Which part of 3-night minimum do you not understand?

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Silverspoon's picture
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Oh good grief...it's July.  We have a 3-night minimum stay requirement in July and August unless we happen to have a 2-night vacancy between longer stays.  In that case we will sometimes accept a 2-ight reservation and add $25/night to the rate, because we can get it.  But otherwise, we are not taking 1 or 2 night stays.  NO WAY.  Done that for way too many years and we are not up to the work anymore!  Our web site is clear on our minimum stay policy and our availability is posted on our site.  

So what's with this woman who has called 3 times in the last 2 days to see if we will take 2 nights during the week when we have a 4-night vacancy.  She whines, and whines about all the places that have 2-night minimums, about how they can only stay 2 nights, about how we should make an exception for her.  angry

Geesh!  I have been sweet and sympathetic, recommending places she could look for 2-nights...but she really wants to stay here...in July...for only 2 nights.

Caller ID is a wonderful thing.  I'm not answering her calls any more.  Enough is enough!

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Kay Nein's picture
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I don't feel right about adding extra money to a highly desired room/weekend just because you can get it.  Do you tell the people that it's an extra $25 per night because you can get it?  Do they realize that they are being charged more than a regular rate?  I understand it's more money in your pocket and I understand that if people want that room they will pay it.  But, I would feel like I was taking advantage of them.  And I know there are alot of people on this forum who do it.  

Silverspoon's picture
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We don't just randomly charge extra for a weekend...unless it turns out to be a 2-night weekend in July and August when we have a 3-night minimum stay and are full, full, full for the entire 2 months.  We do all the work ourselves so having a 2-night reservation involves extra work for us.  I do not feel like I am taking advantage of anyone...they don't have to stay here and the rates, including the extra $25/night are posted on our web site.  

Kay Nein, we are a business, not a charity.  We have worked very hard for 25 years building this business. We continue to work very hard every day to maintain the high standards our guests have come to expect.  Our rates are in line with other desirable inns in the area but they are probably more expensive than most on this forum.  We attract guests from several large metropolitan areas who can well afford an extra $25/night for a short stay in prime season.  You have to do what you feel comfortable with.  DH can not ask for the $25 so he does not take reservations.  Me?  I guess I'm just a heartless b#!@%!  wink

happykeeper's picture
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I was struck by two salient points. It isn't random and our longevity depends on building our business every day.

These are hallmarks of successful inns- hardly heartless - most likely - smart.

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Generic's picture
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It's called capitalism and as long as you aren't abusing people or cheating people, it's perfectly fine. Your job is to make the most money that you can. Their job as customers is to get the best price they can. Supply and demand. I put my prices up on long weekends by $10. I could put them up by $20 or $30 and still get it on some weekends. But there is nothing wrong with making an extra few dollars. The down side is that they often tip less when they pay more.

Life is like a sh_t sandwich, the more bread you have the less sh_t you have to eat.

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happykeeper's picture
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Kay Nein wrote:

I don't feel right about adding extra money to a highly desired room/weekend just because you can get it.  Do you tell the people that it's an extra $25 per night because you can get it?  Do they realize that they are being charged more than a regular rate?  I understand it's more money in your pocket and I understand that if people want that room they will pay it.  But, I would feel like I was taking advantage of them.  And I know there are alot of people on this forum who do it.  

If you turn it around and you have your rack rate at the highest point and you then offer a discount or a package price, perhaps with a minimum, for those times when you can not fill up, it is the same. This is what we do. We do this because we do not like to charge more for our rooms when we know we will be full. We may not have the package or discount available during those times and the end result is we work smarter and our ADR goes up.

Madeleine's picture
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We used to feel as you do. Then we wised up. Hotels charging over $300/night for the room that was $119 a few weeks ago. And guests are paying it! And still arguing with me over a room that is half the price and includes everything!

Why are we not doing something similar? If they're arguing over $150, why not make it $160? I am even offer a $10 discount and make the rate I want.

