Delivery Charge

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Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

When I first open I will have 3 or 4 cottage/cabins ready to go, the main lodge with 4-5 rooms will be the following spring.

I have the morning breakfast delivery all worked out for the opening phase with pretty baskets, fully equiped kitchens and dining areas, so there is no problem there.  Even have a nice bunch of easily transportable (and reheatable if need be) menus planned.

My question is once I am fully open with breakfast service in the main lodge should I charge a delivery fee if the cabins want a delivered basket as opposed to coming to the main dining area to eat?

We are not talking about a 50 foot walk it will be a ways to get from the current cottage locations to where I expect to site the main lodge and or additional cabins.  My concern is timing.  Getting the baskets made up doesn't really worry me, but actually leaving the inn kitchen to get in the car and drive them over to the cottages 800 to 1000   1500-1800 feet (just checked the property map) or more down the path.

So do I (I am going to need help the place is toooooo big for me alone with the farm part of it too) have the chambermaid come in early and have her deliver while I continue on with breakfast prep for the main dining area, and charge a small delivery fee for a "delivered basket"?

Do I make the baskets available for pick up at a specified time? Not my first choice

Don't charge and just add $5-$10/night to each of the cabins to cover the Chambermaid's cost for coming in to help?

Don't sweat it and see what happens and deal with it on the back end?

Or make all the cabins baskets only, and only the main lodge guests will eat in the dining room?

Or conversly, eliminate the baskets altogether and everyone eats in the main lodge?

 

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

We have found most guests like options. Some guests do not like to mingle with other guests and some really enjoy sitting around with other guests. This is why they choose to go to a Bed and Breakfast. It sounds to me like you have several different options with your property layout. 1) Breakfast sereved only in your cabin delivered at ?. Pros: less people in the dining room Cons: you have to deliver breakfast. They are going to all want them and try to talk you into different times for delivery. When your help does not show up because she calls on sick, who will stay with the guests while you are gone for 30 min to deliver breakfast to all the cabins? Who will go back when the guests call you 10 mon later because they want s certain condiment that you did not take them? Who will go back and pick up all the dishes or baskets? 2) Guest choice Pros: guests feel like they have choices. Maybe one day they want to sleep in, the other day mingle. Cons: same as choice 1, also you were expecting to deliver breafast and the guest changes their mind and  shows up in your lodge to eat with out telling you.( it will happen) 3) no breakfast delivery ( they have their own kitchen) Breakfast only comes with lodge stay. Pros: people will understand. They do have options here. They could stay in the lodge if breakfast is a Big deal. Cons: can't think of any ( guest might not like this.) 4) Breakfast baskets delivered the night before. Pros: you decide when it is convenient to deliver breakfast. Less of a problem in the morning. You can concentrate on your lodge guests. You would not have to have extra help. Guests in the cabins can sleep in if they want and eat when they want. Cons: not many. A little more work in the evenings. ( you could do most of this prep at breakfast time and then package it up in the evenings.) Everyone knows how breakfast works. Guests will not show up at your lodge for breakfast. Cons: ? If s guest chooses breakfast delivery ( except for baskets) I would definitely charge a fee. This would be an upgrade choice. Your time and effort are worth something. After all the guests could drive and get the breakfast you are offering. If they want someone to bring it to them, they should pay for that service.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Our good friends own a resort with a similar layout to what you are saying this will be like. ALL of the guests walk to the main house for breakfast. They ring a cowbell in the morning and at dinner time to let everyone know that it's time. (BTW, they rarely need to do that as guests are lined up on the porch waiting to get inside at least 15 minutes in advance!)

The folks in the cabins by the lake hike up the hill and the folks in the motel down the road walk over, too. No big deal. If you don't make it a big deal neither will the guests.

IF you get guests who ASK for delivery then charge for it. Do an upscale continental if you want to deliver in the morning or stock the fridge before they check in.

If you're going to be driving around the property invest in a solar-powered golf cart. Quiet. No need to wake everyone up with a car driving by.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I would do delivery all the time to the romance cabins and sell it as a selling point. However is there a way to deliver them without contacting the occupier? ie is there a hall they are popped into? just you don't want to be breaking people off from a romantic moment to answer the door!

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Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

Golf Cart on the list!  Not only is the noise a factor but fumes are as well.

