Quantcast

Energetic and Creative Couple Looking For Advice On Starting New Life In The B&B Buisiness

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

MagandMike

New member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hello,
My fiancé Mike and myself are looking to change our career paths slightly and start our new lives together as innkeepers. Please don’t think we are strangers to the hospitality business, we have both been around restaurants since young ages and carry almost 30 years of experience in the industry. Mike is a writer and I am a photographer/lighting designer, we were always aware that hospitality would be the way to sustain ourselves before the "big break" but neither one of us expected to love it as much as we do. We both are of the impression that bringing enjoyment to people is one of the greatest rewards in life and there is no greater feeling at the end of the day then knowing you have accommodated your guests at hand and sent them home with a smile. We consider ourselves lucky to be able to do this thru our day jobs as well as our art.

All of that being said we are ready for a change of pace. We have both lived in the NYC metro area all of our lives and the constant rat race is getting to us. That is were the hotel/B&B industry comes in. We had always talked about getting a place of our own, preferably in Ireland (a bit of time away) but it had never occurred to us that there would be a way to do this without owning the establishment. We are trying to find a live in position at a place where we can work as the managers, cooking and caring for the inn as well as the customers.

If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. Although a seminar might be in our future, Mike has already owned his own coffeehouse/bookstore, we have both managed restaurants, and I have a few office management jobs under my belt. The financial drudgery and "hidden" side of the business are already things that we are quite familiar with. And, of course, if there is anyone on this board that might have a position for us please contact us at maggie.cunningham@gmail.com.


Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to hearing from you,

Mags and Mike
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Welcome!
Running a coffeehouse is not at all like running a B & B. Do you stay in B & B's alot? If not, start now. We had someone here a few months back with the same idea. I believe we told them to at least take an aspiring innkeeper class to learn the "BACK side" of B & B life and to volunteer / intern with some B & B 's to gain experience. No innkeeper in their right mind is going to hire you for a managerial / innkeeper position with no experience. They hire professional innsitters to help when they need a break..not a novice ...sorry.
You will most certainly not be able to "make a living" to support both of you. There are a few innkeepers running places for owners here and they will tell you...the gorry details :-(
Read through this forum and you will get plenty of insights.
 

bbinnsitters

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
700
Reaction score
0
MagandMike -
I believe the "someone with the same idea" is now running a B&B down in TX. They were very lucky, but she was motivated. There are lots of opportunities out there, you just have to be serious! Welcome to the forum.
 

birdwatcher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
0
Hello MagandMike and welcome to the forum. My husband and I are one of those "employed" innkeepers a;though we did own a Bed and Breakfast for five years which gave us the experience we needed for the positions we now hold. We were both in the service industry and we may have thought we would "love" to do this job and we did, but this is a love/hate relationship.
What I'm trying to say is yes you can get a position without innkeeping experience per say, but as catlady suggests it hard enoughto get one if you are an experienced innkeeper. That said it would be to your benefit to spend as much time going to bed and breakfasts, spending your vacations, weekends and as much of your free time in seminars, classes and such. No you won't make lots and lots of money and you will be on duty 24/7 like most inkeepers that own a place and you will not have much free time nor weekends to lay around, you better like cleaning and moping and putting up with all types of personalities (owning a book/cafe store is nothing like being an innkeeper). Most couples that do this know that they can work side by side and know who is good at some things and not at others, usually one has to wear many hats and one of the things that many a employer that own the Bed and Breakfasts are looking for is maintenance experience plus all other things that come with the job.
We aquired this position that we are in scouring many websites that employ couples, that is the key and persistance to know that is were you want to go and what you are worth and what you are willing to do and get paid to do. You also have to understand that its not going to be overnight and sometimes it will take many many e-mails, telephone calls and interviews and you will still not get what you want. We have been at this position now for a year and three months and as soon as we got here (because it was not the "ideal" place) we started our search. The owner here was not the owner that we expected and we were not willing to put up with certain things so we looked hard for another position and it took us the entire year to find the position we are going to in October.
Its a thing that you really need to love in order to be successful at it and its not a job that you want if you want to make $$ cause its not in this profession. Good luck and if you would like some websites that might help you seek what you are looking for you can e-mail me.
Welcome, this forum is the most informative and all members here have been a godsend to my husband and myself-they are all truthful and sometimes it hurt my little itie bitie feelins-but i took what i thought was important and left the rest.
 

