Do I want to Innkeep again

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03/07/2016

Hi I just joined this site and am looking for some valuable pay information. I am currently in negotiations to act as the Innkeeper for a small 3 room B&B. Being a former innkeeper of a 17 room Inn over 20 years ago that also had a small staff my job was mostly front of house and cooking breakfast. The pay at the time was $9 an hour and living quarters. I loved the job but the Inn was sold and I moved on to other jobs but always in the Hospitality field. So now I came across this offer and am thinking about doing it again at a much smaller scale. The Inn owners are wanting to pay me via 1099! I would be doing everything from reservations to marketing and promotions and even feeding the chickens! So what is a fair hourly wage for the position? It does come with my own apartment, a good size one, on the site. Any input would be appreciated. I have my interview in 2 days and need to by ready. What should I ask....so on and so forth. 

 

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DanBo

 

ChrisandShelley's picture
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04/13/2014

If I were going to be contract, I would ask for more. They are saving quite a bit on the taxes, Social Security, Mcare, and Unemployment insurance.  I would ask for at least $12/hour. At the very least. We are paying our (awesome) housekeeper $9.25/hour and she just cleans rooms. We do most of the laundry and make the beds. 

The percentage of the room rate, like JBloggs said, seems the best deal if they don't want to directly employ you. But be careful. If you work enough hours, then the IRS will consider you an employee. Not so much for you, but for your employers. Contract work is not meant to be a permanent position. If they find out that you are working regular hours, they can charge you and your employers back taxes, Soc Sec and Mcare, and Unemployment Insurance. 

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Christopher and Shelley Smith, Innkeepers
The Wildflower Bed & Breakfast, Mountain View, AR

 

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10/07/2008

The answer from me is, it depends.

What a hired person does and how far they take it depends on the person. So the $ amount upfront is not going to be perfect.

If it were me as the hiree, I would ask for a % of the room rates. This would be a win win, for me as the inn owner it would help me to know you WANT more business. Otherwise you get paid the same whether or not there are guests or work to do. That would make zero sense to me to hire you per hour and give you a living allowance (place to stay and not expect you to help promote and sell rooms and guest experiences. It would give you "ownership" of the place to be the best you could be and represent my business.

All the best, keep us informed to what you end up doing.

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Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

It's tempting because of the included housing ... that is an awesome perk. You already know how much work is involved although once removed from the situation we sometimes tend to minimize it. (at least I do)  

Assuming the owners want to make money I don't know how much they can pay you ... and I suppose it also depends if they have a mortgage and/or loans on the property. I don't like to call it a 'slave wage', but what are your personal expenses like credit card debt, insurance, car expenses and food? Can you realistically afford to be paid what they are offering?

How much income comes in from a three room b&b?  Great idea to check their occupancy to see just how busy you are likely to be. Is it year round? I think there was someone on this forum who worked for owners and the owners were not happy with the occupancy so it did not work out. Not saying that will happen to you, but go into this with your eyes wide open. If you decide to take the job, you want/need a contract. 

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

It is possible they don't need to turn a profit but only to sustain the property.

When negotiating a job, you start with what the job is worth, not what the boss wants to profit.  However, it is obvious that this type of job does need to take into consideration the owners' needs because the profit margin is pretty slim.

I like your math.  Include the cost of housing into your salary, however, be aware, if the owners include the cost of housing in your salary, you will be paying taxes on that cost as well as the money your receive.

Good luck.  Sounds like a good gig.

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TBH

 

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

TheBeachHouse wrote:
Include the cost of housing into your salary, however, be aware, if the owners include the cost of housing in your salary, you will be paying taxes on that cost as well as the money your receive.

 

I believe -- IF the inn is legally organized as a corporation, and having the manager living on-site at the inn is a requirement to do the job, then the value of the housing is not taxable income to the manager even though the cost of providing the housing is a deductible business expense to the corporation -- this is unless the manager is also an owner (or close relation to an owner) of the corporation and the corporation is an S-corp rather than a C-corp....

 

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

good info.  I should have said, 'could be' paying taxes on housing value.   I AM NOT a tax professional.  I was simply pointing out issues to be addressed.

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

Me neither (not a tax professional).

And I don't recall whether a sole proprietor can provide housing to an employee (or contractor) as a tax-free benefit, I just remember reading about corporations... ('cause we are one).

