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Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
It's always interesting to read how one thing works in a certain location (or even at an individual property) that won't work not that far away. I tried early check in fees and was heckled on the phone for 'nickel-diming' the guest. Late check-out fees, however, are accepted.
The only 'out-sourcing' we have left right now is the lawn mowing and the snow removal. That's just money I need to spend for sanity's sake. Our housekeeper went back to school yesterday and will be here on 'select' weekends (no sport events she has to be at) so that frees up a bit of money as well.
But, we went without housekeeping help one summer and it is brutal. Which makes that money well spent!
 
Sure boomer.......
Current economy has everyone a bit edgy and finding anyway possible to economise expenses......I don't know of any business...around me, here and myself included that isn't cutting expenses in an effort to maintain current pricing.....Myself I did however find services that we do, where I did edge up pricing to maintain profit.........our profits margins have declined, with tweaking here and there the decline has not been to steep.
All.......please understand........my touting raising rates to keep some what of a pace with increasing expenses, does not in anyway mean that all or any need to go out now and raise rates..........
We all need to be profitable.........we all need that cushion of funds for the unexpected.
I don't know........but I doubt a $5 increase on a room rate will put off alot of people.......Perhaps not all rooms across the board.....can start with just 1 or 2 rooms.....test the waters.........
Maybe......an actual reduction in a room rate can translate into higher occupancy.....again.....I wouldn't think across the board all rooms for a rate reduction.
As perhaps some may think gimmics being a bit unsavory.........I like them........example........some offer a discount for doing the online booking, $10 a room........well..........Raise your room rates $5......and all you've lost is $5.........and the reason for offering the online booking discount is to free one from the phone......if a guest refuses to book online.....that $5 increase makes the phone in reservation more palitable.
Another thing I want to get across..........don't feer this economy.......it is a challenge.......challenges is what makes business ownership interesting and to some, fun...........challenges also gets you out of the box.....out of the routine..........it's routine that often wears down business owners. It does me.
The cupcake and box can be a great idea to fill rooms.......plan ahead.....I was thinking.........for a future weeks or perhaps a month promote a gift give away for bookings.......a homemade baked good, our gift to you for staying with us any 2 night stay or longer November 1 to November 20.....as an example........or......for Birthday or Anniversary stays during the month of October a free 6 inch cake for 2 night stays or longer................if you have a gift shop.........50% or what ever off all gift shop items the month of February.......can also try doing this with interbusiness promoting...with local restaurants, shops, live or movie theaters.......these businesses are experiencing the same economy...........what ever it is one wants to try........PROMOTE it..............don't do it as a surprise to make a guest happy.........thinking perhaps they will tell family and friends.......we have no control at all whether guests will spread the word of our goodwill
 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
Boomer said:
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental.
I raised rates this year ($10.00-$15.00) per night....not detrimental at all.
 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
Boomer said:
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental.
I raised rates this year ($10.00-$15.00) per night....not detrimental at all.
.
Little Blue said:
Boomer said:
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental.
I raised rates this year ($10.00-$15.00) per night....not detrimental at all.
Great !!!............and your rates still appear reasonable, may have room for an additional $5 - $10 next year.
It's the fear of the economy that causes many to huncker down, don't rock the boat......
Only repeat guests may notice a rate increase...........new guests, they accept the current pricing, what ever it is.................it's much easier for me to quote work to new prospects at higher rates than it is to raise rates for existing customers.......
If one needs to raise rates.....don't fear it.....yes, people will complain....so what?.......you're in business to make a profit.........upon raising rates, you just may experience a dip in occupancy.........so?......the increase per room kinda offsets that.........along with a dip in occupancy comes less supplies....that also helps offset the occupancy dip..........at some point the normal occupany rate will be achieved.
We mentioned value......in other threads it was discussed that a well under priced room presents the image of what is wrong with the room, or with the establishment.....granted this can be an location specific problem......regardless........percpetion is everything........most of us know that if a deal appears to be to good a deal, there's something wrong........many people see value as a price point......
lets take the automobile for example.......you can buy a buick or you can buy a mercedes..........both are basicaly the same......both provide transportation.......the higher cost of a mercedes is a perceived value....costs more, it's better
LCD Tv's.......26 inch Sony is $300.........26 inch Colby is $187.........many folks prefer the Sony.........name recognition and perceived value.
Groceries.........Store Brand or Name brand............most products are actualy the same exact thing.......only diffrence is the packaging...........many people go for the name brand cause of the perceived value..................Kirkland macaroni and cheese......the same as Kraft....tastes the same......looks the same.......many people buy the higher priced Kraft due to perceived value......it's a name product.......has to be better.
Naturaly what ever product we are talking about......the perceived value has to be there to command it's price
 
