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Absence of Proof is Not Proof of Absence scenarios

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Okay, you have seen me write that many times on this forum when I am in a quandary about "stuff".
I was just in ironing pillowcases and thought aloud "No one in 6 years has ever mentioned how nice the pillowcases were, no one has commented that they are pressed, no one has said one squiddly piddly word about it. Why do I continue to do this? Other innkeepers fold them square and are done."
Does this mean the guests do not notice them?
Does this mean they do not care?
I am just wondering what it is FOR YOU that you begin to wonder if it makes a difference at all?
Someone mentioned no longer putting out afternoon refreshments and that no one seemd to care one way or the other.
What do YOU DO, that you have done - the extra step in some area of your B&B that you wonder if it matters at all to the guests? Perhaps it is some little token on the breakfast table, or nightstand? But you have never heard one word either way about it?
In other words, what other ways am I wasting my time here!!
 

hawley

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I used to buy a local made chocolate. Some people ate them some didn't, but no one ever said anything about them. I quit buying them.
Now instead of in each room, I put individually wrapped mints out in a bowl in the common room. Have had several comments about it being their favorite candy.These I buy in a big container at Sam's fairly cheap. The others were $8 a pound.
I also used to supply bottled water. I quit doing that. But am looking into using a filtered water pitcher. But we have good water and have ice for people to put in water or tea. But no water to grab and take with them.
 

Morticia

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How about what I 'undid'? I went from almost 10 hours of ironing to about 15 minutes/week by getting rid of the all cotton sheets. Never heard a peep about the all cotton ironed sheets, haven't heard a peep about the poly-cotton ones that replaced them.
What I DID hear about sheets was, 'Why on earth would you spend any time ironing sheets?' or, 'Really? You iron the sheets?' THAT'S the one that convinced me I wasn't doing myself any favors by ironing.
I only iron the really nice set I got for the king bed now.
We just had a guest leave who was here for 3 days. She walked up to hubs and said, 'Those were the best 3 breakfasts I have ever had at a B&B. Ever' So, what has helped there is the presentation. We're more into gussying things up now, it's the same food as before. So, an extra couple of bucks (or cents in some cases) toward the breakfast (total, not per person) has changed the perception of what is being served.
Some things that I do for fun may not make a bit of difference to the guest, but they do to me...I buy 'fun' plates to put the snacks on. I usually spend about $2 for a plate. I like having a different plate to put the cookies on everyday.
BTW, I wouldn't mention the pillowcases to you if I stayed there. Doesn't mean I didn't notice the attention to detail. And I do just fold them square and done! I won't put a wrinkled pillowcase out, either. THAT I would notice and think the person didn't care.
 

Proud Texan

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"God is in the details." If you have a white sheet of typing paper, clean in every way, with the exception of a single black dot in the middle of it, where do you think the human eye will go? People won't notice perfection, but they'll zero in on the slightest misstep.
 

Copperhead

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Hawley's comments about the chocolates have me thinking - and now Food for thought here:
Do you think that people do not notice or do not care about the little things you do OR could it be that they just do not think about telling you how much they enjoyed that $8 a pound candy or the neatly pressed pillowcases after all a full night has passed on a ever so comfortable bed, then to wake to the smells of the delicious breakfast, a welcome smile as they are seated and best yet, they are on vacation....
Oh and just for the record, I too use to place homemade chocolates on the nightstand with special labels - not ONE compliment - gone! Did afternoon refreshments for a while, wasted time and money as no one showed...- gone.
 

JBloggs

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I used to make handmade soap which noone wanted to use as it was too neat, so I sent them home as gifts. Not doing that again!
 

GeorgiaGirl

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I have not ever looked or even noticed if the pillow cases or sheets were ironed....I probably wouldn't even think to tell you I noticed they were ironed though. Unless you advertise you offer a certain amenity (afternoon tea, wine & cheese, etc.) the guest doesn't even know what they might be missing. The worst is if you advertise something and then don't follow through and offer it. If you decide you are not going to have afternoon sweets make sure you don't have it listed anywhere!
 