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04/02/2014

Make a list of what you are expected to do.  Figure out how many hours you'll be working -- be sure you see real numbers for occupancy, etc.  Ask lots of questions on workload like:  (1) do they do lots of one night stays; (2) are they busy year round or is it more seasonal; (3) how much interaction do their guests expect - can be time drain; (4) what amenities in each room so how long to clean (by the way my housekeepers get $12 hr and they are employees not a 1099); (5) what is their breakfast like, will it take hours to prepare (a chef wouldn't make just $10  on a 1099); (6) mowing lawn; (7) shoveling snow if you have winter; etc etc.  I would never do this job for $10 hr on a 1099. I would say $15 hour as employee since you'll be a professional innkeeper with tons of experience making their place valuable for them.  Or maybe play it at $13 hour with a bonus to increase occupancy -- but you'd better be up on social media and marketing to make that happen.   Good luck.

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

From the view of Independent Contractor (1099) V.S. Employee:

If you have a specified set of working hours and a schedule of duties and times you would likely be considered an employee by wage and hour rules.  If you are merely to operate the inn on your own schedule to the best of your abilities then you may be an independent contractor (1099), at least that's the way I read the rules.

Is it worth it at the offered rate:

You are selling your time and knowledge, only you can decide if it works for you financially and if you would enjoy the lifestyle.  Unless the inn does a lot of business or has high prices it may represent all they can offer.  We own a tiny motel, yet the big income is a place to live and a lifestyle we enjoy, sometimes there is more, sometimes not, the advice is do what you enjoy.

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Jim & Maxine

 

OnTheShore's picture
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One other point of reference, if you were making $9/hour 20 years ago (1996), the inflation-adjusted equivalent today would be about $13.63 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator

OnTheShore's picture
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Rate per hour is one thing, but how many hours does the job entail? Is there an opportunity (or expectation) for you to take on some other (complimentary) part-time job while also running the inn, or is it expected that running the inn is full-time and will be your sole source of support?

You could take a look at the Living Wage Calculator to try to figure out what an acceptable starting compensation amount might be, depending on your family circumstances and location.

Also, to pick up on Hillbilly's comment, you definitely want to have a bonus term in your contract, so you are rewarded if your efforts produce business that exceeds expectations.

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05/22/2008

It is a small place so if you are in good health, you should be able to do everything yourself. But I retired as well and from everything I read here daily, I would NEVER return to innkeeping again. I do not want to deal with the traveling public out there now and the OTA's etc etc.  NO way. 

Have you kept up with the innkeeping world? It is truly a different time and place now. And I would never consider $10 an hour!!!!

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

Well I would want to know just how busy they are? 3 rooms is not that difficult to run or manage. You might have s lot of down time that you are still getting paid. You need to find out their occupancy and find out exactly what to expect. With room and a hourly rate averaging out to $12 an hour but there are days that you are empty and your just answering calls and puttering than you could be walking into a cake job. But if they are full all the time and lots of turnovers you could be walking into a big mess.do keep in mind a three bedroom inn will not be able to afford much more than they are asking. It's just simple math. $20 an hour will not happen. $15 an hour will not happen. $12 might. Good luck! You could always throw a thought of a lease in. How long do they want you to do this? Give it 3 months to show you can do it and than lease it from them. They are a garentied what they need and than you could make more if you work hard. Just make sure you get some of the busy season in your lease. Smiling

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Hillbilly

 

OnTheShore's picture
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As a 1099 independent contractor, an hourly wage is probably not the way to approach a job like this, rather you should think in terms of salary, or really a contracted fee (sure, you can use an hourly wage as the basis for figuring out what an appropriate salary might be, but it's not a hard and fast thing).

Don't forget that as an independent contractor you will be responsible for self-employment tax (ie. the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare, as well as your own), you'll need to make quarterly estimated tax payments since the inn you'll be contracting with won't be withholding taxes from your pay on your behalf, and you may need to demonstrate coverage by (or claim exemption from) worker's compensation insurance.

That said, our management contract was based around a nominal $20/hour (nominal 40 hours/week in season), we recently switched from independent contractor to employee, which is like getting a 6% raise. In a good year, we might get a bonus.

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03/07/2016

Thanks for you advice but since they want to pay me via 1099 I have to assume it can be called sub-contracted. What I am trying to determine is how much is a fair pay for this type of small B&B. Something tells me that $10 is just not enough which is what the offer is based on. Cutting out 30% for taxes off the top leaves me with $7 per house and add the value of the included apartment @ $800 a month still only gets me $12 per hour or $15 per hour if you factor the tax back in. Here lies the problem as to what is fair?

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