Potential Innkkeeper

5 replies [Last post]
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Joined:
12/11/2018

I have been offered a position to be an innkeeper so I am trying to decipher whether or not the offer is a good, fair offer. I have been asked if I would consider living in the innkeeper's quarters that are separate from the other rooms. I would be in charge or checking in and out of guests as well as cooking breakfast. The housekeeping and laundry will be done by someone else. The offer includes an hourly wage as a self-employed person as in I'll need to take care of paying taxes, insurance, etc. However, I will need to pay rent in order to live in the innkeeper's quarters. I love to cook. I love to work with people and a B&B has always been a dream but I'm wondering if this is a good deal or not. My friend is buying an already working B&B but neither she nor I have experience in the B&B world. What are questions I should be asking? What are some good things for me to know as I consider this option? 

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Joined:
12/11/2018

Wow, thank you all for your insight. I really appreciate it. You have given clarity and great advice as I continue to process whether this is for me or not. In talking with my friend a little more (with your thoughts in my head), I have come to the conclusion that this would not be a wise move for me right now. It's disappointing only in that I will shelve this dream of mine for the time being. Thank you all for imparting your wisdom!

seashanty's picture
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Joined:
06/02/2008

Hi and welcome and good luck in your journey

I would NOT agree to pay rent to live on site. No to that part. Because you will essentially be on call for whatever emergencies come up.  Of course you will be expected to handle them because you are right there. And they will happen.  Late checkins.  No shows.  Walk ins even if you don't plan to take them. Cooking involves planning and shopping and doing and cleanup and serving. Will you be doing all of that? Helping or doing when housekeepers don't show up. Or it's just not getting done in time. And days off ... have to be built in to your contract. 

Speaking as someone who did it all for my 'partner' ... I would get that rent part out of the deal. Otherwise, if you can get specific tasks in writing, go for it. Learn by doing! That's what I did.

But it was a friend who bought the place I ran. We were supposed to be partners, all in good faith and handshakes and implied understandings. All mistakes on my part! I got hurt in the end and it was very hard and sad. I don't wish the same for you. This is business. You need everything in writing. 

 

 

JimBoone's picture
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Joined:
12/18/2014

We run an 8 room motel, don't feed guests, but expect otherwise the operations is similar.

Experience, learned by doing, others may disagree, but the best lessons are learned the hard way.

If your friend is purchasing as an investment and not because she thinks she will like the innkeeping life, my advice to her would be to think long and hard about the idea.

Suggest you/your friend read up on wage & hour laws, by my understanding, if I define your working hours and the duties expected of you within those hours, then you are my employee and both of us are subject to wage & hour laws, like them or not. A private contractor completes a job, but when conditions are set, we become an employee. Do a search for employee vs contractor.

I'm a homebody, I like the idea of living at work, but it can be confining, as the owner/innkeeper I earn the roof over my head so living onsite works well, but I can also choose to close for the day if it suits me. Seems like you lose that as the employee/contractor/innkeeper and paying rent to live onsite.

I'm not saying it is not a good idea, but I do see some pitfalls that could effect both you and your friend and suggest you both study that issue.

__________________

Jim & Maxine

 

Morticia's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Things to consider

  • Are you on call 24/7?
  • Who will handle guest emergencies or check in at 2 am?
  • Who does the housekeeping if the house keeper calls in sick?
  • How much is the cost of the rental?
  • How much are you going to make/hour?
  • How do you get days off?
  • Are you paid for days off?

If, after all the outlay for taxes and health care and utilities, you are not making minimum wage, how can you work toward your own future dreams?

If paying for a place to live, which is also the place you work, means being on call *for free* 365 days it's not a good deal. If the rent is really good for the area, and you are not on call every minute, then it might work.

Working for friends is rarely a good idea.

Make sure you have a contract that lays out your responsibilities. Job creep is all too common in these situations.

BTW, loving to cook is not everything. If the place is prosperous, you'll be cooking 7 days/week for people who will make you crazy with what they can't eat or won't eat or don't like. You'll be doing menu planning without actually knowing how many you'll be feeding. You'll be grocery shopping every day. And you'll be getting up at 5:30 to do it.

If breakfast is served for 1 to 2 hours, that translates into 6 hours of work for you with cleanup, etc.

__________________

Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Come buy my 3-guestroom B & B in  West Virginia. The price is market price of the house (have no clue what that is now) and if you agree in writing to operate as a B & B for a minimum of 3 years, the furniture, linens, dishes, silverplate, Fostoria goblets - everything except my personal property is a bonus N/C. Why work for someone else when you can work for yourself? It needs frsh ideas. After 23 years I am getting stagnent.

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