Country Girl

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When I go somewhere I do notice all the little niceties. I notice fresh flowers in a room and afternoon refreshments, and complimentary bottles of water, and homemade cookies. I notice if a place feels more like visting a friend's home rather than an indifferent, run-of-the mill hotel room. I think my guests notice too. They may not articulate each and every thing they like here but the overall feel would be very different if all those amenities were missing. On top of that, I feel really good when I know I've made a great effort to make my guests' stay here unforgettable. Almost every aspect of the work that goes into making a B&B run smoothly is a pain in the ass, but the positive reviews and return visits more than make up for that.
 

JBloggs

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I have not ever looked or even noticed if the pillow cases or sheets were ironed....I probably wouldn't even think to tell you I noticed they were ironed though. Unless you advertise you offer a certain amenity (afternoon tea, wine & cheese, etc.) the guest doesn't even know what they might be missing. The worst is if you advertise something and then don't follow through and offer it. If you decide you are not going to have afternoon sweets make sure you don't have it listed anywhere!.
GeorgiaGirl said:
I have not ever looked or even noticed if the pillow cases or sheets were ironed....I probably wouldn't even think to tell you I noticed they were ironed though. Unless you advertise you offer a certain amenity (afternoon tea, wine & cheese, etc.) the guest doesn't even know what they might be missing. The worst is if you advertise something and then don't follow through and offer it. If you decide you are not going to have afternoon sweets make sure you don't have it listed anywhere!
But GUESTS mention them. Even though I myself do not promote it on my website or directories, guests mention them on reviews. "You will love the cherry cheese coffee cake at check in" or something. I don't always have an afternoon refreshment out, some days it might just be some cookies in the guests room if it is one or two rooms checking in.
 

JBloggs

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Fresh Flowers in the room is another one. This is a great discussion. Do they notice and appreciate or is it something we do and get no return for doing? We THINK they appreciate? Would fresh flowers on the dining table be enough?
 

egoodell

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I used to buy a local made chocolate. Some people ate them some didn't, but no one ever said anything about them. I quit buying them.
Now instead of in each room, I put individually wrapped mints out in a bowl in the common room. Have had several comments about it being their favorite candy.These I buy in a big container at Sam's fairly cheap. The others were $8 a pound.
I also used to supply bottled water. I quit doing that. But am looking into using a filtered water pitcher. But we have good water and have ice for people to put in water or tea. But no water to grab and take with them..
hawley said:
I used to buy a local made chocolate. Some people ate them some didn't, but no one ever said anything about them. I quit buying them.
Now instead of in each room, I put individually wrapped mints out in a bowl in the common room. Have had several comments about it being their favorite candy.These I buy in a big container at Sam's fairly cheap. The others were $8 a pound.
See that goes to show how it's different everywhere. I put out our local Gerhart's chocolates for my turndown with port and everyone loves them and comments on them. Many ask where he is located to go buy some to take home. But we ARE in wine country, which attracts "foodies"
RIki
 

gillumhouse

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Fresh Flowers in the room is another one. This is a great discussion. Do they notice and appreciate or is it something we do and get no return for doing? We THINK they appreciate? Would fresh flowers on the dining table be enough?.
I also used to wonder if they noticed the fresh flower in the room and then a guest wrote in the comment book about what a nice touch it was to have the fresh flower in the room.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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This is the reason for this thread, we might THINK they don't enjoy something because it is never mentioned, but do they?
Or we think we don't need fresh flowers because no one has mentioned it, but maybe it is a nice special touch.
 

