Need your input...

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07/23/2008

 OK, some of you may know I work outside the B&B as well as 'do' everything for the B&B. My work outside the B&B is sometimes extremely dangerous and involves working with people who use and sell drugs and lots of violence. Its getting more and dangerous. I want to quit really bad, and my hubby wants me to quit. Even my supervisor said the other day that he is feeling more and more non-equipped to deal with the mental health and drug issues we are being forced to deal with.  I haven't quit yet because the B&B needs just a smidgen more income in order for me to quit ($8k /yr). If my student loans were paid off, I'd quit in a heat beat! But its also extremely flexible hours and I set my own schedule so I can work around the B&B (that's why I haven't just gone out and got a different job)

So.... I was thinking.... 

Victorian Tea Room,

We have done some wonderful/successful special occasion dinners here and lunches. ... What if we change the library from an office to our sitting room (it'd be more cozy anyway), and changed the parlor (seldom used by guests) into a dining room with small tables for two or four and elegant table settings, with white table cloths and linen napkins just like we do for breakfast (we've done this for the dinners, there are pics on our website of it like this under the 'attractions' tab) and turn it into a 'Victorian tea room' and offer 'lunch from 11-3pm M-Sat?  Guest check out is at 11 and check in is at 3pm. I can hire help once I get busy enough... 

Oh.... and we can serve lunch outside in the gardens when the weather is nice!! 

This would also show additional income coming in which looks good to banks! And would bring in income during the 'slow' season. 

We are located directly across from the court house, and sheriffs office and there is always tons of traffic out front. The restaurant down the street is closed for lunch AND no one is open on Mondays that's a plus to us! Lots of people always ask if we serve lunch or dinner. I do think we'd get enough people to keep it going. 

What do you think about doing this....... uh.... starting this.... while trying to sell??? I don't think it will hurt selling it, and may in fact help it... (like I said, additional income banks like that). 

Of course before I do ANYTHING I know to check with all the proper authorities etc.... and find out what is required.... BUT IF its all doable... 

What are you all's thoughts???  Hurt selling?? Help Selling (while of course helping me). 

ALSO: How do I check out the competition without them feeling intimidated etc... like, how they are doing financially?? etc... 

..... always thinking.... 

 

 

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Sunshine

 

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

wow. that does not sound good.

how busy are you?  what's your occupancy rate?

when was the last time you increased your nightly room rate?

if you increase each of three rooms by $10, that's an additional $30 per night

multiply that by, say, 300 nights out of 365, and you exceed the money you need to justify leaving that dangerous job

if you increase each of three rooms by $20, that's an additional $60 per night.

or let's say you increase the suite by $20 per night, $5 for the other two rooms ..... that again is an additional $30 per night

you see where i am going with this.

 

 

 

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10/07/2008

Consider the amount of time and work to equal one room night.

Catering, delivery, etc etc all of that to make $125 which equals one room night. Put your effort into marketing your B&B/rooms. That is my 10 cents worth. cool

Especially in the off season. Maybe have some inclusive B&B getaways including dinner. 

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09/26/2011

You're practised in juggling.  You've found a realistic solution.  If you have the stamina to get to profitability - Go for it.  

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06/24/2008

Sunshine, you have your head straight.  Instead of sinking more into the quicksand you are searching for a way out of the mud.  As much as I commend you for your efforts trying to help others, you need to know when to call it quits for your own health and well being. 

It sounds like you are in a prime area for a lunch place.  I know the places right around our court house and such are packed at lunch.  Jurors and employees don't have time to jump into the car, their time is short.  You also could get some business delivering lunch for meetings & while jurors are deliberating.  While I know the thought of Tea Room fits very well with your B&B, you may want to 'man it up' a little as men in general will shy away from a tea room.  But still the layout and all sounds good.  Do you have any male friends that work over that way?  They could provide feedback as to what they do now  for lunch so you can see how you could sway them to you.

Now if the area also attracts shoppers to boutique shops etc. the tea room idea is a perfect choice.  And sandwiches etc. do well for meetings.  Here places for special functions are in great need.  There are lots of organizations that meet during the lunch hours in desperate need of a location to call home.  I was asked about just that last week, a meeting once a month 11-2 serving lunch.  Perfect timing just too many in the group (100) all coming in individual cars not enough parking and too much set up/break down for me.

Of course first is to get answers on Tuesday.   Fingers crossed that the best plan be set for you. 

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07/23/2008

copperhead wrote:

Sunshine, you have your head straight.  Instead of sinking more into the quicksand you are searching for a way out of the mud.  As much as I commend you for your efforts trying to help others, you need to know when to call it quits for your own health and well being. 

