Live In Manager

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AjMed's picture
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11/02/2013

My wife and I are still researching and looking at the possibility of buying a B&B on the coast in the UK.

We are looking at the possibility of hiring a live-in manager.

We would want the manager to be in charge of breakfasts and cleaning (we don't yet know if that would mean actually doing the cooking and cleaning, but probably sharing the duties)

We would be happy to deal with reservations, phone calls, advertising etc. and checking in/out guests.

Does anyone have experience of using a live-in manager? What about how much to pay them? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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06/28/2013

Good Morning;

I am a live in Manager at a high scale B&B.  I have been here for about 6 months and the salary is not grand but the housing is. It also helps that we are the sister property to a small hotel who sends over the housekeepers.  My first foray into being a hostess, not a manager, have done that for decades.   Quite nice career change as I age gracefully.  

 

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seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

a few years back, i was paying chambermaids $15 an hour, my top chambermaid got $16  ... if i didn't pay that, they'd walk.

we had eight guest rooms, bathrooms, common areas, dining room, kitchen, (making breakfast for 21 makes a mess), stairways, entryways, FLOORS!, a cupola where guests could go up and look out, windows ... endless areas to clean. we got a lot of salt spray on the windows which meant every few weeks someone had to be outside cleaning all those water facing windows. 

they earned more than i did. 

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04/21/2010

My experience has shown that everything can work as an idea. Get a good set of numbers and then plug in the difference for this person. If you are looking to break even for a few years until you retire to this position or to hold the land etc. It will all matter on price paid and cash flow. 

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

You mention "on the coast." Where we are, and I gather in many places over there, "on the coast" is highly seasonal. We are closed 6 months out of the year.

Will you be employing your manager year-round, or only during the high season? Will you be providing them with housing year-round even if you are only employing them for part of the year?

Just some things to think about.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

Getting someone actually worth having who is willing to live on site and therefore on call 24 hours and only pay them minimum wage? - its very unlikely. Plus most people come with a partner- or if they don't at some point they will, will they live there to? and so on. Also you cannot expect anyone doesn't have a day or evening off and they are legally allowed to work only so many hours a day - you could end up infront of an employment tribunal very quickly.

For 11 bedrooms we have 1 chamber maid - UK bedrooms are not as big as USA ones, in large hotels 17 bedrooms a day for chamber maids is not unusual so frankly 9 is a very light load!

However 9 bedrooms and a live in manager - it would have to have a very high occupancy to pay the wages required.

We do up to 22 breakfasts a day between 2 of us, when our chamber maid leaves us eventually we will make it part of the new persons job description that they help with breakfast on busy days,

Round here the charge for a member of staff to sit in one evening is £7.50 at least per hour on top of their usual wage. Standard chamber maid wage is usually £7.50 per hour as well - plus tax and national insurance.

For myself a good chamber maid who will sit in occasionally, speaks fluent English and has a pleasant manner frankly would be enough - otherwise all your profits will be wages.

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AjMed's picture
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11/02/2013

One of the B&B's we are looking at has 9 bedrooms and a managers ensuite downstairs.

The present owner has been happy with the arrangement but he wants to retire now.

My wife and I are trying to understand whether or not we can go into this business without it taking over our entire lives. As much as we are interested in the business, we would like to treat it as a business rather than a lifestyle.

As for days off - we would be happy to work full time 2 days during the week to give the manager time off.

We have researched and apparently by providing accommodation means we would only need to pay minimum wage.

 

 

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Btw, 9 rooms is too much for one person to clean. You'll need day help as well if you're not going to do some cleaning.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

That's different. You aren't looking at the purchase as your livelihood and your full-time job. Unless this is a very high producing property you will be living off site so I am going to assume you will maintain employment elsewhere.

If that's not right and you are going to only run the inn then you have to look for something that really has good numbers.

This may sound strange at first but if you are only going to get employment from the inn, what are you going to 'do' during the day?

Someone else is cleaning and cooking. It doesn't take that much time to answer the phone and do check ins, etc.

Ok I say that now during the quiet season! Yes, with a manager on site I would use the extra time to go out for lunch, write my book, talk to my family, etc!

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I would be happy to deal with reservations, phone calls, advertising etc. and checking in/out guests but the cost of not doing the cleaning and breakfasts and laundry would not leave me anything for ME. I am a greedy broad - I want some for me too. Besides, finding someone for just when I need (and in the off-season definitely do not need) would be impossible. A room for a live-in manager would be a room that could not be rented - lost revenue. I am willing to get my hands dirty and do the dirty work myself - bigger profits.

I am not meaning to be snarky, but what you describe is what I call "Newhart" innkeepers.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

How large is this inn? Can it PAY you and the manager a decent amount of money?

Here's an example based strictly on housekeeping pay and not getting into 'manager' status which implies overseeing other people's work and not just because a 'manager' title means something different in re paying a person.

Our housekeeper (when we have one) gets around $13/hour. (8 pounds, your money.) That's a 20 hour work week (4 hours/day, 5 day week). If we had that same person working the breakfast as well it would mean an additional 3 hours/day we would have to pay. And we would want the person there for every breakfast if they were cooking which puts us up to 7 days/week for 49 hours.

Now you're getting into overtime payments and when does this person get a day off and all of the state and federal employment taxes and holy cow it's a lot of money now!

So you have to look at all of that. Not sure what sorts of employment taxes you pay/don't pay and that makes a difference.

If our housekeeper takes home $225/week, we are actually outlaying something along the lines of $300+ after all the payroll taxes and unemployment costs and the payroll accountant.

And you're talking about someone living in. Where would they be housed? What's included in the accommodations? All of that plays into it. You still need to pay them some actual money on top of the housing.

Will the person be 'on call' 24 hours? I have a problem when we get people on here who say they were hired as 'on site managers' and they haven't had a day off in years. That's just not right.

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