agoodman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
818
Reaction score
0
Well my occupancy has taken a dive with the current economic crisis, feel free to come down and play Innkeepers, I'll provide a free room :)
No, there is no pay :(
 

MagandMike

New member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thank you so much everyone,

Your advice was all very good, but I am far from scared off. I hope I didn't offend anyone by bringing up the coffeshop, what I was trying to get at was the individual experiences in our lives suit us well for this kind of work. The shop actually more prepared us for the financial side of it as well as hardship certain towns can give you when you need to file for permits. Mike is a master at the paper work and is also incredibly successful at social networking and marketing. I am one of those people that can literally smile at everyone even when they are treating me like scum. Its a gift. :) Stage management and lighting design has left me pretty darn handy with a wrench and a hammer as well as a understanding of electrical wiring. As life gets harder my apartment always gets cleaner, I find it relaxing to mop and sweep. Our hours suck now and neither one of us is a stranger to getting out of work by 3am and having to be back at 7am. We like hard work and don't shy from it.

I'm not sure we have any delusions about the industry itself or the pay off financially. and I think that thru our collective experiences we bring a darn nice skill set with us.

Thanks you again. Its nice meeting you all and I'll be hanging round the forum seeing what I can dig up. :)
 

InnBloom

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
304
Reaction score
0
Thank you so much everyone,

Your advice was all very good, but I am far from scared off. I hope I didn't offend anyone by bringing up the coffeshop, what I was trying to get at was the individual experiences in our lives suit us well for this kind of work. The shop actually more prepared us for the financial side of it as well as hardship certain towns can give you when you need to file for permits. Mike is a master at the paper work and is also incredibly successful at social networking and marketing. I am one of those people that can literally smile at everyone even when they are treating me like scum. Its a gift. :) Stage management and lighting design has left me pretty darn handy with a wrench and a hammer as well as a understanding of electrical wiring. As life gets harder my apartment always gets cleaner, I find it relaxing to mop and sweep. Our hours suck now and neither one of us is a stranger to getting out of work by 3am and having to be back at 7am. We like hard work and don't shy from it.

I'm not sure we have any delusions about the industry itself or the pay off financially. and I think that thru our collective experiences we bring a darn nice skill set with us.

Thanks you again. Its nice meeting you all and I'll be hanging round the forum seeing what I can dig up. :).
Good luck to you!

 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,909
Reaction score
25
You are both in the creative arts. Are you currently making all of your income that way? Do you work a "day job" on top of it?
I became an innkeeper after having a creative arts career. The toughest part about it is that you never get away from innkeeping. It's 24/7. We go 6 months without a day off. Seriously. It takes 2 full days with no guests to have a day off. And then on that day off, you're typically doing maintenance and cleaning you couldn't do when guests are checked in.
You can't just pick up and go someplace when you're between jobs like what you're probably used to now. With a creative career, you're used to working unusual hours and many days in a row, which is good experience for wanting to be an innkeeper job, but living and working and breathing together is a whole different story.
I say these things not to discourage you, but these are some of the main issues that create burnout with innkeepers. Burnout is quick in this industry...on 7 1/2 years on average.
You need to gain experience before anyone will hire you. Are there b&bs around you? Stay at all the b&bs you can. Offer to volunteer your services if they will help train you and get hands on experience. Our most recent innsitter (interim innkeeper) was introduced to us by an experienced innsitter. But this person had no real experience. She offered her services free to us. She did whatever it took to learn. She had the right spirit of innkeeping. She was able to be along side us enough, that we had confidence to hire her. After her first time with us, I was then able to refer her to many more innkeepers. She even volunteered her time with them, just to gain more experience. She now is a very busy innsitter, doing what she loves.
I know you're not inquiring about being innsitters, but the same thing holds true for long term hired innkeepers. Take seminars, gets hands on experience and you'll see if this is really the life change you're looking for.
By the way, I have a friend who really wanted to buy a b&b. She started working part time for a b&b and after just a couple of months she is SO HAPPY she did not ever buy her own! It's not the life she thought it was.
Just some things to think about. Stick around here and post questions and even answers to some others' questions. It will be a learning experience!
 
Top