It sounds like you are in a prime area for a lunch place.  I know the places right around our court house and such are packed at lunch.  Jurors and employees don't have time to jump into the car, their time is short.  You also could get some business delivering lunch for meetings & while jurors are deliberating.  While I know the thought of Tea Room fits very well with your B&B, you may want to 'man it up' a little as men in general will shy away from a tea room.  But still the layout and all sounds good.  Do you have any male friends that work over that way?  They could provide feedback as to what they do now  for lunch so you can see how you could sway them to you.

Now if the area also attracts shoppers to boutique shops etc. the tea room idea is a perfect choice.  And sandwiches etc. do well for meetings.  Here places for special functions are in great need.  There are lots of organizations that meet during the lunch hours in desperate need of a location to call home.  I was asked about just that last week, a meeting once a month 11-2 serving lunch.  Perfect timing just too many in the group (100) all coming in individual cars not enough parking and too much set up/break down for me.

Of course first is to get answers on Tuesday.   Fingers crossed that the best plan be set for you. 

Excellent idea to talk to the 'guys'!! We have several lawyers right across the street (one owns two bar and grills in town).. Thanks!

Yes there is a need for boutique shops, and 'good' places to eat! 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I just gave myself the Polish Salute! DUH! Copperhead had your answer. Make up a menu of Soup/Sandwich/chips/soda or water Give 2 or 3 choices in each category and pass them out at the Courthouse in the offices. Call in your order by 10 AM and it will be delivered between 11:30 and Noon. Sunshine in  a Brown Bag! Add 25 cents to the price in each category to be the delivery fee part of the cost totsl. Esch item does not have a cost - the total price  for the brown bag is $XX.XX.

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07/23/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

I just gave myself the Polish Salute! DUH! Copperhead had your answer. Make up a menu of Soup/Sandwich/chips/soda or water Give 2 or 3 choices in each category and pass them out at the Courthouse in the offices. Call in your order by 10 AM and it will be delivered between 11:30 and Noon. Sunshine in  a Brown Bag! Add 25 cents to the price in each category to be the delivery fee part of the cost totsl. Esch item does not have a cost - the total price  for the brown bag is $XX.XX.

Last night While lying in bed I thought that - "initially"-  instead of delivering to the court house offices (which is 3 floors and would take a ton of time), that I'd do 'pick up/take out" where they could still phone in their orders and then come pick them up. That way they will also get a chance to SEE the Tea Room and Gift shop and might think - "WOW, this is REALLY nice,.... I HAVE to come back here and bring_______". OR they might think "What a GREAT place to have an office luncheon or party!" The idea will be to have them come here and SEE us, and then go back and talk all about it with others! 

Then maybe after were established we can do deliveries.... 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I think you might need to do a few initial deliveries to get the ball rolling... Or, run by at lunch time with free cookies and a menu.

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05/22/2008

You are going to be busy enough trying to keep up with everything. If successful and you can add help, then add deliveries. Start slow here...I know your mind is racing a mile a minute. Wait to find out IF you can do this legally from the town...and then start the engines Smiling

Ice
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02/22/2010

gillumhouse wrote:

I just gave myself the Polish Salute! DUH! Copperhead had your answer. Make up a menu of Soup/Sandwich/chips/soda or water Give 2 or 3 choices in each category and pass them out at the Courthouse in the offices. Call in your order by 10 AM and it will be delivered between 11:30 and Noon. Sunshine in  a Brown Bag! Add 25 cents to the price in each category to be the delivery fee part of the cost totsl. Esch item does not have a cost - the total price  for the brown bag is $XX.XX.

 

Isn't that how  P aula Dee n  got started?

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gillumhouse's picture
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I do not know about her, but I do know that kind of thing is totally in demand. Especially in offices that only have one person or are high demand. Take the menus to the shops because they often are like us - I am IT and cannot leave for lunch. A container of hot soup and a nice sandwich or a container of spaghetti with garlic bread or just bread would be heaven if someone else was making it and delivering.  Something other than pizza!

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

my neighbour does this http://www.commercialstreetharrogate.com/full-lillys-menu.html - just for an idea

I would say think about pannini's - you may even have a George forman grill - easy and cheap to do and very popular

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05/22/2008

seems to me that you really enjoy doing special events so you would be good at this. But run the numbers first and realize it is going to take some time to build another business and make money doing it. You probably can't afford to have help so you may be running yourself ragged and that isn't worth much either.  Check the town regs before you do anything..but you know that already.

No one should stay in a job they hate!

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I would crack on with it unless there is some massive health department problem - we would do it here when conferences are on if our layout was better - ie the only way through to our flat is through the breakfast room so for small functions we would either be trapped in our flat or out of it.

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10/07/2008

This is the emotional rollercoaster of trying to sell your place. I feel your pain. broken heart  And you have only just begun. There is a reason we are called innmates. 

