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megan

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Sorry to be a bother but I have another question about discounts. There is a discount available for something called a staycation. A guest called from a CA phone number and wanted to know about the discount for residents. I said you have to be a resident of this state to get the discount. She said she was but didn't book.
Pretty sure the same person just called to book the room for someone else. This time the area code was local. When I said the discount was only for locals she said she was a local so I said she would have to show ID to prove that at checkin. Then she told me the reservation is for someone else who was not local.
Would you think that applied? If a local person is booking for someone from out of state? That doesn't sound right to me. Anyone could do that. Say they lived here but were booking for someone else. Everyone could get the discount but how I understand a staycation from what I have found in the notes is this discount is for people who live here, not for people coming to visit people who live here.
 

Samster

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I understand the purpose of the discount promotion but I guess I wouldn't be that picky about it. At least you're getting "heads in beds"! I have a military discount and even though it says military ID on arrival, I never check. I've also extended it to family of military if their service person is here for a part of the stay.
 

Proud Texan

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I understand the purpose of the discount promotion but I guess I wouldn't be that picky about it. At least you're getting "heads in beds"! I have a military discount and even though it says military ID on arrival, I never check. I've also extended it to family of military if their service person is here for a part of the stay..
What kind of discount to you offer to the military? In creating our business plan DW and I disagreed over our prices. I wanted to have our prices stated higher than what we needed to cover costs and make a reasonable profit so that discounts wouldn't eat into the bottom line.
Is my thinking off? Should I be happy just to get reservations no matter what?
 

gillumhouse

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I understand the purpose of the discount promotion but I guess I wouldn't be that picky about it. At least you're getting "heads in beds"! I have a military discount and even though it says military ID on arrival, I never check. I've also extended it to family of military if their service person is here for a part of the stay..
What kind of discount to you offer to the military? In creating our business plan DW and I disagreed over our prices. I wanted to have our prices stated higher than what we needed to cover costs and make a reasonable profit so that discounts wouldn't eat into the bottom line.
Is my thinking off? Should I be happy just to get reservations no matter what?
.
INMVHO rates should be whatever the traffic will bear. I give a 15% military & police in season and 25% Dec thru March excluding holidays. IF you think you can get the higher rate, go for it. Call your current rate an "introductory" rate then boost it next year - IF you think you can get it. LISTEN to the inquiries on the phone. If they sound like they are taking a deep breath (also known as a gasp), you may be just right.
 

swirt

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I guess I would be concerned about choosing a discount that is totally arbitrary. Do state residents eat less food? Do they take shorter showers? Are they less likely to be annoying? (just kidding, don't answer that) Is there some reason you'd prefer to attract state residents?
From a guest point of view, if I qualified for the discount it would be great, I wouldn't give it a second thought. However, if I didn't qualify it would irk me because it had nothing to do with me. It might even irk me enough to stay some place else.
You might get a better results from offering a discount that actually attempts to alter behavior. Something like stay 2 nights and take X off the third night.
 

megan

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I guess I would be concerned about choosing a discount that is totally arbitrary. Do state residents eat less food? Do they take shorter showers? Are they less likely to be annoying? (just kidding, don't answer that) Is there some reason you'd prefer to attract state residents?
From a guest point of view, if I qualified for the discount it would be great, I wouldn't give it a second thought. However, if I didn't qualify it would irk me because it had nothing to do with me. It might even irk me enough to stay some place else.
You might get a better results from offering a discount that actually attempts to alter behavior. Something like stay 2 nights and take X off the third night..
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I guess I would be concerned about choosing a discount that is totally arbitrary. Do state residents eat less food? Do they take shorter showers? Are they less likely to be annoying? (just kidding, don't answer that) Is there some reason you'd prefer to attract state residents?
From a guest point of view, if I qualified for the discount it would be great, I wouldn't give it a second thought. However, if I didn't qualify it would irk me because it had nothing to do with me. It might even irk me enough to stay some place else.
You might get a better results from offering a discount that actually attempts to alter behavior. Something like stay 2 nights and take X off the third night..
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
.
seven sisters b-b said:
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
Let's be frank Seven Sisters - Discount them for whatever reason you want. Build it in, example, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SAVE $10, MILITARY SAVE $10, STAYCATION SAVE $10, BOOK ONLINE SAVE $10...
I don't get when innkeepers have some personal attachment to the discount "You aren't really 65, no discount for you!"
"You are retired military! No discount for you!"
"You live out of our county line! No discount for you!"
Here's a novel idea - BOOK A ROOM AT OUR B&B AND SAVE $10!!!
I actually want guests to pay these bills. Why would I NOT want to give someone a discount? Unless they are asking for a $50 off or something...but heck I still do BOGO iloveinns.com and stashtea.com so "let them eat beans and be happy"
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Lest I forget to mention - the more discounts and specials and packages you offer the more places you can STICK THEM on directories. Isn't this what we want? Bookings?
I am of a totally opposite mindset on this whole thing. My motto is "Only a fool pays full price," As an innkeeper I will NEVER buy something for the B&B that is not on sale! I shop the sales, I wait for the sales! Is there anything wrong with that? I call it being wise. Stretch our dollar, the same goes toward guests. Locals get a good discount - why? Word of mouth, and you have to live with them. I tell them "Put it toward dinner or flowers." Guess what happens? Some times they throw it back via a gratuity to US, so it is a win win.
 

