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added amenities - do you ask??

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oldcharm

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On my website I had 'extras' listed that guests can add on to their room to make the experience even better.
A bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates from the local chocolate maker, a basket full of items made locally, etc....
When quests are making reservations, do you ask them if they would like to add any of these items on... or is that being too forward/pushy? Currently I don't, but I may have better luck selling these items if I do.... advice??
 

Samster

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Most of my reservations are made online. However, if someone calls to make a rez and they mention a special occasion, then I will ask if they looked at the add-ons that we have available online. If they want more info, I'll tell them. I'm anything but pushy....
 

DaisyMae

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it never hurts to suggestive sell, i suppose. we have sold a number of add on items this summer & last & we never suggested any of them. we have sold balloon bouquets, tons of choc dipped strawberries, caramel apples & pears, artisan chocolates & champagne, picnic tote with a picnic lunch, our t shirts are always popular, custom flower arrangements, not to mention the artisan tea sugars, homemade granola/gorp mixes we offer in our gift corner.
 

seashanty

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if you attend a marketing seminar, you will likely hear the 'do you want fries with that?' sales talk. there are ways and phrases to nicely ask if your guest wants to add any in-room services like flowers or a birthday cake ..... not being pushy ... just offering.
i had to practice saying, as i was verbally repeating the reservation, would you like to add any of our in-room services like flowers or a cake?' and if they said no or i'll think about it, i would say 'up to 48 hours before you arrive, you can let me know if you wish to add something' and sometimes they did. sometimes they would pull me aside a bit frantically at checkin and say 'is it too late to order a cake?!'
have you ever gone to buy coffee and the person behind the counter asks 'do you want anything else today?" or 'would you like one of our home baked muffins today?' how did you respond? were you offended? not likely -- we are used to this. (the second question with the suggested offering is very, very appealing to me)
i was in a local place, one of my favorites, and a man came in to pick up a called in order for two quiches. he lingered over the pastry counter and i thought, if someone would just ask him if he would like to take home a few cookies or cannolis, he surely would have! but he ended up paying and still lingered ... folks behind the counter scrambling to fill other orders ... he finally left.
in spite of what my website said, i would have guests see me with a birthday cake for someone and say 'i didn't know you offered that service! i would have ordered one.' opportunity lost!
if you want to try it, think of it in terms of being helpful. your guests are away from home and they want to celebrate something. how nice that the b&b offers this service!
i took my nephew and his wife out to lunch the other day for his wife's birthday. lovely restaurant. i noticed a birthday cake being brought to another table so i excused myself and asked the hostess if we could get one. no, she told me, they brought that in themselves. i would have bought one if they offered one.
 

wendydk

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I no longer offer any add-ons. They rarely sold, and whenever they did, I was put out about having to make a trip to gather everything together...I'm happier without them.
 

Breakfast Diva

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if you attend a marketing seminar, you will likely hear the 'do you want fries with that?' sales talk. there are ways and phrases to nicely ask if your guest wants to add any in-room services like flowers or a birthday cake ..... not being pushy ... just offering.
i had to practice saying, as i was verbally repeating the reservation, would you like to add any of our in-room services like flowers or a cake?' and if they said no or i'll think about it, i would say 'up to 48 hours before you arrive, you can let me know if you wish to add something' and sometimes they did. sometimes they would pull me aside a bit frantically at checkin and say 'is it too late to order a cake?!'
have you ever gone to buy coffee and the person behind the counter asks 'do you want anything else today?" or 'would you like one of our home baked muffins today?' how did you respond? were you offended? not likely -- we are used to this. (the second question with the suggested offering is very, very appealing to me)
i was in a local place, one of my favorites, and a man came in to pick up a called in order for two quiches. he lingered over the pastry counter and i thought, if someone would just ask him if he would like to take home a few cookies or cannolis, he surely would have! but he ended up paying and still lingered ... folks behind the counter scrambling to fill other orders ... he finally left.
in spite of what my website said, i would have guests see me with a birthday cake for someone and say 'i didn't know you offered that service! i would have ordered one.' opportunity lost!
if you want to try it, think of it in terms of being helpful. your guests are away from home and they want to celebrate something. how nice that the b&b offers this service!
i took my nephew and his wife out to lunch the other day for his wife's birthday. lovely restaurant. i noticed a birthday cake being brought to another table so i excused myself and asked the hostess if we could get one. no, she told me, they brought that in themselves. i would have bought one if they offered one..
Thanks for your thoughtful post on this SS. We do sell a lot of add-ons, but mostly from online reservations since we get 90-95% of our reservations online. When people call to make a reservation, I'm a bit gun shy to ask if they want a special add-on because I don't want to offend them or make them feel like they're being cheap by not ordering them.
I think the simple question "would you like one of our romantic add-ons with your reservation?" wouldn't offend anyone. What do you think?
 