muirford

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This is the reason for this thread, we might THINK they don't enjoy something because it is never mentioned, but do they?
Or we think we don't need fresh flowers because no one has mentioned it, but maybe it is a nice special touch..
Here is what I would notice personally, and would see as a negative: wrinkly pillowcases, only two pillows on bed (for two people), only two towels (sorry, I like a towel for my hair), lighting for reading in bed, no chairs for sitting in the room. I would notice personally and positively: fresh flowers in room and in the common areas, nice chocolates in the room, good reading material the ability to get tea/coffee early and other than at breakfast, good reading material around, good reading space available in common areas. Now you can tell what I like to do on vacation. I would probably never mention the lack of or presence of any of these things to an innkeeper.
I have had guests comment favorably on: ironed sheets, flowers in room, flowers in hallway (at least 2x in the last month guests have stuck their fingers in the flowers and said, 'oh these are real' including another innkeeper), chocolates in room, jolly ranchers in candy dish, hot water kettle, cookies in the afternoon, computer in guest lounge, fans in rooms, special diet accommodations, tip envelopes (yes, they thanked me for having one in the room) and bathrobes. I had one guest comment negatively on the absence of TVs but she said when she left there was so much to do that she didn't mind missing So You Think You Can Dance (!?!).
I do some of those things because I need to for my Select Registry status and some just because I like doing them.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Our guests never complain about what we don't have. But on the other hand, we hear over and over "You've thought of everything". "Your attention to detail is amazing, it doesn't go unnoticed".
We don't iron our sheets or pillow cases. I stopped buying flowers for the rooms and common areas. This year for the first time because of the economy, I have not raised our room rates, so I've cut back on the flowers to save a couple of bucks. Still getting the same wonderful comments.
I'm not prepared to cut back on anything else. By this time, I think we've streamlined everything we can and still keep the affordable luxury our guests are looking for.
Give them more than what they expect and you'll be hearing about it. Give them less...well, you probably won't hear at all.
 

wendydk

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I would say that if you enjoy providing these things, and don't mind the cost (and if they are commesurate with what comparable Inns are doing), then carry on.
If you feel like you're providing them for people that don't seem to appreciate them, or if you are starting to resent any of it, then cut back. I don't provide expensive chocolates or fresh flowers, or endless soda pops anymore. Business and reviews are just as (good or better) than ever, and I have even raised my rates. That tells me it was the right way for me to go. Of course, we are a casual small Inn with an active and outdoorsy crowd, and we don't claim to be overly romantic or elegant.
I posted a survey on my website asking site visitors what they consider to be important amenities, and included some of those that you question the value of. I captured email addresses as a requirement for submission, and offered a $20 discount off a two night stay in return for their answers. You could also ask your best repeat guests, if you were so inclined.
Really a highly personal decision for an Innkeeper.
 

Morticia

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This is the reason for this thread, we might THINK they don't enjoy something because it is never mentioned, but do they?
Or we think we don't need fresh flowers because no one has mentioned it, but maybe it is a nice special touch..
Here is what I would notice personally, and would see as a negative: wrinkly pillowcases, only two pillows on bed (for two people), only two towels (sorry, I like a towel for my hair), lighting for reading in bed, no chairs for sitting in the room. I would notice personally and positively: fresh flowers in room and in the common areas, nice chocolates in the room, good reading material the ability to get tea/coffee early and other than at breakfast, good reading material around, good reading space available in common areas. Now you can tell what I like to do on vacation. I would probably never mention the lack of or presence of any of these things to an innkeeper.
I have had guests comment favorably on: ironed sheets, flowers in room, flowers in hallway (at least 2x in the last month guests have stuck their fingers in the flowers and said, 'oh these are real' including another innkeeper), chocolates in room, jolly ranchers in candy dish, hot water kettle, cookies in the afternoon, computer in guest lounge, fans in rooms, special diet accommodations, tip envelopes (yes, they thanked me for having one in the room) and bathrobes. I had one guest comment negatively on the absence of TVs but she said when she left there was so much to do that she didn't mind missing So You Think You Can Dance (!?!).
I do some of those things because I need to for my Select Registry status and some just because I like doing them.
.
I just booked a room based solely on the fact that it had 'reading chairs'. I like a good reading chair myself and have slowly been replacing the 'non-reading' chairs.
 