I feel your heavy heart and perhaps the truth is that it is pushing you forward to make other changes, if you are in a dangerous job, I am the first one to say GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE. Your family needs you. NOTHING is worth being put in harms way. Nothing. No amount of money!

Now if you are adrenaline junkie and love that sort of thing, then that is another story. If you want us to tell you to quit and stay home and operate the B&B full time, then do it.  There are not a ton of us here who make the money we had hoped running a B&B, some realizing too late the overhead is more than we anticipated. So much of it gets poured back into the business. If you are wanting another investment, then do a tea room/restaurant.

Otherwise, open up for more local functions. Get on that small event venue train. You know how intensive it can be, but consider smaller less detailed events. Cooking classes. You are a wonderful hostess and they will love every second, it doesn't need to be overdone, sometimes less is more. Most of the time less is more...actually. heart

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07/23/2008

ok, so I didn't explain myself very well, The B&B is making close to my income from my job. I'd need to make that plus the 8k to make this work... (not just the 8k). 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Living on beans and rice is LIVING. A job that YOU feel is dangerous to your health and welfare is a job that is not worth it - no matter how much it pays. Small EXCLUSIVE events carry high price tags and often do not carry the same requirements as big events with a lot of attendees paying chicken feed.

You have our blessings - QUIT! Concentrate on raising the revenue of your soon-to-be-sold B & B.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Sunshine wrote:

ok, so I didn't explain myself very well, The B&B is making close to my income from my job. I'd need to make that plus the 8k to make this work... (not just the 8k). 

So it sounds like you have to make twice what you're making now to make it work. (Old job + B&B + extra $8k) Do you think you can pull that in with a restaurant? Rather than going directly to the owners of similar restaurants can you get tax records? You could get an idea of how things are going from that.

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07/23/2008

Madeleine wrote:

Sunshine wrote:

ok, so I didn't explain myself very well, The B&B is making close to my income from my job. I'd need to make that plus the 8k to make this work... (not just the 8k). 

So it sounds like you have to make twice what you're making now to make it work. (Old job + B&B + extra $8k) Do you think you can pull that in with a restaurant? Rather than going directly to the owners of similar restaurants can you get tax records? You could get an idea of how things are going from that.

no, just the old job income.... Sorry.... I just really messed that entire message up didn't I? 

But, I'm not rushing into anything.... just doing some brain storming..... 

Calling the city first thing on Tuesday tho....

Madeleine's picture
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Sunshine wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Sunshine wrote:

ok, so I didn't explain myself very well, The B&B is making close to my income from my job. I'd need to make that plus the 8k to make this work... (not just the 8k). 

So it sounds like you have to make twice what you're making now to make it work. (Old job + B&B + extra $8k) Do you think you can pull that in with a restaurant? Rather than going directly to the owners of similar restaurants can you get tax records? You could get an idea of how things are going from that.

no, just the old job income.... Sorry.... I just really messed that entire message up didn't I? 

But, I'm not rushing into anything.... just doing some brain storming..... 

Calling the city first thing on Tuesday tho....

I'm just trying to get my head around what the new venture has to cover. Basically your old job. Plus $8k. But, if you make about the same 'on the job' as at the B&B then you need 2x what the B&B makes now + the additional $8k in order to feel comfortable with your decision.

I think the idea of events might be less day to day work and more money overall. Less outlay without knowing if it's paid for or not.

Small weddings? Elopements? Book club teas? Meetings? (The gang at the town hall probably wants to get out once in awhile!) Showers? (That's a HUGE request here. If I had room I could have showers 2-3x/month. For the wise guys - bridal or baby showers!)

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Do you have a commercial kitchen? Most often that type operation will require a commercial kitchen. Otherwise go for it.

Now that i have answered that question I will give this unasked for opinion - Is your life worth as little as $8k per year? Yes, it is a bit of money BUT I think your life is worth more. Quit the friggin' job and eat more beans & rice if you have to. Better than paying for a funeral and missing out on the events of your family's lives. Oh, and you may not be killed by one of your "clients" - just maimed to the point that you are useless to yourself and what YOU would consider a burden on your family. Have I cheered you up yet? Good! I meant to! QUIT!!

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

You've mentioned the dangerous job before. If $8k is making you risk your life everyday I'm all for opening a tea room! As for selling - the new owners do not have to do the tea room, but you're showing a secondary revenue stream should they decide they like that idea.

Offer lunch for shorter hours. I have a friend who owns a tea room and we usually walk at 3 PM as her last seating is at 1 PM. MANY, MANY days she is still trying to shoo people out the door who sat down at TWELVE!

If you have the time, it's a good sideline. (My friend actually does the B&B part on the side, all the major rev comes from the tea room.)

Forgot to mention that there is a bit of an investment here buying the tea. You already have the table settings, etc. But you need a good tea wholesaler.

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