New B&B Owner - First time posting here - Help!

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02/15/2017

We have a policy page and an "I agree to comply with the policies" button upon booking and checking out on our website. We also had them a welcome letter that hast the main points listed for their information. (check-in/out times, breakfast time...etc...) We also use Airbnb and the policies are listed there as well. Nobody checks in without seeing the policies and at least having the opportunity to read them before they agree to them!

The Problem - We have one day a week (Sunday) that we are less flexible and unable to accommodate late check-outs. (even though check-out time is always the same as any other day) We've thought about a small gift card to a local coffee shop as incentive, if needed...but what else can we do? 

Breakfast is 8:30-9:30 and we are committed to getting breakfast food all served prior to 9:30. This allows for casual conversation and a little wiggle time for packing and saying goodbyes...BUT we need to know how to light a fire under some of the guests so we don't have to leave our home with guests who are checking out still in our house when we leave for the day???

 

Thank you for any and all input!

Beth

Tom
Tom's picture
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10/11/2009

I didn't see an answer to Mort's question of what actual time you need them out.  11 is not unreasonable, and setting it to 10:30 on Sunday is OK.  Earlier than that ... starts to be a hassle.

IMO signs don't work, policies don't work.  Fines or financial mickey mouse is unnecessary and doesn't get you out of the house, just gets you into a conflict and a crappy review.

Communicate. Talking directly, sometimes works.  When I need people out (e.g. I have to go somewhere or so I can schedule housekeeping on a tight day) I ask when they check in what their "schedule will be on their departure day" so I can set breakfast times, and that let's me say "great, I'll need to be off myself on Sunday by ... 11, thanks for accommodating".

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I cannot remember where I had to be, but recently I had 2 ladies that I told were welcome to leave whenever they liked, I would be serving their breakfast and I had to be (remembered!) at the Park by 11:00 to set up the percussion section for a 1:30 concert with sound check at Noon and it would take 30 minutes to get there. They were breakfasted and ready to leave by 10:30 when I had to leave.

Anon Inn's picture
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09/26/2011

When we first started this was sometimes a problem.  I got small signs from Natl Hosp. Supply.  They are mounted on each door on the in-the-room side at eye level.  Never more then 15 late after that unless permission sought and granted. I thought at first they were off-putting and inhospitable but as it is the only sign they see their entire stay - seems to be alright. At any rate - did the trick here.

https://www.nathosp.com/product/e10013_c/in-room_signs

and - no - we would not be able to just charge the card -  but the issue has never come up since the signs were installed. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

I didn't order the checkout signs, but I did find the elusive "Milk" and "Half and Half" buffet signs I've been looking for.  Thanks!

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TBH

 

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02/15/2017

Thanks everyone!!! I appreciate the input and will be looking into how we can revise things as needed! It only takes one scenario that teaches you the lesson of "let's not have to go through that again"!

I can be direct if I have to...and I may exercise that more now. Interestingly enough, it seems to be the older guests who get up and moving...the younger ones make me anxious when they head off to their Saturday night parties/wedding receptions, or general late night hours...as they usually don't get to their rooms until after midnight and then are slow to wander down to breakfast on Sunday mornings.

And yes Arks, we have noticed how nobody actually reads anymore...frown

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

What is your check out time? Do you have to leave by a certain time? Or is this just an ongoing problem with Sunday guests?

If you have to leave by a certain time, say to get to church, can you make check out time a half hour earlier? Can you find someone to come in who can make sure guests leave if you're not there?

If they are air guests you can mark them down when you write a review so they know they were wrong to push your hospitality like that.

But, yes, make an announcement at breakfast as a reminder that they must be gone by 11. Or whatever time.

How about shortening the breakfast time so they are not still hanging around? We find that removing the coffee helps!

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Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. - Oscar Wilde

 

notAgrandma's picture
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07/07/2017

This is a tough one. I echo Arks' statement - no one reads the policies. Our 11am check-out time is posted in 2 places in our rooms and it's on our webpage. In our rooms, it's stated, "Guests who depart after 11:30am may purchase a late check-out for $50." I promptly serve breakfast at 9:30, too. I've had guests leave at 11:25, taking advantage of even the slightest leeway in our check-out time. I'd say that about 90% of my guests leave by 11am. Some wait right up until 11am, but it's rare when someone drags things out to 11:30. When it happens, I carry up the basket of fresh linens and "surprise" them. "Oh, goodness! I thought you'd left already. Our check-out was at 11 and  need to get a jump on the laundry asap!"

My biggest problem is early check-ins! Guests often show up hours before our 4pm check-in. Our check-in time is on our webpage, it's a required pull-down field that must be filled in on our online reservation form, it's in their confirmation email, in their "See you soon" email sent 3 days in advance of their arrival, and it's posted on our front door. Laughing out loud

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Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden

 

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10/04/2015

I usually give them a bit of wiggle room but by 11.20 im knocking on the door - lost count of the number of times theyve gone "oh thought it was 12" nope because we don't clean 27 rooms in 2 hours! feel like saying its on your welcome letter, back of bedroom door, booking information - its what suits them and its always when you are desperate to get out of the house. Its why I get everyone to pay on arrival as can leave it to the housekeeping staff to see them off if needs be.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Welcome! I did not respond to the question because I am small and "off the path". When Himself was here, it was not all that unusual for us to still be sitting talking to guests at 1 PM on a Sunday. When I would admonish him for keeping them, he would point out that THEY kept the conversation rolling. There were more than a few times the wife and I would be breaking into the conversations to remind the guest husband that they really did need to get on the road.

Memories.......

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Welcome Beth,

For us, Sunday is probably our hardest day as our heaviest business tends to be Friday/Saturday stays and it is also the day folks are used to sleeping in and getting a late start.

My approach (everyday) was to move our check out time forward an hour from 11am to 10am as there always seems to be that certain set of folks that can't get it together by the scheduled time. By moving the time forward I can now gently remind them at the posted time and hopefully by the time I really needed the room they are ready to go. Most of the time it works for us.

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Jim & Maxine

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I would make a light hearted announcement at breakfast reminding them about the check-out time and how important it is because you have to leave for an appointment. I find that honest and direct works best. 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Welcome

First rule of innkeeping: nobody reads our policies Sad

I have check-out time posted right above the door knob on the inside of each room. They HAVE to see it.

Gift card incentive to get them to leave? I'd never have considered that. I'm direct. I knock firmly on the door and let them know that check out was at (whatever time) and we need them out. I don't speak of an additional fee or anything at that point. It's not an option. They have to leave so we can get things ready for the incoming guests. Frankly, I'm a bit mad, and it probably shows, though I try to hide it!

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

 

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