EmptyNest

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if you attend a marketing seminar, you will likely hear the 'do you want fries with that?' sales talk. there are ways and phrases to nicely ask if your guest wants to add any in-room services like flowers or a birthday cake ..... not being pushy ... just offering.
i had to practice saying, as i was verbally repeating the reservation, would you like to add any of our in-room services like flowers or a cake?' and if they said no or i'll think about it, i would say 'up to 48 hours before you arrive, you can let me know if you wish to add something' and sometimes they did. sometimes they would pull me aside a bit frantically at checkin and say 'is it too late to order a cake?!'
have you ever gone to buy coffee and the person behind the counter asks 'do you want anything else today?" or 'would you like one of our home baked muffins today?' how did you respond? were you offended? not likely -- we are used to this. (the second question with the suggested offering is very, very appealing to me)
i was in a local place, one of my favorites, and a man came in to pick up a called in order for two quiches. he lingered over the pastry counter and i thought, if someone would just ask him if he would like to take home a few cookies or cannolis, he surely would have! but he ended up paying and still lingered ... folks behind the counter scrambling to fill other orders ... he finally left.
in spite of what my website said, i would have guests see me with a birthday cake for someone and say 'i didn't know you offered that service! i would have ordered one.' opportunity lost!
if you want to try it, think of it in terms of being helpful. your guests are away from home and they want to celebrate something. how nice that the b&b offers this service!
i took my nephew and his wife out to lunch the other day for his wife's birthday. lovely restaurant. i noticed a birthday cake being brought to another table so i excused myself and asked the hostess if we could get one. no, she told me, they brought that in themselves. i would have bought one if they offered one..
I totally agree with you. It is very easy to just ask a simple question like, Is there anything else I can do for your stay with us? Simple and doesn't put anyone on the defensive.
 

seashanty

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breakfast diva ~ i think that's fine. if you are comfortable using the word 'romantic', then use it. whatever rolls off your tongue easily is the one to use.
when i first started taking reservations, i was so nervous. now i had managed offices for years, so why was i nervous? i don't know! but from advice from the wise ones here, i did up a script of things to say so i didn't forget anything. when it came time that i started offering add-ons, i just added it to the bottom of the list, just before 'i look forward to having you stay with us!'
little blue ~ i loved doing the add-ons - but they had to be prepared (and prepaid) in advance and it has to be worth your while. if it's more aggravation than anything else, then no, you should not offer them.
an odd thing ~ if someone told me it was their anniversary or birthday and i put a little something special like a small cake and plates in their room with a card, i never got a thank you. when i stopped doing it for free and offered them as a paid add-on, i got paid plus a thank you. so odd! perceived value i guess.
 

Breakfast Diva

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breakfast diva ~ i think that's fine. if you are comfortable using the word 'romantic', then use it. whatever rolls off your tongue easily is the one to use.
when i first started taking reservations, i was so nervous. now i had managed offices for years, so why was i nervous? i don't know! but from advice from the wise ones here, i did up a script of things to say so i didn't forget anything. when it came time that i started offering add-ons, i just added it to the bottom of the list, just before 'i look forward to having you stay with us!'
little blue ~ i loved doing the add-ons - but they had to be prepared (and prepaid) in advance and it has to be worth your while. if it's more aggravation than anything else, then no, you should not offer them.
an odd thing ~ if someone told me it was their anniversary or birthday and i put a little something special like a small cake and plates in their room with a card, i never got a thank you. when i stopped doing it for free and offered them as a paid add-on, i got paid plus a thank you. so odd! perceived value i guess..
since we're a "romantic getaway", most people here are celebrating something, so the term romantic add-on or package flows easily off my lips.
to Little Blue: The only way I can manage doing these add-ons is to create ones that take little effort and the supplies can be stored a long time. In our most popular package we have a bottle of champage or sparkling cider in a beautiful cut crystal bucket, keepsake champagne flutes with our logo engraved, chocolate truffles which keep for many months if you refrigerate them, silk rose petals and a personalized card which I create on the computer. All simple, easy to keep on hand and I do a 100% markup.
In our picnic basket we used to have a green salad and since I live 25 minutes from the nearest grocery store, I was constantly running at the last minute to pick up salad fixings. I hated doing that! I changed the green salad in the basket to a choice of potato or macaroni salad, buy a big container of each which has an expiration period a few weeks out (health dept won't allow me to make my own) and everything else in the basket keeps for a long time or can be frozen. No more rushing out to the market.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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oldcharm said:
On my website I had 'extras' listed that guests can add on to their room to make the experience even better.
A bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates from the local chocolate maker, a basket full of items made locally, etc....
When quests are making reservations, do you ask them if they would like to add any of these items on... or is that being too forward/pushy? Currently I don't, but I may have better luck selling these items if I do.... advice??
I ask but unless its Valentines Day, an Anniversary or a special occasion, I NEVER get takers.
 

egoodell

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oldcharm said:
On my website I had 'extras' listed that guests can add on to their room to make the experience even better.
A bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates from the local chocolate maker, a basket full of items made locally, etc....
When quests are making reservations, do you ask them if they would like to add any of these items on... or is that being too forward/pushy? Currently I don't, but I may have better luck selling these items if I do.... advice??
We get 95% of our bookings online, and have the add-ons listed there and about 50% will check off something to add-on.
Riki
 
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