What am I getting into?

8 replies [Last post]
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11/05/2013

My chef/caterer is strongly considering retiring through a B&B. In other words, caterer is tired of schlepping food all over the place. And, believes that a B&B will be easier. We are considering a large place that could be double as a catering venue as well as B&B. Chef is an exceptional chef and takes criticism well ... in other words a very good people person. I am also good with people but have a very different business but still have some people skills. I am okay with mundane B&B chores.

We are looking at large houses in popular ski resorts, with at least 5 bedrooms & baths. Not the usual tract I believe. We are avoiding sunny beaches due to skin issues.

Any opinions?

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Joined:
11/05/2013

This could almost be a forum "self employed anonymous". This place is just specialized. I didn't come here expecting kid gloves, but just open plain speak. Chef & I have each had our own separate business' for at least 14 years. 

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Joined:
11/05/2013

Thanks for the response, we have each had our own very different business' for 14 or 15 years. Long hours are a high class problem versus no business. The recession was tough. I am used to getting up at 2 or 3 AM, working for a few then a short nap to get ready for the day. Chef getting cursed at by rich hosts' for not having dinner ready at 6:26 ... versus 6:30 ... has developed thick skin. In my business there is the issue of not getting paid many thousands because they are few states away. Being stiffed for even several hundred on a stolen CC doesn't seem so bad. I have been lurking here for a while.

Reading about working your fingers to the bone, my accountant told me years ago that if I am working too much then I am not charging enough. In my business that has worked. I don't know how that goes as an inn keeper tho. It might depend on the location as to why people come to the area and how much money they want to spend. A place on the fringe is not what we want.

We have been working on the legal aspects of the business, LLC or S-corp. Separating the different operations of B&B, catering, and even what I do. Chef/caterer has made more in one weekend that I have in a quarter. Although I am expecting political fund raisers in the next year to be a last hoorah for all of that in the current locale due to changing times. I am concerned about having only 5 bedrooms.

Chef/caterer's experience with kitchen approvals, grease traps, ins., & certifications have been epic. I couldn't do that, but some have endless patience. And, are still great in working with the public. Its all relative I guess. Ergo ... Chefs arm candy, aka "grunt".

If you are self employed, then you darn well better be doing something that you enjoy.

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Joined:
08/04/2008

Chefs arm candy wrote:

Thanks for the response, we have each had our own very different business' for 14 or 15 years. Long hours are a high class problem versus no business. The recession was tough. I am used to getting up at 2 or 3 AM, working for a few then a short nap to get ready for the day. Chef getting cursed at by rich hosts' for not having dinner ready at 6:26 ... versus 6:30 ... has developed thick skin. In my business there is the issue of not getting paid many thousands because they are few states away. Being stiffed for even several hundred on a stolen CC doesn't seem so bad. I have been lurking here for a while.

Reading about working your fingers to the bone, my accountant told me years ago that if I am working too much then I am not charging enough. In my business that has worked. I don't know how that goes as an inn keeper tho. It might depend on the location as to why people come to the area and how much money they want to spend. A place on the fringe is not what we want.

We have been working on the legal aspects of the business, LLC or S-corp. Separating the different operations of B&B, catering, and even what I do. Chef/caterer has made more in one weekend that I have in a quarter. Although I am expecting political fund raisers in the next year to be a last hoorah for all of that in the current locale due to changing times. I am concerned about having only 5 bedrooms.

Chef/caterer's experience with kitchen approvals, grease traps, ins., & certifications have been epic. I couldn't do that, but some have endless patience. And, are still great in working with the public. Its all relative I guess. Ergo ... Chefs arm candy, aka "grunt".

If you are self employed, then you darn well better be doing something that you enjoy.

You sound like you just might have enough gumption to make it work for you. If you've been a lurker for more than a day, you already know what a practical, honest, varied group of people make up this forum.

Keep the dialogue going. Don't get too thin-skinned when the gloves come off. Put all of the pieces of your expectations on the table and pick them up one at a time, examine each one closely from all angles to be sure of motive and intent, if they pass the test and you are okay with what you see then it's time to start building your B&B puzzle. 

 

It is NOT impossible, undo-able, far-fetched, or any other negative idea that will be thrown at you- or else this doggone forum wouldn't exist. Honestly- it is hard work. Some people are scared of hard work. It doesn't sound like you are.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

The thud you are hearing is my head banging the monitor - AFTER I cleaned the screen because I was drinking coffee when I read this.

Welcome to the Forum but read the threads. Concentrate on the threads that mention Meltdown, Grrrrrrrrrr etc......

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Joined:
06/24/2008

So 'Chef' feels like a B&B with onsite events will be less stressful, retirement mode?   'Chef' needs to research a lot more.  Chef will no longer leave his/her work behind when leaving an event.  He/she will be LIVING at work.  No running away. 

Lot more thought needs to go into this!  Just sayin'.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Joined:
05/26/2009

Chefs arm candy wrote:

And, believes that a B&B will be easier.

Any opinions?

Yup, I've got some opinons, but first, I have to stop laughing before I choke! surprise

Innkeep's picture
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Joined:
06/04/2008

Welcome to the forum.  It is very difficult to give you an answer, because there are so many things to consider.  Starting a B&B vs buying an established property, learning the particular laws rules and regulations of your location (rules on occupancy, fire standards, construction standards) vary from state to state and town to town.  

How are you planning to finance this adventure?  Commercial loans for B&B's can be difficult to find.  Most of us would be uncomfortable advising you to invest retirement savings... too many things that could go wrong.  In many locations, the income from 5 rooms will not completely support you, especially if the business is seasonal.  It's also more difficult to justify hiring housekeeping help with just 5 rooms.  Over 5 rooms you have ADA issues to deal with.  

Your chef is good with cooking and may have a catering venue also.  That sounds like you're considering events at the B&B.  Running events adds a layer of complexity to what used to be just schlepping food and cuts down on his participation in the day to day activities in the inn.  I'll email you off the forum with the name of an innkeeper friend of mine who has that type of facility.

I'd advise that you read through the past threads in the forum.  We've had many ask some of the questions you're asking just recently.

Arks's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2010

Retiring through a B&B? Are you joking? Running a B&B is definitely not retiring! You may be working MORE, like 16+ hours/day, 7 days/week.

Read some books, like Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies. Take an aspiring innkeepers course. Read this forum. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Ask Madeleine, who literally didn't/couldn't leave the house for a long period after opening her B&B. Ask those who feel guilty if they meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee when they really need to be cleaning toilets.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

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