Do You Have a Safe?

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white pine

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Do you have a safe on hand for guests? Do you keep cash on hand, and if so how much? Do you accommodate guests who need to cash a check for spending cash? We are in a rural area, no ATM near, and I anticipate a problem...
 

egoodell

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No safe. Most people use ATM cards these days, not cash, even when buying a cup of coffee at Starbuck's. B&Bs are normally not a business that cashes checks for people. Larger inns or boutique hotels, maybe...
Riki
 

Alibi Ike

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No safe for guest valuables. I would encourage them to lock their doors or, maybe, hide things in their cars.
If you're so far out that guests would need to cash a check (and who travels with a checkbook any longer?), do you have any place for them to spend the money from the cashed check? If local places don't take credit cards, make sure guests know that when they reserve.
I wouldn't keep cash on hand in the amounts you are talking about but, what you could do is check into getting a small ATM and put it in the 'lobby' area. They can be built into the wall or stand alone. You front the cash for the machine, but it then goes into your bank account when withdrawn by the guest. You can charge fees that you collect as well. I don't know all of the details but there is a service contract involved so you can have the machine seen to if it breaks down.
I have enough cash on hand if someone wants to pay cash to give them change. Now that deposits are so easy at anytime of the day or night, I take any large bills at the end of the day and deposit them. There are never large amounts of money in the building.
 

JBloggs

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no safe. never would even think of getting one.
yeah we keep a couple hundred thou on hand... justkidding. :)
 

white pine

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Was mainly thinking about cash payments. Agree most places take credit cards. Not so much worried about personal valuables. Just curious what you all are experiencing. Not inclined to cash checks for people, they can drive the 1/2 hour to "town". PO DID cash checks, and kept the money stashed under her mattress!
 

Breakfast Diva

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We're in a rural area. We have no safe for guests, but we do have one for ourselves. We keep a few hundred in cash in case they pay cash for their balance when checking out. As someone else mentioned, guests usually buy everythging on their debit or credit card. They think nothing about handing over their card for a $5.00 purchase...that's why with the new credit card law, merchants are allowed to set a minimum purchase amount...people want to use their cards even for a pack of gum!
Definitely check to see if the restaurants in your area take cards so you will know whether to warn your guests to come prepared. We have one restaurant near us that takes cards for the meal, but refuses to let you put the tip on the card. It must be cash. It's stupid and I'm sure the waitstaff gets stiffed all the time.
We only get to the town/bank about once a week and it's not a problem here, even in our busy season.
 

Joey Camb

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We keep about $100 in small bills and denominations as that is what you really need "change" also if you are doing any gift items people tend to try and pay for them separately to their bill for some reason. We did some deals at £68 and ended up running about looking for £2 it was hilarious! we don't keep any more cash than that on the premises as it is a hazzard from a crime point of view you don't want to get known as a place that carries cash. The ATM idea is a good one. Round here (US banks may be different) but the bank runs it all fills with cash etc but they charge the people a fee to use it (about $2 per transaction) and that is where they make their money but it takes the hassel off you. To give you an idea in the average week we do 2 or 3 cash transactions if that.
 

Alibi Ike

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Was mainly thinking about cash payments. Agree most places take credit cards. Not so much worried about personal valuables. Just curious what you all are experiencing. Not inclined to cash checks for people, they can drive the 1/2 hour to "town". PO DID cash checks, and kept the money stashed under her mattress!.
Cash payments are curious. Many guests who pay cash pay in big bills so you will need to have 'change' on hand. We get the rare guest who has exact change and others who pay in what looks like 'tip' money- lots of small bills. If you're going to have a pay on exit policy you don't want to be caught short on the change part. At least if they pay on arrival you can say you'll get the change for them.
 

JBloggs

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ps...cash? what is that? I wish people paid cash, super rar these days. i don't use the stuff myself, i track everything on my cc,so I use that.
i believe the opposite to be true of the old addage about spending plastic...mine is IF THERE IS CASH in your wallet you will spend it.
 
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Safe in my house for personal papers and small Brinks safe in the 2 cottage B&B's. Guest can pay in cash but always bring correct amount ( few times it has happened) Mary in Bwater
 

Copperhead

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Have a safe for us - personal records, not cash! We take payement on arrival so if they pay by cash we have time to get change if we do not have it on hand.
As others have said, if most of the area businesses do not take CC, be sure to give your guests that info when they book or on your website. A couple of years ago we stayed in a town that most places only took cash - or checks even the B&B, but we were not told this. And there were only a few places with an ATM... I felt like we had gone back 20+ years.
 

gillumhouse

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No safe here. I have had to scrounge for change a few times when they paid cash. I do get cash and checks. I had a guest recently who handed me plastic and said it was her debit card so I suggested that if it was a debit card that she just write a check. Yippee! no cc fees on that one and it was not SMALL TAB! i find the horse people usually deal with cash & checks..
 

HighMountainLodge

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We inherited a safe when we bought the Lodge. It was locked, and we had to write to the safe company for the combination, which we discovered was unique to the serial number of the safe. You learn the most amazing things when you begin innkeeping....
Alas, there was no treasure once we got it opened. It was a Geraldo moment.
Anyway, we keep our petty cash in it, along with our passports and foreign currency from our travels. We keep enough cash on hand to make change for guests, and that's about it. We've never had a guest ask us for a place to store valuables or money, and we don't advertise such an amenity. Shoot, sometimes we forget to give guests their key, and the forget to ask us for it.... We never lock the safe. It's basically fire protection. It's not in any place were people could see it.
Around here, people think you're peculiar if you lock your car door. There's an old joke around here about the only time people lock their car doors when going to church is in August, and that's so their neighbors can't leave a bag of zucchini in the back seat.
Tom
 

white pine

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We inherited a safe when we bought the Lodge. It was locked, and we had to write to the safe company for the combination, which we discovered was unique to the serial number of the safe. You learn the most amazing things when you begin innkeeping....
Alas, there was no treasure once we got it opened. It was a Geraldo moment.
Anyway, we keep our petty cash in it, along with our passports and foreign currency from our travels. We keep enough cash on hand to make change for guests, and that's about it. We've never had a guest ask us for a place to store valuables or money, and we don't advertise such an amenity. Shoot, sometimes we forget to give guests their key, and the forget to ask us for it.... We never lock the safe. It's basically fire protection. It's not in any place were people could see it.
Around here, people think you're peculiar if you lock your car door. There's an old joke around here about the only time people lock their car doors when going to church is in August, and that's so their neighbors can't leave a bag of zucchini in the back seat.
Tom.
Hi-
We did a little better, sorting old papers in the desk, we came across a cash on hand envelope with $250.00! Your comments made me think of an actual day downstate which was designated ( I forget it's actual name) as a night when people put zucchini on porches--kind of like Christmas Eve. It was fun!
 
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