muirford

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This is the reason for this thread, we might THINK they don't enjoy something because it is never mentioned, but do they?
Or we think we don't need fresh flowers because no one has mentioned it, but maybe it is a nice special touch..
Here is what I would notice personally, and would see as a negative: wrinkly pillowcases, only two pillows on bed (for two people), only two towels (sorry, I like a towel for my hair), lighting for reading in bed, no chairs for sitting in the room. I would notice personally and positively: fresh flowers in room and in the common areas, nice chocolates in the room, good reading material the ability to get tea/coffee early and other than at breakfast, good reading material around, good reading space available in common areas. Now you can tell what I like to do on vacation. I would probably never mention the lack of or presence of any of these things to an innkeeper.
I have had guests comment favorably on: ironed sheets, flowers in room, flowers in hallway (at least 2x in the last month guests have stuck their fingers in the flowers and said, 'oh these are real' including another innkeeper), chocolates in room, jolly ranchers in candy dish, hot water kettle, cookies in the afternoon, computer in guest lounge, fans in rooms, special diet accommodations, tip envelopes (yes, they thanked me for having one in the room) and bathrobes. I had one guest comment negatively on the absence of TVs but she said when she left there was so much to do that she didn't mind missing So You Think You Can Dance (!?!).
I do some of those things because I need to for my Select Registry status and some just because I like doing them.
.
I just booked a room based solely on the fact that it had 'reading chairs'. I like a good reading chair myself and have slowly been replacing the 'non-reading' chairs.
.
Bree said:
I just booked a room based solely on the fact that it had 'reading chairs'.
On my last trip to a B&B I was too busy gabbing to take any time to read but there was a fainting couch in my room that I covet. And rockers on the front porch, which is where I would spend all my time anyway.
We booked an expensive B&B in St. Michael's once, for a May anniversary, and were unhappy to see one single hard wooden chair in the room and no common area - it had been turned into a tea room. Not happy.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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This is the reason for this thread, we might THINK they don't enjoy something because it is never mentioned, but do they?
Or we think we don't need fresh flowers because no one has mentioned it, but maybe it is a nice special touch..
Here is what I would notice personally, and would see as a negative: wrinkly pillowcases, only two pillows on bed (for two people), only two towels (sorry, I like a towel for my hair), lighting for reading in bed, no chairs for sitting in the room. I would notice personally and positively: fresh flowers in room and in the common areas, nice chocolates in the room, good reading material the ability to get tea/coffee early and other than at breakfast, good reading material around, good reading space available in common areas. Now you can tell what I like to do on vacation. I would probably never mention the lack of or presence of any of these things to an innkeeper.
I have had guests comment favorably on: ironed sheets, flowers in room, flowers in hallway (at least 2x in the last month guests have stuck their fingers in the flowers and said, 'oh these are real' including another innkeeper), chocolates in room, jolly ranchers in candy dish, hot water kettle, cookies in the afternoon, computer in guest lounge, fans in rooms, special diet accommodations, tip envelopes (yes, they thanked me for having one in the room) and bathrobes. I had one guest comment negatively on the absence of TVs but she said when she left there was so much to do that she didn't mind missing So You Think You Can Dance (!?!).
I do some of those things because I need to for my Select Registry status and some just because I like doing them.
.
I just booked a room based solely on the fact that it had 'reading chairs'. I like a good reading chair myself and have slowly been replacing the 'non-reading' chairs.
.
Bree said:
I just booked a room based solely on the fact that it had 'reading chairs'.
On my last trip to a B&B I was too busy gabbing to take any time to read but there was a fainting couch in my room that I covet. And rockers on the front porch, which is where I would spend all my time anyway.
We booked an expensive B&B in St. Michael's once, for a May anniversary, and were unhappy to see one single hard wooden chair in the room and no common area - it had been turned into a tea room. Not happy.
.
muirford said:
Bree said:
I just booked a room based solely on the fact that it had 'reading chairs'.
On my last trip to a B&B I was too busy gabbing to take any time to read but there was a fainting couch in my room that I covet. And rockers on the front porch, which is where I would spend all my time anyway.
We booked an expensive B&B in St. Michael's once, for a May anniversary, and were unhappy to see one single hard wooden chair in the room and no common area - it had been turned into a tea room. Not happy.
The porch is officially open for reading, relaxing, napping, chatting, smooching (warning - don't kiss the innkeeper tho, she might smack you!) ...the decking is all painted - finally. Rebuilt the whole stinkin' porch since they put untreated wood as the base...this is what happens when people hire stuff out and don't have a clue. It is good to go for another 50 years now!




 

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