So, hang onto your hat, we charge an extra TEN dollars. That, over the course of the busy season, works out to a couple thousand more for us so we can not feel pushed to the wall off season.

And, the other thing? It's our business. We can charge what the market will bear. (However, I don't believe in gouging. And guests will balk in droves if we're gouging. And reviews will show the same. So you will know when you're priced too high.)

It's OK to work smarter. You might have one fewer room night booked but make more money. You also might find that no one blinks at the higher rate.

 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Kay Nein wrote:

I don't feel right about adding extra money to a highly desired room/weekend just because you can get it.  Do you tell the people that it's an extra $25 per night because you can get it?  Do they realize that they are being charged more than a regular rate?  I understand it's more money in your pocket and I understand that if people want that room they will pay it.  But, I would feel like I was taking advantage of them.  And I know there are alot of people on this forum who do it.  

What's the difference between charging more for certain nights and having a lower off season rate? It's basically the same mentality. The higher price is when the market will bear it. We're not talking about gouging a guest. Just a reasonable increase. If you have a range on your website for your rooms, i.e. $140-$190 and change rates for slower times, it all good.

The public is used to hotels and motels changing rates multiple times a day! It's called yield management. Remember, this is a business. The more you can make (within reason) without doing any extra work, the more comfortable you can be.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I do not change my rates for peak times because DH cannot remember regular rates - it would confuse him terribly.

It is called supply and demand. You have something they want and that is in demand. That is why people have week day and weekend rates. It is not taking advantage of people to raise rates for a peak time - hotels change rates. Look at what rates are in Daytona regularly and what they are Bike Week.

Dynamics change during those special times - ie Bike Week will bring party time and anyone with a lick of sense will avoid Daytona. It is to compensate you for the possible extra work due to the event and what it brings as guests.

Raise the rate some and do not feel badly about it.

Kay Nein's picture
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I think what really peaked my interest was the extra $25 per night just because there was only 2-nights available.  I do understand holiday weekends or weekends-vs-weekdays.  But this seemed like a "just-because-I-can".

Not bashing SS as I know many do it, just wanted to discuss it with y'all so I can understand better.

seashanty's picture
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  what i am saying is that this person is insisting on booking just 2 nights when the place has a 3 night minimum during that timeframe. if the person really wants to stay, let them book for the 3 nights paying that price. if they stay all 3, fine.  if not, they essentially paying more by choice.  what often times happens is the guest will stay 2 nights then try to cancel the 3rd night ... leaving the innkeeper without that 3rd night income. i'm not talking about higher rates for different times. that's a different thing. 

Kay Nein wrote:

I think what really peaked my interest was the extra $25 per night just because there was only 2-nights available.  I do understand holiday weekends or weekends-vs-weekdays.  But this seemed like a "just-because-I-can".

Not bashing SS as I know many do it, just wanted to discuss it with y'all so I can understand better.

gillumhouse's picture
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I once had a 2-night min for Labor Day (no longer because I sat empty with it due to my location) and got a call for 1 night. When i said I had a 2-might min SHE asked, "What if I pay a surcharge?" I think she paid an extra $20 - but it was HER suggestion as I had never considered it. Turns out, I got a call for the next night for a 1-night and they also paid the surcharge, no complaints. Think of it as what it is - you have the extra work of sheets etc on that holiday/event time keeping YOU from the event because you are being nice to allow them to break it - worth the surcharge.

Joey Camb's picture
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we have this a lot for the busier conferences - 2 prases they seem to have trouble with

(1) we are full - "but I only want a single" sorry full means full

(2) sorry its a 4 night/3 night minimum - "oh but I only want 1"

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Generic's picture
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I think I hate when I tell someone we are full and then they ask the rate.... there is no rate when there is no room!

Madeleine's picture
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Jon Sable wrote:

I think I hate when I tell someone we are full and then they ask the rate.... there is no rate when there is no room!

