Where to start? It looks like next week we will have us a lodging.

11 replies [Last post]
jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

It has been a long, long road and now, unbelievably, it looks like we might be pulling off the purchase of a established lodge and restaurant.

I have been so consumed, that if you could, what would you say are priorities at this point. I certainly have done a ton of research and preparation, but in your expert opinion, what do you think would be the best place to put my energy? 

FYI, current owners put most focus into restaurant, lodgings were repeats or those who saw the advertisement  on the side of their building.  We won't take possession for a few weeks as we have to tie up business here in the US first.

jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support and kind words.

We will take it slow, learn the business, change nothing till settled, take lots of pictures,  get help from staff/locals, map the building (great idea since it is huge and different from the US), finish that business plan, and learn the area.

And thank you for pointing out about the heads in a bed! Partner still thinks the restaurant is the gold mine, but I see it in those apartments. 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Best of luck.

There's no really good place to 'start' as you'll be doing all of it from day one.

If you have time now you need to know local codes and who is in charge of them so you don't put a foot wrong with the local authority.

Make sure the owners leave you their go to list of reliable trades people you can call when things break.

Unless the place is dying, don't make big changes right away. Get to know your clientele first. Is the reputation good? Don't change the name of the place right off the bat. If it's bad, change it as soon as you can unless it's been there forever or the name is something important locally. Then just get out the new management info.

If there are staff in place ask them for their help and their opinions. If there is a chef for the restaurant you want that person on your side.

Hopefully you have a business plan or an outline of how you want to operate. Our broker kept trying to get us to buy a small hotel with a non functioning but large restaurant with attached smaller pub. It scared us pretty bad! We're small thinkers.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

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

Congrats! We have a member in our Assoc with restaurant & B & B. The restaurant is high-end and it draws people to the restaurant (the chef has  NAME here) from the Capital who then also stay over rather than drive back at night after dinner. But the B & B has the name of the restaurant, not the other way around.

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

Start slow. See what works and what doesn't. Don't make assumptions. 

__________________

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

 

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

Understand the existing business, fresh photos and a great website, all yes, but I would also recommend becoming familiar with your physical infrastructure -- the condition of your building(s), your wiring (map out all the circuits), plumbing, HVAC systems, etc...

__________________

"where even time relaxes...."

 

happykeeper's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2008

How exciting!  I have been away, so I may have missed hearing about the research and preparation you have done. Is it possible to share a little list or a picture of what you expect will happen when you hit the ground? Should I assume you have a completed business plan?

__________________

Take a leap.... and a net will appear

 

jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

Well, when we first got there, my thought was to get our sleeping quarters arranged and my kids in school (they go till July! what a saving grace). From there, get the restaurant going (it was going to be a smooth, no break transition, but that ain't gonna happen- there were just way to may opportunities for this all to break down, we weren't gonna head down there and the deal fall through- that would have killed me!) 

But now, those apartments- they were going on the back burner, but maybe, I will just have to do double (actually quadruple duty) at first, to get them going. They are all set up, so it might not be much.

The big thing I am worried about- what if in my daze of Spanish- I just freeze. I am good under pressure- middle school teacher- but I don't discount the possibility. (My husband is fluent, but still- he can't be my personal translator.)

happykeeper's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2008

You didn't say anything in your response about it so I just got to ask- Is any of this written down anywhere?

When we first started, the idea of having an actual business plan with financials and projections was still a pipe dream. BUT we had a written business plan. It said what we had and what we were gonna be and what we expected was going to happen next. It was a simple document that was mostly words, but it was based on our research and education. It saved us from the "follow the bouncing ball" business trap.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

happykeeper said: It saved us from the "follow the bouncing ball" business trap.

You are perhaps one of the wisest innkeepers I know.

I call it putting out fires, that is how you operate when you own a B&B without a business plan, you go from one fire to the next never actually moving ahead. Reactive vs proactive...it is a bad way to exist.

and as all reactors do, they build up and if not careful we will be singing:

I don't know
I don't know where I'm-a gonna go
When the volcano blow...

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Make sure you have a GREAT website!  But don't do anything until you really understand how to make the business work best for you. Heads in the beds is what brings in the money..not a restaurant..was what I have always been told by innkeepers who seem to know best.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Congratulations!

I would focus on seeing how it operates before I make any changes or improvements. That will  be the hard part as well, but you will need to get to know the area and learn so much up front!

Take lots of photos from the newcomer pov - you will be able to use these in your marketing, as fresh eyes.

Comment viewing options

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