Samster

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I understand the purpose of the discount promotion but I guess I wouldn't be that picky about it. At least you're getting "heads in beds"! I have a military discount and even though it says military ID on arrival, I never check. I've also extended it to family of military if their service person is here for a part of the stay..
What kind of discount to you offer to the military? In creating our business plan DW and I disagreed over our prices. I wanted to have our prices stated higher than what we needed to cover costs and make a reasonable profit so that discounts wouldn't eat into the bottom line.
Is my thinking off? Should I be happy just to get reservations no matter what?
.
I set our rates in the middle of the existing B&Bs, but toward the highest priced inn. I offered a grand opening special for a couple of months, I offer an online booking special, and I have a Summer special through the end of September, all because we're new. No one is booking anywhere around here right now, even with discounts. I'll probably always keep some kind of special because I think that's what folks are looking for now.
15% MIlitary Discount, 10% local university all the time.
Do what works for you. You might have to try a couple of different things to get and keep reservations coming in.
 

Willowpondgj

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I guess I would be concerned about choosing a discount that is totally arbitrary. Do state residents eat less food? Do they take shorter showers? Are they less likely to be annoying? (just kidding, don't answer that) Is there some reason you'd prefer to attract state residents?
From a guest point of view, if I qualified for the discount it would be great, I wouldn't give it a second thought. However, if I didn't qualify it would irk me because it had nothing to do with me. It might even irk me enough to stay some place else.
You might get a better results from offering a discount that actually attempts to alter behavior. Something like stay 2 nights and take X off the third night..
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
.
seven sisters b-b said:
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
Let's be frank Seven Sisters - Discount them for whatever reason you want. Build it in, example, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SAVE $10, MILITARY SAVE $10, STAYCATION SAVE $10, BOOK ONLINE SAVE $10...
I don't get when innkeepers have some personal attachment to the discount "You aren't really 65, no discount for you!"
"You are retired military! No discount for you!"
"You live out of our county line! No discount for you!"
Here's a novel idea - BOOK A ROOM AT OUR B&B AND SAVE $10!!!
I actually want guests to pay these bills. Why would I NOT want to give someone a discount? Unless they are asking for a $50 off or something...but heck I still do BOGO iloveinns.com and stashtea.com so "let them eat beans and be happy"
.
Yeah, but I think the point is, for instance, I could give away my $150 room for $99, a 30% discount, and they'll still ask for a senior discount or a AAA discount on top of practically giving the room away, it's like, come on people!
 

