How to Set Your Bed-and-Breakfast Apart: 5 Tips
People searching for a bed-and-breakfast (B&B) want to find a unique place that will make them feel special. It can be disappointing if their chosen accommodation looks and feels the same as any other. Therefore, setting your establishment apart is vital to stay ahead of the competition. Here are five ways to do that.
What Are Bed-and-Breakfasts?
A B&B is a small property typically owned by a family or small team of people living on the site. There are generally fewer than 10 rooms that have a very homelike feel. Guests want an individual experience, elegant decor, and authentic foods and drinks. A bed-and-breakfast is perfect for a weekend getaway date with loved ones.
How to Tell if Owning a B&B Is Right for You
Bed-and-breakfasts are a huge commitment to take on. You should consider if you can give the job the attention it needs. Consider asking yourself these questions:
- Are you good under pressure?
- Do you enjoy being around people?
- Are you an expert on your destination?
- Do you like being self-employed?
- Do you have a strong support system?
Knowing what to expect from the job is important before you dive right into it. Doing what you love is a great way to see the best results. Your customers can tell when you take pride in your business if you go above and beyond for them.
Setting Your B&B Apart
There are many reasons some businesses are more successful than others. You can do certain things to boost your bed-and-breakfast and increase your chances of success. Here are some ways to set yourself apart from your competitors.
1. Offer Flexible Check-in and Check-Out Times
Customers may expect that you offer traditional late afternoon check-in times or late morning check-out times. However, this may not always be convenient. A part of being a B&B owner is your enjoyment of working with people and trying to provide a homelike experience. You can stand out by changing the norms of checking in and out.
You can let guests set the times that are best for them. Give them the option beforehand to notify you what time works with their schedules to check in and out. This feature alone could be the reason they choose you over a competitor.
2. Have a Signature Dish
Another way to make your B&B unique is by having signature dishes or drinks. Your menu can bring guests in from a while away or even local residents. You can create your menu by researching and learning about local specialties or include a personal touch with a favorite family recipe.
Try marketing your food as something special, like offering farm-fresh eggs or herbs from an on-site garden. You can make your menu unique by including these features. If your B&B values family, emphasize that you have special traditional recipes people cannot find anywhere else.
3. Supply Resources in Common Areas
You want to be sure you can accommodate all guests. Some amenities can prohibit people from staying at your establishment. Individuals with wheelchairs or injuries will need specific accommodations to ensure they can get to all areas.
Providing ramps to get in and out of your B&B or residential elevators can drive customers to stay at your facility over competitors. They see you are going above and beyond to accommodate all people. Custom elevators can range in the tens of thousands of dollars and reach $100,000 in some cases. Although this is an investment, older or disabled patrons will be drawn to your business.
4. Obtain a Liquor License
A liquor license is a great way to take your B&B to the next level. Potential customers who know they can enjoy a drink may be more inclined to stay with you. You are eligible for a license if the establishment has no more than 15 bedrooms, offers transitory lodging to the public and provides at least one meal per day.
There are always restrictions and conditions that can apply when dealing with alcohol. The key to this is organization. Keep track of your alcohol and maintain records of what is bought. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to keep track of these services in compliance with the law.
5. Use Technology
Technology should not replace personal interaction, but it is a great tool to make customers’ stays easier. Invest in tech that complements your management and will help guests in new ways. Apps can let people book easily and include their check-in and out times, and you can even offer remote check-in for convenience or for guests who prefer contactless entry.
The hospitality industry is constantly finding new ways to improve. In addition to online booking, you can provide free Wi-Fi on your premises so guests can use their cellphones on-site without wasting data. Most people appreciate little things like this, and none of this tech takes away from the historic charm of your B&B.
Help Your B&B Stand Out and Get Noticed
Adding unique qualities is an excellent way to make your bed-and-breakfast memorable. Try implementing these tips so your B&B stands out and becomes a go-to destination as more people look to travel once again.
Author Bio: Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about food, fitness and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates of his work.
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