First guests arriving today

31 replies [Last post]
Stu
Stu's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/26/2014

I joined a couple of months ago and you were all so helpful on suggestions for our website. Thank you. Anyway, back to topic, after medium renovations of putting TV's in the rooms, new linen throughout and converting a room into a suite we are at last receiving our first guests today... Hooray, money comming the right way at last! One question, our first guests have booked for 2 weeks (nice start) we do not charge a reservation fee or any moneys up front and it says on our website that payment is made on the last day of the stay. Obviously with such a long booking is it acceptable to request 50% payment upfront. What are your thoughts. Thank you.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Happy to hear things are working so nicely. Your breakfast sounds lovely. Wishing you many years of success. May you be as busy a you WANT to be.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Stu wrote:

Obviously with such a long booking is it acceptable to request 50% payment upfront. What are your thoughts. Thank you.

When we booked overseas vacations many of the B&B's required payment at in full at least 2 weeks in advance. Am I right in guessing many of your guests are British? Or? I would do what the other B&B's do in that area or make it even MORE APPEALING to a guest, if you are too different it may cost you business.

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

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

EXCELLENT!! You're a natural!

Stu
Stu's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/26/2014

Hey you all, Thanks for all your help. We changed our policy and our guests did arrive and didn't question payment upfront. (we actually did not have anything written about when payment was due - but that has now been added to our policies). First breakfast tomorrow morning, then more guests arriving at the weekend. All appears to be going suprisingly well! Uh oh!..!

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Stu wrote:

First breakfast tomorrow morning, then more guests arriving at the weekend. All appears to be going suprisingly well! Uh oh!..!

Love it! Everybody remembers their first.

__________________

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

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Stu wrote:

Hey you all, Thanks for all your help. We changed our policy and our guests did arrive and didn't question payment upfront. (we actually did not have anything written about when payment was due - but that has now been added to our policies). First breakfast tomorrow morning, then more guests arriving at the weekend. All appears to be going suprisingly well! Uh oh!..!

HURRAY! yes

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

And any time they are using a GC and add extra time, collect for the extra day(s) First - let the GC cover the LAST day(s). That way if they decide to leave early you have the extra pay.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Stu man please report back, what did you do? How were the first guests? Are they enjoying your breakfast?

Don't keep us hangin' on here, we just got to know! laugh

Stu
Stu's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/26/2014

Breakfast went well. Obviously being in Spain a continental breakfast is the norm (although we do offer a cooked breakfast at an extra charge). We do the continental breakfast in a basket and leave it outside guests door in the morning, so far everyone (we practised on family before opening to public) has enjoyed it. Lots more bookings coming in for this weekend. Yeah!

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

I would love it left outside my door! I've never had that in Europe.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Stu wrote:

Breakfast went well. Obviously being in Spain a continental breakfast is the norm (although we do offer a cooked breakfast at an extra charge). We do the continental breakfast in a basket and leave it outside guests door in the morning, so far everyone (we practised on family before opening to public) has enjoyed it. Lots more bookings coming in for this weekend. Yeah!

What is in the continental breakfast?

__________________

TBH

 

Stu
Stu's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/26/2014

In the breakfast basket we have

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Savoury pastry (ie bread roll)

Sweet pastry

small cheese and meat plate with a boiled egg

Yogurts

fruit

and we offer tea a coffee to go with it.

 

the ingredients in the basket change daily.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Stu wrote:

In the breakfast basket we have

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Savoury pastry (ie bread roll)

Sweet pastry

small cheese and meat plate with a boiled egg

Yogurts

fruit

and we offer tea a coffee to go with it.

 

the ingredients in the basket change daily.

 

sounds very nice!

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Stu wrote:

...we do offer a cooked breakfast at an extra charge...

Worth the extra charge for an English breakfast, even if you cannot find proper sausages!

Stu
Stu's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/26/2014

We use chorizo sausages to add a spanish twist. I highly recommend it!

 

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Arks wrote:

Stu wrote:

...we do offer a cooked breakfast at an extra charge...

Worth the extra charge for an English breakfast, even if you cannot find proper sausages!

We had the best ham with our breakfast in Barcelona.  They called it bacon when speaking to us in English.  Yumm  I still remember that breakfast!  

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Congratulations!  Time to really get to work!  Best wishes and may you be as busy as you want to be. 

Others are spot on about changing your policies.  As you can see there are different ways to go about the deposit and full payment.  You need to review these here as well as maybe do a search for other like properties in your area to see what is considered standard there. 
One thing is for sure as far as longer stays go, a larger deposit and payment on arrival is a must.

Offline
Joined:
08/07/2008

The longest I have had is a 9 night stay.  I get payment at check-in.  No ifs ands or butts about it.

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

Oh, I forgot to say:

HAVE A GREAT TIME! You'll always remember your first guests.

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

Oh, I forgot to say:

HAVE A GREAT TIME! You'll always remember your first guests.

