter’ to welcome guests while we are out on an
happen often as we are avid motorcycle tourists! We have even
maintained our weekly date night, something we started prior to
innkeeping, when we either grab our inn-babysitter or get lucky
enough to have a night off. Innkeeping is a very rewarding
career and lifestyle, but I don't recall ever reading about the
invisible ‘ball and chain’ so many others appear to drag
around.” -- Cheryl Blais,
The Maples at Warner, Warner, NH
first time we realized we were burned out was about six months
after we opened the inn. We had spent a year restoring the house
prior to that, so we had gone about 18 months without a day off.
My husband suggested that we go away for a few days. I told him
we could not afford to go away. He gave me the best answer ever;
he said, 'We can not afford not to go away.' Ever since then, we
manage to leave every four to six weeks for a few days. We have
been running our inn for over 18 years. If I go for over six
weeks without a full 24 hours off, I am not making anyone happy.
Find a friend or college student to watch the inn, and get out
of there. Even if you have to forward your phones to your cell
phone for a day and not take any guests. If you don't take care
of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anyone else.
Isn't that why we do what we do?" -- Cindy Montalto,
Magnolia Plantation, Gainesville, FL
“Combating innkeeper burnout is hard, and I'm sometimes not very
successful in my efforts to avoid it. After over 17 years at the
Blue Belle Inn, I sometimes feel an acute sense of burnout! I am
fortunate in that I have a full-time employee and four part-time
employees, so I do get a break every once in awhile. Not as
often as needed, as we operate a tea house, too. (The food
service industry is even more labor intensive than innkeeping.)
“I maintain my enjoyment by getting help when I need it (not
trying to do everything myself), sneaking away for a day or two
whenever I have the chance (our whole industry is based on the
weekend getaway concept; practice what you preach and take one!)
and trying to take a major vacation (Europe, Canada) every few
years. Taking a break -- even something as simple as getting out
of the house for a half hour to ride your bike -- can really
help one's attitude. One afternoon a week, I take my nieces
(ages 4 and 7) on an adventure, no matter what. Being with them
is a pleasure, and a wonderful diversion and release for me.
“Conferences do wonders for restoring the joy in my attitude.
They are also a great way to get new ideas to replace tired,
worn out ways of doing things. I try to stay at an area B&B
also write books, and they're not about bed and breakfasts. I
think having a hobby or interest that is distinctly unrelated to
your primary vocation is healthy and helps give your life
balance. All this, and I still feel burned out at times...
probably a very normal thing after 17 years! I look forward to
hearing how other people avoid this trap!” -- Sherrie C.
The Blue Belle Inn Bed and Breakfast, Saint Ansgar, IA
innkeeping gets to us, and we make sure we make time for
ourselves. Massages help! As does the occasional night out on
the town at our favorite Japanese restaurant. After fall foliage
is over when we are really exhausted, we close the doors for
awhile, sleep late, stay in our pajamas for days eating junk
food, playing computer games, and getting caught up on things we
recorded off the satellite.” -- Rhonda Hicks,
Mountain Thyme Bed & Breakfast Inn, Jessieville, AR
combat burnout by volunteering. Having a small inn probably
makes this easier than with a large inn, although I do not have
staff. I have very limited help from my husband who is
handicapped. The work I do for my city, state rails-to-trails,
and state association, and playing in our community band
accomplishes two things: it keeps me from burnout by giving me
something other than laundry, cleaning, etc., and it allows me
to believe I will have done something besides take up space
during my limited time on Earth. It has also given me a very
extensive collection of contacts that have been useful in every
aspect of my volunteerism and in my business. Sometimes a
commitment will require that I pass a reservation to another
member of my association, but I consider that as my contribution
to helping another innkeeper and keeping the revenue in my
state.” -- Kathleen A Panek,
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, WV
Do you have additional suggestions? Go to our innkeepers'
forums and post your 2 cents!
to your Home Base and click Message Boards.
This Month's Sponsor
Reviews = Reservations
No doubt about it:
travelers want reviews, and they are more likely to stay at an inn that
has reviews posted. An easy way to get more reviews on your listing is to add a badge, like the
one below, to your website.
Log in to your Home Base. Click Reviews, then click Links,
Awards and Review Reminders to download the badge and other helpful
Earn a $5 Inn of the Month credit for each review posted from
August 29 to October 31! (Up to $50.)
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fellow innkeepers to BedandBreakfast.com, and if they join at the Silver
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-- Kathleen Hurley, Casa de Suenos, St. Augustine, FL
Innkeepers' Info Center
info? You’ll find lots of educational
articles on our site for your convenience.