This is gotten off track I think, no one here is in fear of the economy and hunckering down, we all just try to make wise choices for our businesses. Each inn is different, where some inns have had a huge slump they simply cannot raise rates or add costly amenities.
People won't complain, One Day, they simply won't book a room, this is bread and butter for most innkeepers. Raising rates has a few criteria, including occupancy. As mentioned most innkeepers had extreme cost hikes and to cover that instead of raising rates by very much they are trying to cut costs where they can, which is never a bad thing.
If we factor in labor and hours/time we are making 50 cents an hour. I think your reasoning is good, but running an inn is not a hugely profiteering business. The bennies are in the tax write offs since we live in our businesses. The bennies are in running our own business how we choose and not working for the man. Being home, renovating an historic home, etc etc.
 
Sorry to come in late - daughter, then grandson here.
When I opened, I called the B & B in the next town who had all PB and made my rates $5 less because I was 3 w/shared. Over the years I edged up by 2.50 to $5 per room. Then I raised the room with queen bed by $10 and left the 2 w/full-size the same for a year. In 2006 we created an ensuite PB for the queen room. That room is now $129 and the 2/full & share are $95, In January, everything is going up by $10. I held the line for 2 years - 2011 gets the rate hike.
I will not lower my rates! Took too long to get there. What I DO do is offer things like the Egg-Special (2 weekday night and choose your discount - could be from 10 to 50%) and military/cop/fireman discounts. I am going to look for some flat screen TVs for the rooms. Daughter talked me out of the king bed (it would take up the room) but agrees that Rosi's can take the queen. We also found the Harris is as it will be - not able to be arranged differently and the queen would swallow the room.
 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
Boomer said:
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental.
I raised rates this year ($10.00-$15.00) per night....not detrimental at all.
.
In all honesty LB, then you must have been too low to begin with - which in the end is a good thing for you. - As Mort said each Inn has it's own pros and cons, ups and downs - If I raised my rates 10-$15 which equates to ~10% increase, I would suspect I'd see a huge amount of complaints, or they would go to a competitor - In reading soem of the comments here, it seems some are from a Service Industry individuals - which may or may not relate to hospitality directly.
 
This is gotten off track I think, no one here is in fear of the economy and hunckering down, we all just try to make wise choices for our businesses. Each inn is different, where some inns have had a huge slump they simply cannot raise rates or add costly amenities.
People won't complain, One Day, they simply won't book a room, this is bread and butter for most innkeepers. Raising rates has a few criteria, including occupancy. As mentioned most innkeepers had extreme cost hikes and to cover that instead of raising rates by very much they are trying to cut costs where they can, which is never a bad thing.
If we factor in labor and hours/time we are making 50 cents an hour. I think your reasoning is good, but running an inn is not a hugely profiteering business. The bennies are in the tax write offs since we live in our businesses. The bennies are in running our own business how we choose and not working for the man. Being home, renovating an historic home, etc etc..
JB, Thank you, it was getting off track and I was on that road myself - I have been browsing this blog for over a year, and I have seen everything discussed that One Day is talking about. We have all tried the things aforementioned in his/her post, not to mention 100's of other things - but it is difficult to explain to someone who 'appears' to be from a service related industry (my opinion) that in hospitality unlike service, we live, eat and sleep with our customers (you know what I mean) -so we deal with them in a very different and unique way.
Sorry to say, but as a business person, if you are not in fear of the economy, then your totally out of touch with reality - I do not know of any business big or small that has not felt the effects of the economy.Fear creates ingenuity, which in turn sparks entrepreneurship - Not sure where the Hunkering down comment fits this model
 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
It's always interesting to read how one thing works in a certain location (or even at an individual property) that won't work not that far away. I tried early check in fees and was heckled on the phone for 'nickel-diming' the guest. Late check-out fees, however, are accepted.
The only 'out-sourcing' we have left right now is the lawn mowing and the snow removal. That's just money I need to spend for sanity's sake. Our housekeeper went back to school yesterday and will be here on 'select' weekends (no sport events she has to be at) so that frees up a bit of money as well.
But, we went without housekeeping help one summer and it is brutal. Which makes that money well spent!
.
Yes it is - we started this in May I think. We had too many early check-in attempts - and decided to lock our door midday in order frankly to get work done - we do most housekeeping - 9 rooms and our own landscaping - If we need to stop our projects to open early, then a fee is substantiated. In all honesty, not a single complaint as of this writing.
CHECK-IN TIME : 3:00pm - 10:00pm -

Early Check-In Package: is available upon request at time of booking your reservation. This option will allow you to check-in as early as 1:00pm and will be billed at a rate of $25.