Samster

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Lest I forget to mention - the more discounts and specials and packages you offer the more places you can STICK THEM on directories. Isn't this what we want? Bookings?
I am of a totally opposite mindset on this whole thing. My motto is "Only a fool pays full price," As an innkeeper I will NEVER buy something for the B&B that is not on sale! I shop the sales, I wait for the sales! Is there anything wrong with that? I call it being wise. Stretch our dollar, the same goes toward guests. Locals get a good discount - why? Word of mouth, and you have to live with them. I tell them "Put it toward dinner or flowers." Guess what happens? Some times they throw it back via a gratuity to US, so it is a win win.
.
I give a big discount to a couple of local contacts. Frankly, they'll be paying the bills in November :)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I guess I would be concerned about choosing a discount that is totally arbitrary. Do state residents eat less food? Do they take shorter showers? Are they less likely to be annoying? (just kidding, don't answer that) Is there some reason you'd prefer to attract state residents?
From a guest point of view, if I qualified for the discount it would be great, I wouldn't give it a second thought. However, if I didn't qualify it would irk me because it had nothing to do with me. It might even irk me enough to stay some place else.
You might get a better results from offering a discount that actually attempts to alter behavior. Something like stay 2 nights and take X off the third night..
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
.
seven sisters b-b said:
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
Let's be frank Seven Sisters - Discount them for whatever reason you want. Build it in, example, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SAVE $10, MILITARY SAVE $10, STAYCATION SAVE $10, BOOK ONLINE SAVE $10...
I don't get when innkeepers have some personal attachment to the discount "You aren't really 65, no discount for you!"
"You are retired military! No discount for you!"
"You live out of our county line! No discount for you!"
Here's a novel idea - BOOK A ROOM AT OUR B&B AND SAVE $10!!!
I actually want guests to pay these bills. Why would I NOT want to give someone a discount? Unless they are asking for a $50 off or something...but heck I still do BOGO iloveinns.com and stashtea.com so "let them eat beans and be happy"
.
Yeah, but I think the point is, for instance, I could give away my $150 room for $99, a 30% discount, and they'll still ask for a senior discount or a AAA discount on top of practically giving the room away, it's like, come on people!
.
Willowpondgj said:
Yeah, but I think the point is, for instance, I could give away my $150 room for $99, a 30% discount, and they'll still ask for a senior discount or a AAA discount on top of practically giving the room away, it's like, come on people!
Agreed, NO COMBINED discounts.
 

gillumhouse

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Guess what? A discounted rate is money in the bank. An empty bed is no money. So unless they tick me off with an "attitude", I will discount. I have one in house right now that did not make a reservation (they have NO B & B experience). My City Manager had called last week to see if I had openings and asked what rate I would charge someone coming in for a interview and I said the per diem since she is involved with the interview committee for a new State non-profit. There I was with 3 dirty rooms since we had no one on the books and went out to do errands. As soon as I saw that car pull up with out of state plates I knew they were coming here!
Told them to go walk around town for an hour so I could get a room cleaned for them. OK. During that hour, while I am madely trying to get the whole place looking back to great (we had 3 innkeepers here) the phone rings - City Manager telling me I am going to a Conference next week and come get the homework for it (first I knew I was going and thank goodness I only had to walk a 1/2 block to get the info). Return home go back to cleaning and I get a call from another non-profit I am involved in who needs info. End of story - place looks great by the time they return. And they will be paying half of what I usually get for that room but it is more than I expected to get for that room tonight.
 

swirt

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I guess I would be concerned about choosing a discount that is totally arbitrary. Do state residents eat less food? Do they take shorter showers? Are they less likely to be annoying? (just kidding, don't answer that) Is there some reason you'd prefer to attract state residents?
From a guest point of view, if I qualified for the discount it would be great, I wouldn't give it a second thought. However, if I didn't qualify it would irk me because it had nothing to do with me. It might even irk me enough to stay some place else.
You might get a better results from offering a discount that actually attempts to alter behavior. Something like stay 2 nights and take X off the third night..
This was something I found in place. Give locals a discount to encourage them to stay in state instead of going out of state. If the person had asked if I could discount for her family because she is local then I could have said that was okay. She didn't seem to know anything about my place she was just trying to get the discount for someone else who must have told her where to call. When I asked which room she wanted she didn't know what rooms were here. She didn't know if they wanted rooms upstairs or downstairs or what size bed all she wanted was to book a room and then call back and change everything once she found out what the other people wanted.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount? Those people dont eat less or take shorter showers. And they are in a target group you don't give the aaa discount if they don't show a card or something do you?
I think that person is going to have her family stay somewhere else.
This was listed on a website for discounts. Maybe it should be removed if people will misunderstand it.
.
How is a discount for residents different than giving a aaa discount or a military discount?
Giving discounts for AAA would only be something I would do to be listed in AAA. If I wasn't taking advantage of AAA advertising and travel recommendations (through their book or site) I would not offer it. Military discount is something you offer because you value the service of the military, it is an honor discount that you give based on what they have done. Offering the discount based on where someone lives seems more troublesome because then you have to draw arbitrary lines and fret about how you should apply them (as you were doing at the start of this thread). What does your "in state only" discount gain you? If you are in the middle of the state and all you get are in state people anyway then you only risk irking a few out of state guests. If you are near the state border or get predominantly out of state guests, then you probably stand to do more harm with this than good.
For whatever reason, people seem to generally understand the concept that AAA members can get a discount at some places because they pay to have a AAA card. There is a cause and effect that seems fair. At the same time if you gave a discount to anyone whose first name began with G, that would strike people as odd and not so fair. Advertising a staycation for in-staters may strike people the same way .... the thought process being "I'm staying with you, why can't I get a staycation discount?"
If you aren't like JBJ who offers a discount for everything and anything, then offering discounts that lead to more people staying (like a double date discount) or people staying longer (bogo, buy two get 50% off the third night, 10% off stays of 4 nights or more...) is a helpful way to offer discounts.
The best advice as has already been mentioned, see what works in your area. Not all things work in all areas.
 