I was planning on putting a access box (insulated) at each cabin/cottage so I could just open the door, pop the picnic basket in, and they can retreive from inside the cabin through a pass through door.  That would keep the basket secure and out of the elements and they can just put it back through the door when they are done and it can be retrieved later in the day.

After little sleep and lots of allergy drugs, I think I am leaning toward options.  When I travel sometimes I like to be sociable, sometimes I want to lay in bed and be a bum in the morning.

I am thinking rather than add a cost to room for delivery I will incorporate it into the rate, give the guest the option of delivered basket or walk over to the lodge.  Lodge guests need to get up or eat cereal!  Because this will be a farm stay I am hoping the active guests will be up and at 'em in the mornings and those that are there to get a way from it all will choose a cabin and eat at their leisure.  OK OK one can hope.

I plan on stocking the fridges with condiments so I can avoid some (I know not all) of the oh BTW can I please have???

With this plan I can do, as several have mentioned, a lot of the prep the night before, have it all set up so all I have to do is assemble in the morning and deliver.

The whole what if help doesn't show, or guests change their minds part is just going to have to be part of the landscape, plan for the worst, hope for the best and make due with what I have at the moment.  If I don't do that I think I will be insane in 3 days.

 

 

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Will you be delivering a hot breakfast or a continental? If it's a continental, it can be delivered the night before which will free you up in the kitchen in the morning. We deliver a hot breakfast which is what I look for when making reservations anywhere.

Weaver's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Will you be delivering a hot breakfast or a continental? If it's a continental, it can be delivered the night before which will free you up in the kitchen in the morning. We deliver a hot breakfast which is what I look for when making reservations anywhere.

Hot breakfast!!!!

I have a master cabinet maker friend who is going to custom make little insulated boxes to fit the food containers so everything stacks nicely in the picnic basket.  It will stay hot for about an hour or two. 
Guest cottages will have full kitchens, they can heat up anything they let sit too long.

As of this moment I plan on offering cereal in the rooms with a stash of coffee so early risers can get a snack.  Delivered will include fruit of some concoction, juice, bread/muffin, main course with sweet and or savory choice w/wo meat/potatoes, and a sweet treat such as a cookie or mini cupcake.

Similar ingredients but possibly a different preparation method for the lodge guests.

 

 

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Weaver wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Will you be delivering a hot breakfast or a continental? If it's a continental, it can be delivered the night before which will free you up in the kitchen in the morning. We deliver a hot breakfast which is what I look for when making reservations anywhere.

Hot breakfast!!!!

I have a master cabinet maker friend who is going to custom make little insulated boxes to fit the food containers so everything stacks nicely in the picnic basket.  It will stay hot for about an hour or two. 
Guest cottages will have full kitchens, they can heat up anything they let sit too long.

As of this moment I plan on offering cereal in the rooms with a stash of coffee so early risers can get a snack.  Delivered will include fruit of some concoction, juice, bread/muffin, main course with sweet and or savory choice w/wo meat/potatoes, and a sweet treat such as a cookie or mini cupcake.

Similar ingredients but possibly a different preparation method for the lodge guests. 

Having a cottage for 12 years with a full kitchen, let me give you a couple thoughts:

  • You MUST have signage that informs them that they are responsible to wash all of their dishes and leave the kitchen clean or they will be charged a cleaning fee. You definitely don't want people to treat your cottages like a vacation rental. They can leave their dirty breakfast dishes back in the delivery box.
  • Depends on your local Health Department, but because there is no dishwasher (sani cycle) in the cottage, we must have signage in the cottage that informs them that the dishes and utensils have been washed. If they need them sanitized, they have to contact the innkeeper. (by the way it's never happened. No one has ever had a problem).
  • Forget about having cereal and milk and early morning snack items. They can bring their own, why waste the money? They know from your website what time breakfast is offered. One of the draws of a cottage is having a kitchen so you can bring in your own snacks, etc. You don't want to have to keep stocking up all those items.
  • Offer housekeeping until a certain time. We offer it until 12:00 noon if they leave. Otherwise you'll be waiting around all day to get in there and cottage people tend to hang around more.

Yippee for a hot breakfast delivery! I love your idea of a built in box. I've had that before at resorts for room service and it's a great idea.

Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Weaver wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Will you be delivering a hot breakfast or a continental? If it's a continental, it can be delivered the night before which will free you up in the kitchen in the morning. We deliver a hot breakfast which is what I look for when making reservations anywhere.

Hot breakfast!!!!

I have a master cabinet maker friend who is going to custom make little insulated boxes to fit the food containers so everything stacks nicely in the picnic basket.  It will stay hot for about an hour or two. 
Guest cottages will have full kitchens, they can heat up anything they let sit too long.

As of this moment I plan on offering cereal in the rooms with a stash of coffee so early risers can get a snack.  Delivered will include fruit of some concoction, juice, bread/muffin, main course with sweet and or savory choice w/wo meat/potatoes, and a sweet treat such as a cookie or mini cupcake.

Similar ingredients but possibly a different preparation method for the lodge guests. 

Having a cottage for 12 years with a full kitchen, let me give you a couple thoughts:

  • You MUST have signage that informs them that they are responsible to wash all of their dishes and leave the kitchen clean or they will be charged a cleaning fee. You definitely don't want people to treat your cottages like a vacation rental. They can leave their dirty breakfast dishes back in the delivery box.
  • Depends on your local Health Department, but because there is no dishwasher (sani cycle) in the cottage, we must have signage in the cottage that informs them that the dishes and utensils have been washed. If they need them sanitized, they have to contact the innkeeper. (by the way it's never happened. No one has ever had a problem).
  • Forget about having cereal and milk and early morning snack items. They can bring their own, why waste the money? They know from your website what time breakfast is offered. One of the draws of a cottage is having a kitchen so you can bring in your own snacks, etc. You don't want to have to keep stocking up all those items.
  • Offer housekeeping until a certain time. We offer it until 12:00 noon if they leave. Otherwise you'll be waiting around all day to get in there and cottage people tend to hang around more.

Yippee for a hot breakfast delivery! I love your idea of a built in box. I've had that before at resorts for room service and it's a great idea.

Diva,

thanks for the help!

three of the four cottages have brand new dishwashers, the 4th I have to finish the interior, it will be the coolest of them all, A Silo.  18' wide by 80' tall, so a new apartment sized kitchen will be going in on the first "floor".  We (I say we, that means I come up with the idea, and my contractor laughs a me) are going to build a small entry foyer where the pick up box will be located.  Needless to say that building is not going to be moved!

Oh yea cut off times for housekeeping is a must, gotta farm to run.  I think I will skip the snacks but stick with the condiments and coffee in the cabins, at least then I can hopefully reduce some of the extra running around.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Condiments and coffee are good to have. We have regular and decafe for the coffee makers. As far as condiments go, you might have to have individually wrapped ones. Not sanitary to leave open bottles for more than 1 use. Our health dept would not allow that, and personally I would never use an open container that had been used by others.
 

Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

Yep the little bottles will be flooding the recycling bins, but that is ok, would rather have recyclable glass than tons of plastic wrappers.

And because by year three I expect to have the commercial kitchen in place it will be tons easier since we can pricess the miniatures.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Are the cabins going to be the romantic/no kids rooms? If so, just add on a few bucks to cover the cost of additional support. You can really spin the romance niche with great marketing. If the cabins are that far from the main house, your guests are not going to want to make the trek, especiallty in the winter.

I would make the cabins baskets only, all year around.

 

Weaver's picture
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01/24/2012

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Are the cabins going to be the romantic/no kids rooms? If so, just add on a few bucks to cover the cost of additional support. You can really spin the romance niche with great marketing. If the cabins are that far from the main house, your guests are not going to want to make the trek, especiallty in the winter.

I would make the cabins baskets only, all year around.

 

All but two of the eventual 6 -8 will be adults only.  Two will be kid and pet friendly and will be closer to the main lodge away from the adult only one bedroom romantic cabins. 

If I do baskets only all year round that cuts my dining space requirements and the dishware etc costs way down, by almost 2/3.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

We do delivery only at our b&b. It's really given us a wonderful niche market. It's certainly not for everybody, but it works great for us. We have 3 rooms in the main house and a separate cottage, so we're much smaller than what you're trying to do. It seems like your property will be large enough and diverse enough that you'll be able to create different areas that offer unique experiences. After awhile, you'll see what style people are really drawn too.

Sounds like a fun challenge!

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