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What are some ways I can consistently give my guests a great experience at my bed and breakfast?

Today, I am going to look at ways to maintain your bed and breakfasts standards.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Using checklists are about the most foolproof way to guarantee consistency of service in your bed and breakfast and it is these checklists that will become the bases for your operations manual.

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I have talked about your operations manual in a past edition but if you would like a refresher, you can find it at KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com/KHDC113

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Let me share with you a few ideas you could implement in your bed and breakfast.

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When checking and cleaning a guest room this is the type of checklist I would use.

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  1. The main guest bedroom: 

dust; change sheets; make the bed; empty trash cans; check under beds, in drawers, and behind curtains for anything left by previous guests; vacuum; note anything broken; reset the thermostat

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  1. Check guest bedroom amenities: 

replace glassware (and by this, I don’t mean just one clean ) and beverage coasters, place the TV and DVD remotes on the nightstand, guest welcome note or letter

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  1. Add the finishing guest bedroom touches: 

check clock radio to be sure the time is set correctly and the alarm is turned off, check the volume on the radio and/or TV, adjust all blinds to the same level, display current magazines, add fresh candy to a dish, stage guest book with pen

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  1. Clean guest bathroom: 

dust; vacuum; mop; clean shower, toilet, mirrors, and vanity; empty trash cans

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  1. Check guest bathroom amenities: 

replace bath, hand, and face towels; replace bath mat; stock basics such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toilet paper, tissue, and fresh glassware

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  1. Add the finishing guest bathroom touches: 

add bath gel, mouthwash, makeup remover pads, hair dryer, deodorizer,

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  1. Stock guest bedroom closet: 

open the luggage rack, wooden hangers (10 men’s/10 women’s), extra pillows and blankets, fresh robes hanging and arranged properly with belts tied

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Breakfast is 50% of the bed and breakfast name.

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Do you think it is important to have the same breakfast routine every day?

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Is it ok to let individual employees set up breakfast the way they would like?

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It is very important when your returning clientele come back they know they will consistently receive the same quality and selection.

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So although you’ll get used to serving it, it is a good idea to have a checklist to follow for your breakfasts. This is also a good idea for those times you are not available and your staff are doing the setup.

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Consistency is very important.

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The following can be done the day before.

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  • Check guest register for dietary restrictions and guest allergies

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  • Review menu choices (this is your opportunity to shine. Be creative and utilize dishes and ingredients from your region)

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  • Check for all ingredients; decide on quick substitutions if necessary

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  • Set out all cooking utensils by the recipe

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  • Set out serving dishes and their appropriate utensils

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  • Measure all dry and non-perishable ingredients

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  • Take frozen items out of the freezer to defrost

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  • Set breakfast table(s)

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  • Set up early departure “to go” bags

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  • Set up early morning coffee and tea service

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Using this same setup routine as a guideline will help streamline your operation.

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As far as the breakfast itself; I am sorry to say but dry scrambled eggs, burnt ham and hard toast do not cut it anymore.

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Breakfast at a bed and breakfast part of the attraction, and tapping into your guest’s senses can trigger amazing positive memories and amazing positive memories will mean return business.

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A well-designed breakfast can trigger 3 of our senses immediately, sight, smell and taste.

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Sight: Use lots of colour; colour means healthy and nutritious.

 

Smell: the smell of pancakes or waffles might trigger a childhood memory.

 

Taste: I can still remember where I was when I tasted the best salmon mousse of my life.

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I have been asked about my favourite bed & breakfast recipes and to be honest there are so many I could write a book but I did find a recipe book that has stood the test of time.

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The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook

More Than 1,700 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes from 500 Inns 

(to see cookbook click the link below)

The-American-Country-Inn-and-Bed-Breakfast-Cookbook

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It is worth a look.

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Is this making sense? Let me know by leaving a short comment.

 

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Have you ever had a mix up with reservations?

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I am going to share how you and your staff can stay consistent when taking a reservation.

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To make sure guests get the best impression of your bed & breakfast, train everyone who answers the phone.

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You need to gather essential information when taking guest reservations for your bed & breakfast by phone, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget the basics.

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To cover all the bases, begin by taking down the following information:

  • Date reservation is taken and who took the reservation

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  • Guest name(s), address, telephone (day, evening, cell), and e-mail

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  • Arrival and departure dates (confirm the number of nights)

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  • Room selected and special add-ons

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  • Reason for visiting the area and whether this is a special occasion (this can be asked during the conversation but make a note of it)

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  • Referral source (how they originally found you)

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  • Credit card number, expiration, 3 digits on the back (4 digits on front of AMEX)

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  • Wrap things up by confirming the rate plus tax and any additional charges

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  • Reviewing policies (especially deposit and cancellation policies) and a check-in time (ask for approximate arrival time)

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  • Noting any dietary restrictions or allergies (very important for breakfast)

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  • Offering to make reservations for dining, events, tours, and so on

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  • Telling guests the next step such as a follow-up confirmation by e-mail

 

  • Remember, both a smile and frown can be heard

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This type of reservation checklist is necessary but to be honest, I feel no matter what the size of your operation, having the proper software in place to consistently walk you through these steps is essential.

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And we are going to be spending more time looking at this type of software in the near future.

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The last thing I want to talk about in this edition is standing apart from your competition.

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I have looked at the significance of consistency but it is important to remember that every bed and breakfast should not look like it is part of a cookie-cutter operation.

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Take a look at your property and determine what can you do to stand out from the crowd?

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OK, this is our look at some ways to stand apart.

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When it comes to marketing, target your neighbours.

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Not only vacationing in your own country is okay but vacationing in your own community can be fun. Who would not benefit from a short break of one or two overnight stays?

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So when preparing your marketing plan, don’t forget your local associations, community groups and clubs. If you look around you will see there is so much to do in our own region and a bed & breakfast stay can suit a break like this perfectly.

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Provide good value for the money

Private bathrooms, box-spring beds and free internet nowadays is more the rule rather than an exception. What can you offer to make your property more unique and comparable to a 4 or 5-star stay?

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Bed & breakfast are trendier and stays have changed over the years.

Now there are trendier B and B’s turning up with theme rooms, design furniture or luxury wellness facilities and are partnering with other local operations. There are properties where you can attend a cooking workshop, painting seminars and music weekends. No wonder young people are becoming fans.

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Bed & breakfasts properties are becoming more interesting like being set up in stately monumental properties, former school buildings, old mills, log cabins, and houseboats.

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The sky is the limit!

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And personal service

The most important charm of a bed & breakfast, however, remains the personal service. Be willing to go the extra mile for your guests.

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The unexpected surprises are the best and most time most memorable..

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Let your imagination go wild and be unique!

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In conclusion

Developing routines and checklists for your bed and breakfast will help you maintain consistency for your guests.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC131

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And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Get your own copy of the

Guest room, breakfast setup and phone reservation checklists

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/guest-room-breakfast-setup-phone-reservation-checklists.

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The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/The-American-Country-Inn-and-Bed-Breakfast-Cookbook

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” –Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

Bed and Breakfast Checklists @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/QsR6VLcBbis

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School PODCAST here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hospitality-property-school

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/QsR6VLcBbis

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