How many rooms?

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03/13/2013

Hello,

I'm looking to get into the Innkeeping business, and it's getting pretty serious.  Right now I'm in the process of finalizing a floor plan design with my builder.  One question I have is how many rooms should I have?  My design has 2 bedrooms for my family and I, and 3 rooms for guests.  There will also be a small restaurant included.  How many rooms does the average B&B have?  Some people are telling me that 3 guestrooms will not be enough to make a profit.  I was planning on charging $90-$110 a night.  I'm just getting into this business so any insight will do.

Thanks!

-Jim

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

James, it kind of scares me that you're at the finalizing stage with the plans, yet you haven't done your research to see how many rooms you'll need, whether you can actually have a restaurant/commercial kitchen, etc.

Please, please take an aspiring innkeeper course before you go any further. At this point you really don't know what you need to know to build a b&b. It's a huge investment and if you're starting from scratch you want to do it right to begin with.

We can answer a lot of questions here, but regulations vary from state to state, county to county and city to city. An aspiring innkeepers workshop will help you focus on the information that is imperative to know. You need to know why people will come to your location, how much you can charge, what occupancy you can project, taxes, licenses, b&b insurance, website costs, marketing/advertisement expenses and many, many more things. You say the land is zoned for a b&b, but what is the legal definition of b&b in that location? In the county just a few minutes from us a b&b can only have 2 rooms!

As someone else commented earlier, always get things in writing from your city/county. One person on a certain day will say, "sure, no problem", then you talk with someone else from the same department who says no.

We can answer a lot of questions, but you to actually have to know the questions to ask, so more due diligence is needed.

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03/13/2013

Sorry for the late response everyone, I've been out of town.  That's all really good info!  I've come to terms that 3 rooms will not be enough.  Now I just need to figure out how to budget an additional 2-3 rooms.

 

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

welcome.

i second the advice to take innkeeping courses ... weekend seminars are great and they are eye openers. 

3 rooms is not going to give you a lot of income and yes, with increased rooms comes increased work and the need for increased help. but you've got to be priced right.  having low prices might mean you get the kind of bookings you really don't want.  it's hard to explain.

i had 8 rooms and it was a lot of work but the profit was there.  if only 4 rooms were booked i could do it all in a pinch (and i do mean ALL) but it was exhausting. if my 2 chambermaids didn't show up, it was a disaster. because i still had breakfast to cook, serve, clean up after and then had to clean all the rooms AND keep the common areas clean AND answer the phone and email and handle bookings and marketing and buy groceries and on and on.   that is why innkeeping seminars are so great. you can see exactly how much work goes into running a place.

how big a restaurant are you thinking of?  that's a whole other business and i've never run a restaurant ... though if you are zoned for it you can book packages or will have folks come and just stay ... romance packages with dinner. i tried to get approval to serve dinners because i felt that i could turn my off season into a romance season ...  but i did not have a licensed commercial kitchen so you MUST build one.  and all rooms must have their own private bath and  beds no smaller than a queensize.  

 

 

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03/13/2013

Thank you ma'am,

that's helpful info.  Do you know anything about the zoning laws for a commercial kitchen.  The land I'm looking at is zoned for a B&B but I never did ask about a restaurant zoning.   

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05/22/2008

It all depends on the town/ location. Every state/county has different rules for restaurant/commercial kitchens. Talk to them, get their regs. Many have them on line.

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EmptyNest wrote:

It all depends on the town/ location. Every state/county has different rules for restaurant/commercial kitchens. Talk to them, get their regs. Many have them on line.

And even then, they are open to interpretation. Our health inspector says one thing and the guy teaching the food safety classes everyday says something else.

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Madeleine's picture
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James Barrett wrote:

Thank you ma'am,

that's helpful info.  Do you know anything about the zoning laws for a commercial kitchen.  The land I'm looking at is zoned for a B&B but I never did ask about a restaurant zoning.   

This information falls under the category of 'due diligence'. This is where you contact the local, state, county powers that be and get in writing what the regs are. I cannot stress the get in writing part enough.

As much as this crew here knows we do not know your location or your local regs.

Tom
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10/11/2009

We built from scratch to be a B&B.  There are some design considerations I can pass on if you email me.  We did 5 guest rooms because that is zoning maximum.  Income from those rooms above 2 make a big difference in the bottom line.

That said, I don't see how B&B can pay the mortgage on new construction and minimum wage for the inn keeper.  Glad I kept the old job and added the new.

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03/13/2013

I would appreciate that.  you can email me at barrettaviation@googlemail.com.  

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

3 rooms? definately not unless your restaurant part is going to make a ton of money!

1 wouldn't say any less than 10 but then I like a chamber maid to clean my toilets - so unless you want to do it yourself every day - i wouldn't have any less than 8

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Arks's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

3 rooms? definately not unless your restaurant part is going to make a ton of money!

1 wouldn't say any less than 10 but then I like a chamber maid to clean my toilets - so unless you want to do it yourself every day - i wouldn't have any less than 8

I've read numerous books and articles that say eight rooms is the point at which an inn becomes profitable, but of course some make it with fewer.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

for example 3 rooms =

no staff = this will be the biggest expense

you can do your own laundry rather than sending out which is a lot more expensive (ie to send out)

more property to maintain ie renovate/ keep renovating and kitting out and keeping kitting out!

Its all swings and roundabouts - plus it depends on your mortgage payments ie no mortgage = profit straight away!

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

Depends how you define profit - especially as the larger you get the overheads increase accordingly

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Well, you need to figure out what is the ave occ in your area. What are you going to have to pay for all of your living expenses? How many room nights do you think you can sell? How much will it cost to run the B&B? (All of the licenses, food, cleaning, etc) Then do the math.

Is anyone going to be working outside the B&B/restaurant?

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Even in Podunk I charge more than that!!! Rates are determined by location (what the traffic will bear and what are others charging to know that), type of facility (mansions charge more than farm house - probably due to costs), cost of mortgage, insurance, taxes, and fees, and amenities. $90 to 110 per night will have you in the poor house fast. You DO NEED to take classes. Bathrooms alone can bankrupt you!

Not to be snarky, but just how hard are you planning to work? Is your life insurance paid up? A B&B and a restaurant? How many of you to work this plan? Of course I am old and lazy, but I do not want to work that hard to have a B&B and a restaurant. (Lots of nice restaurants around. I USED to do dinners - too much work.) Each enterprise is full of pot holes the size of money pits.

That said, I am not trying to discourage you - just trying to give a reality check. Ask us questions - one at a time to avoid confusion as we can go off on a tangent easily enough without multiple questions in a thread.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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If you can give us more info, we can help you better. EmptyNest asked some good questions. We need more info!

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05/22/2008

Welcome.

First thing you need to do is take an aspiring innkeeper course. If you take time to do searches here and read all the past threads you will get a real education. No one here wears rose color glasses and will tell it like they see it.

Then decide whether or not you want to do this. Have you stayed in alot of B &B's? LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.... you don't have to say where you are, but if you aren't in a location with good traffic or a reason to stay in your location....don't do it. Yes we have folks here in Podunk as she will tell you, but she has busted her butt for years and makes it month to month.

Have you checked local zoning codes where you will build yet? Health dept regs, fire regs? etc etc.

Will you or someone else still have a "day job" to  pay your bills, health insurance etc. Do not depend on a 3 room B & B and restaurant to do that!  How big is your bank account? Better be a big one because you won't find any financing for a commercial venture right now. $90 - 100 a night is not going to get you much but people looking for a bargain and wanting to go lower.

Do your homework first.

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