Ha, ha, new one... No availability tonight. Wants to know if it makes a difference in the lack of availability if they check in after 9.

gillumhouse's picture
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How many people were they planning to share the bed with? Back in the old days the price was per person in the bed (and men shared beds with as many would fit in that bed).

Generic's picture
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Hammock

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Not at all.  You did want some roommates, right?

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People like this are so exhausting.  I just lost 8 minutes of my life to a man that had ridiculous questions - requests that I would never honor in a million years (can I bring my dog?  can we bring our son with a blow up bed? do you offer dinner service?)...but on and on and on he went, until I finally said "Sir, I do not think this is the place for you. Can I offer some suggestions?"  To which he replied "But I realllllllly want to stay there!".  And I'm thinking...WHY?  I have nothing you want!  Go away! 
 

Repeat my mantra...six more weeks...six more weeks...six more weeks....it will all be over soon (after Labor Day)

Madeleine's picture
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If she calls again tell her you understand and heres what you will do...

Because it's a 3 night min and you understand she can't stay all 3 nights you will let her leave after 2 nights. Unfortunately you'll have to charge for all 3 nights.

There are tons of places here that do this for the next 2 weekends. They know most guests are only staying 2 nights but they can't find anyplace that will book only 2 nights. The hotels charge for 3 nights, the guests leave after 2 and they are golden.

seashanty's picture
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i like this idea a lot. she has to pay for the three nights. or at the three night rate.  i wonder if she'll book. 

Madeleine wrote:

If she calls again tell her you understand and heres what you will do...

Because it's a 3 night min and you understand she can't stay all 3 nights you will let her leave after 2 nights. Unfortunately you'll have to charge for all 3 nights.

There are tons of places here that do this for the next 2 weekends. They know most guests are only staying 2 nights but they can't find anyplace that will book only 2 nights. The hotels charge for 3 nights, the guests leave after 2 and they are golden.

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

No call yet.  I just booked the cottage for the same dates so the suite she wanted is now our only vacancy for that period.  I know we can do better than the 2-nights she wanted.  If we don't get the 3rd night I'll be glad for less work!

Arks's picture
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Silverspoon wrote:

If we don't get the 3rd night I'll be glad for less work!

I know the feeling! Work is good, but not all the time!

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Silverspoon's picture
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Hit me along side the head...of course!   At least that would be a sure way to keep her from calling again!!   cool

 

happykeeper's picture
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Yep Maddie has it! We have a fair number of people who book the three nights knowing that they are only staying two. They have a great time, they leave us great reviews, money is not a concern, and we do the, "That sure lightens the work  load happy dance."

Generic's picture
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Quote her the price for 3 nights divided by 2 as the single night price for a 2 night minimum. So if you are normally $200 a night, say it is $300 a night for a 2 night minimum.

Generic's picture
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I hear you. I get it all the time. If I have a 3 night, they want 2. If I have a 2 night, they want 1. We don't let them hee and haw about it at all, because I know that if I am wishy washy about it they will think it's an in. Nope, sorry. Good luck.

Labour Day, Thanksgiving, etc etc etc.

Silverspoon's picture
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I didn't waver for a second but there was a lot of dead air after each time I repeated "Sorry, we have a 3-night minimum reservation period in July."  I even tried to close with the we-hope-you will-remember-our-B+B-the-next-time-you-are-in-the-area-and-can-stay-longer line, but she just kept on whining.  Now I really don't want her even if she CAN stay 3 nights!

Madeleine's picture
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Always remember that the person who breaks the silence usually loses.

Unless it's to say goodbye!

I always let the price hang there or the policy they don't like and let them end the call.

Like the guy who just told me babies aren't people. Actually, the way he put it was that it was only my OPINION that babies are people.

Generic's picture
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I can give him a list of groups that will confirm they are people even before birth. Smiling

TheBeachHouse's picture
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He sounds like a gem.

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