Overview

A bed and breakfast (typically shortened to B&B or BnB) is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes and typically have between four and eleven rooms, with six being the average.[1] A B&B usually has the hosts in the house.

Bed and breakfast is also used to describe the level of catering included in a hotel's room prices, as opposed to room only, half-board or full-board.


Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen.

B&Bs and guest houses may be operated as either a secondary source of income or a primary occupation. Often the owners themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms, but some bed and breakfasts hire staff for cleaning or cooking. Properties with hired professional management are uncommon (unlike inns or hotels) but may exist if the same owner operates multiple B&Bs.

Some B&Bs operate in a niche market. Floating bed and breakfasts are boats or houseboats which offer B&B accommodation; the CCGS Alexander Henry museum ship was one example. In some communities, former lighthouse keeper quarters have been turned into B&B rooms after the light has been automated or decommissioned.

What You Can Earn

 What You Can Charge

 How Much Is It Going to Cost

$60,000 (assuming you already own the building)

 What Equipment You Need

You’ll need at least $100,000–$400,000 if you need to purchase a suitable home; you may also look into buying an existing B&B and simply taking over the business (turnover is relatively high, as some owners burn out after a period of ten years or so). If you already have a large enough home, put aside extra cash ($5,000–$10,000) for repairs and updates, in addition to another $10,000 to cover your initial operating costs. You’ll spend between $1,500–$5,000 on your first six months of advertising as well. But considering that you’ll charge clients $125 and up per night, you should be able to develop a steady cash flow within the first five years of your business plan’s projections.

  Who Will You Need to Hire

How You Can Make It Sweeter

 What You Will Be Doing

Lodging managers typically do the following:

  • Inspect guest rooms, public areas, and grounds for cleanliness and appearance
  • Ensure that company standards for guest services, décor, and housekeeping are met
  • Answer questions from guests about hotel policies and services
  • Keep track of how much money the hotel or lodging facility is making
  • Interview, hire, train, and sometimes fire staff members
  • Monitor staff performance to ensure that guests are happy and that the hotel is well run
  • Coordinate front-office activities of hotels or motels and resolve problems
  • Set room rates and budgets, approve expenditures, and allocate funds to various departments

A comfortable room, good food, and a helpful staff can make being away from home an enjoyable experience for guests on vacation or business travel. Lodging managers occasionally greet and register guests. They also try to make sure that guests have a good experience.

Lodging establishments vary in size, from independently owned bed and breakfasts to motels with just a few rooms or to hotels that can have thousands of guest rooms. Larger hotels with more amenities lead to a greater range of duties for lodging managers, such as granting access to a swimming pool, operating a casino, or hosting conventions.

Many lodging managers use online social media for marketing purposes.

The following are examples of types of lodging managers:

What Qualifications You Need

Business skills. Lodging managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Operating a profitable hotel is important—as is the need to motivate and direct the work of employees.

Customer-service skills. Lodging managers must have excellent customer-service skills when dealing with guests. Satisfying guests’ needs is critical to a hotel’s success and helps to ensure customer loyalty.

Interpersonal skills. Lodging managers need strong interpersonal skills because they interact regularly with many different people. They must be effective communicators and must have positive interactions with guests and hotel staff, even in stressful situations.

Leadership skills. Lodging managers must establish good working relationships to ensure a productive work environment. This objective may involve motivating personnel, resolving conflicts, and listening to complaints or criticism from guests.

Listening skills. Lodging managers should have excellent listening skills. Listening to the needs of guests allows managers to take the appropriate course of action, ensuring guests’ satisfaction. Listening to the needs of workers helps managers keep good working relationships with the staff.

Organizational skills. Lodging managers keep track of many different schedules, budgets, and people at once. This task becomes more complex as the size of the hotel increases.

Problem-solving skills. The ability to resolve personnel issues and guest-related dissatisfaction is critical to the work of lodging managers. As a result, they should be creative and practical when confronted with problems.

 Who You Should Market To

How You Can Market This

Yellow Pages, B&B directories (both online and print), direct mail to travel agencies, Web site with reservation capability or booking calendar

 What Other Services to Offer

What You Need to Succeed

You could easily be drawn in to the seemingly idyllic country inn lifestyle. But before you launder the sheets, put mints on the pillows, and open your doors to guests, give a lot of thought to the hard work ahead; most B&B owners will tell you that there are long hours of intense work (cooking, cleaning, and assisting guests in all of their needs). If you don’t mind putting in a sixty-plus-hour workweek without the promise of grand riches, a bed and breakfast inn can be a great match. You’ll certainly meet lots of interesting people!

 Where to Begin

 
 

Resources

Books/Magazines/Periodicals

 
 

 Education/Courses/Training/Videos

 
 

Social Media

Blogs/Forums

Facebook

 Twitter

Websites

 

Words to Know