Tom
Tom's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/11/2009

Advice already given is all good.  Change your web site policies now.  To bring out some of the subtleties:

1. Early departure is a form of cancellation and should carry the same forfeiture.  You may have a two week guest say on day 5 thank you for breakfast and they won't be coming back that evening -- they changed plans, dog is having puppies, etc.  That puts you in a real bind.  They may not sign a cc slip for the full stay and you can call the sheriff if they leave without paying at all, and ... you see: nasty.

2. Typical up front is 50%; here we charge 1/3 on any res over $1000.  What you want is serious money.  If a prospective guest isn't happy and says that is a lot to pay up front, that is exactly the kind of psychology you need to see up front: the guest maybe isn't committed to the long stay with you.  He needs to commit and follow through: the money out there helps stiffen his backbone when his wife wants to change plans and visit her mom instead.  Better a no-res than a late cancellation and a big hole in the booking calendar.

3. A week-plus booking in a short term marketplace is a scam warning.  Nearly everyone on this board has been asked to put up the party of newly ordained Greek priests visiting "your town" for 10 days.  You will get good at spotting them, but a valid cc means a valid guest; don't be shy about testing it with a deposit.

That said, B&B is a friendly and honest clientele.  Use common sense.  Smiles and tasty hospitality and all, B&B is still a business.  It is OK to ask for money and to expect your customers to deal as square with you as they would with a big business.

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

a big booking like this I would want 50% upfront - that way if they cancel close to time you have something till you get at least part of it re-sold and then the rest on arrival

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I think others have said it. Get a deposit up front so you know their credit card is good. We charged it all when they arrived and had no need to hassle with it at the end. I think that is the smart way to do it. 

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

I agree with everyone else. Change your policy now. We do 50% when making reservation. If it's a long term stay, I'll take the balance on arrival, otherwise I charge at the end because we sell a lot of add-ons and want to swipe just once. On our website and confirmation letter it states balance is due on arrival, so that way they're never disappointed.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

We actually say the opposite, payment is due on arrival. You don't need the worries, change your policy.

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Congrats! Have fun fun fun! cheeky

You will have to go with the flow and roll with the punches to see what works best for you. If I had a longer stay I would implement a 50% down at time of reservation policy.

Be warned there are many scams out there for 2 to 3 week stays, so this is one way to be extra diligent.

OnTheShore's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/28/2011

We deal mostly in week or two-week stays, and our policy is 25% of the rent due on booking as a reservation confirmation deposit, the balance (including tax, pet fee, dockage, whatever) due on arrival. In the even of cancellation, the deposit is non-refundable unless we succeed in renting the cottage to someone else. Most of our bookings are made well in advance, and we don't get very many cancellations. For cancellation of a peak-season booking we are usually able to fill it (eventually), and we send the refund as soon as we have the confirmation deposit from the new booking.

__________________

"where even time relaxes...."

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Congratulations!!!

We have the same policy as Arks.   One night paid with the booking and the balance on arrival.

Lots of our guests take off very early in the morning and we don't even see them.   Not an issue if they have already paid.  

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Congratulations on getting open. That's a big hurdle behind you!

I wouldn't make any change for these first guests, of course. They've already been told your policy, I assume. But in the future you need a tighter policy.

I get the first night's stay paid as a deposit at time of booking, making them have some commitment in all this. Refundable, less $25 fee, if they cancel with more than 7 days notice. I keep the whole deposit if they cancel with 7 or fewer days notice, or don't show at all. Many charge the full stay after the cancellation deadline.

The rest of the visit is charged in full the day they arrive. They've committed to pay you, so up front isn't a lot different for them, and it gives you a lot of assurance that their credit is good and they have the money to pay.

On longer reservations, like several weeks, I get night 1 when they book, week 1 balance upon arrival, week 2 in full at the end of week 1, etc.

You've got to protect your business and your cash flow. Waiting until departure on a 2-week stay is VERY risky, in my opinion.

seashanty's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/02/2008

Arks wrote:

Congratulations on getting open. That's a big hurdle behind you!

I wouldn't make any change for these first guests, of course. They've already been told your policy, I assume. But in the future you need a tighter policy.

I get the first night's stay paid as a deposit at time of booking, making them have some commitment in all this. Refundable, less $25 fee, if they cancel with more than 7 days notice. I keep the whole deposit if they cancel with 7 or fewer days notice, or don't show at all. Many charge the full stay after the cancellation deadline.

The rest of the visit is charged in full the day they arrive. They've committed to pay you, so up front isn't a lot different for them, and it gives you a lot of assurance that their credit is good and they have the money to pay.

On longer reservations, like several weeks, I get night 1 when they book, week 1 balance upon arrival, week 2 in full at the end of week 1, etc.

You've got to protect your business and your cash flow. Waiting until departure on a 2-week stay is VERY risky, in my opinion.

we had the same policy as arks, so i won't repeat it. but for long stays i think i asked for 1/2 the total payable a month in advance or something.  i was very anxious asking for that big payment when they checked in, but it worked out very well for us. 

Offline
Joined:
06/26/2008

Change your policy -you are asking for a trouble. Alway on arrival-100%, especially on the long stay. You do not want to find out on the last day that they overspend on their vacations and cc is maxed out. Than what you are going to do?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.