seashanty

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it sounds like you have taken over an existing b&b --- and there are specials and promotions and discounts 'out there' somewhere that people are calling about? to get the guests in the door, unless it is just too little money to bring in for the room, i would honor the discount. if not, tell them kindly that was an offer by prior owners and your price is xxx. but you have offer them xyz. you will have to find those listings and change them as you can.
as someone said, attitude can be everything. when someone calls demanding various discounts that apply to some other place .... ugh.
staycation discounts came along this year because of the gas prices. bree offers the staycation discount. if it brought people to my door, i'd honor it. getting people to want to book at your place is so important.
 

April

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It looks like most of you give a lots of discounts and no wonder people ask for more. The only discounts we offer are 5% off on continiuous 7 nights stay ( no further discounts even if they stay a month) and 4% off on cash payments. Sorry, no other discounts here - no AAA, military or police ( they are gainfully employed and have job security), no seniors ( most of seniors that travel are financially secure) or any other. My motto is "Travel is not a right - it is a privilage". If you can afford it stay at home. If you have dificulty to fill in your beds - lower your prices, perhaps they are to high. Now - if you can not do that it may be the time to review your business. Unless you run your b&b as a hobby all other business rules aplly - if your business is not bringing you enough money - it is not a right business.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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April wrote: If you have dificulty to fill in your beds - lower your prices, perhaps they are to high. Now - if you can not do that it may be the time to review your business. Unless you run your b&b as a hobby all other business rules aplly - if your business is not bringing you enough money - it is not a right business.
I totally disagree. In fact, that is plain rude to say that it is not a right business and arrogant.
You just slapped in the face 99% of the innkeepers on this forum with that statement. Even those with high occupancy are not full year round.
There is ALWAYS room for improvement in any business.
 

EmptyNest

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Is this STAYCATION YOUR DISCOUNT?? Or whose? Who said you have to honor it? In my mind you are correct. IT is only for locals. Don't let these discount seekers get the best of you. YOu don't owe ANYONE a discount. It is up to you. be firm!!!
 

April

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April wrote: If you have dificulty to fill in your beds - lower your prices, perhaps they are to high. Now - if you can not do that it may be the time to review your business. Unless you run your b&b as a hobby all other business rules aplly - if your business is not bringing you enough money - it is not a right business.
I totally disagree. In fact, that is plain rude to say that it is not a right business and arrogant.
You just slapped in the face 99% of the innkeepers on this forum with that statement. Even those with high occupancy are not full year round.
There is ALWAYS room for improvement in any business..
It was not intended to offend anyone. I do not know any b&b or hotel that has 100% occupancy - that is most likely to happend. And you are right any bussines could be improved becouse nothing stands still - things change. However if you can not make a living at something than you have to move and do not feel sorry for yourself.
 

hawley

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I understand the purpose of the discount promotion but I guess I wouldn't be that picky about it. At least you're getting "heads in beds"! I have a military discount and even though it says military ID on arrival, I never check. I've also extended it to family of military if their service person is here for a part of the stay..
What kind of discount to you offer to the military? In creating our business plan DW and I disagreed over our prices. I wanted to have our prices stated higher than what we needed to cover costs and make a reasonable profit so that discounts wouldn't eat into the bottom line.
Is my thinking off? Should I be happy just to get reservations no matter what?
.
I don't offer different discounts. But I offer discounts every day. One day stays are hard for me because I still work full time. For 1 day stays, I don't offer a discount. For more than one day, I offer a discount. The $80 room is then $70, the $150 suite is $100 for multi night stays. For anyone staying longer, I offer a week stay for the 5 night multi night rate. $350 for the lowest price and $500 for the highest price.
I have less hassle, the room is paid every night and I don't have to clean it every night. (1200 sq ft in the large suite) So that makes a difference to me.
When I have turn over, I have to take vacation from my job to get things done. Plus extra washing of bedding, etc.
 

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