To ensure our registered guests comfort, the B&B always keeps the front door locked until 3:00pm standard check-in time.
CHECK-OUT TIME : 11:00AM

Late Check-Out Package: is available if your room is not booked on the date of your departure. This option is available from 11:00am - 2:00pm only and will be billed at a rate of $45.

Due to last minute bookings, this option can only be approved the evening before your departure - You will be refunded total amount of this package if room is booked - please inquire at the front desk.

 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
It's always interesting to read how one thing works in a certain location (or even at an individual property) that won't work not that far away. I tried early check in fees and was heckled on the phone for 'nickel-diming' the guest. Late check-out fees, however, are accepted.
The only 'out-sourcing' we have left right now is the lawn mowing and the snow removal. That's just money I need to spend for sanity's sake. Our housekeeper went back to school yesterday and will be here on 'select' weekends (no sport events she has to be at) so that frees up a bit of money as well.
But, we went without housekeeping help one summer and it is brutal. Which makes that money well spent!
.
Yes it is - we started this in May I think. We had too many early check-in attempts - and decided to lock our door midday in order frankly to get work done - we do most housekeeping - 9 rooms and our own landscaping - If we need to stop our projects to open early, then a fee is substantiated. In all honesty, not a single complaint as of this writing.
CHECK-IN TIME : 3:00pm - 10:00pm -

Early Check-In Package: is available upon request at time of booking your reservation. This option will allow you to check-in as early as 1:00pm and will be billed at a rate of $25.

To ensure our registered guests comfort, the B&B always keeps the front door locked until 3:00pm standard check-in time.
CHECK-OUT TIME : 11:00AM

Late Check-Out Package: is available if your room is not booked on the date of your departure. This option is available from 11:00am - 2:00pm only and will be billed at a rate of $45.

Due to last minute bookings, this option can only be approved the evening before your departure - You will be refunded total amount of this package if room is booked - please inquire at the front desk.

.
I have to ask...do guests actually READ this on your website and ask for it or do you have to advise them of it when they ask for an early check-in?
Second question...do you have walk-ins where you are? How do you handle that if you don't answer the door before 3 PM?
Third question...how do you handle the guests who think this doesn't apply to them and ring the bell anyway? (And you are actually expecting an early arrival so you answer.) I'm just looking for a nice way to say, 'Go away until 3 PM.'
With a housekeeper it's not necessary to shoo guests away, but it is when we don't have one.
 
Sorry to come in late - daughter, then grandson here.
When I opened, I called the B & B in the next town who had all PB and made my rates $5 less because I was 3 w/shared. Over the years I edged up by 2.50 to $5 per room. Then I raised the room with queen bed by $10 and left the 2 w/full-size the same for a year. In 2006 we created an ensuite PB for the queen room. That room is now $129 and the 2/full & share are $95, In January, everything is going up by $10. I held the line for 2 years - 2011 gets the rate hike.
I will not lower my rates! Took too long to get there. What I DO do is offer things like the Egg-Special (2 weekday night and choose your discount - could be from 10 to 50%) and military/cop/fireman discounts. I am going to look for some flat screen TVs for the rooms. Daughter talked me out of the king bed (it would take up the room) but agrees that Rosi's can take the queen. We also found the Harris is as it will be - not able to be arranged differently and the queen would swallow the room..
Yeah.. a bit off track... I was answering PT's original question of how we go about setting rates.
We had a good size adjustment up the last time, so it may be awhile, but if we ever saturate our current rate with value, we will start looking at raising our rates again. I agree that it is an intuitive thing that we feel as much as it the numbers. I imagine most innkeepers do this in some way or another. GH is saturating her value so that she can raise the rates $10. We kept adding value (when the economy tanked) until our value became obvious to potential bookers and they began choosing us over less expensive options. After our rate increase, we saw a few 4's in the value column- we began adding value, and then we started seeing five's again.
 
You're absolutely right Boomer.........I am currently service industry.........intending to jump ship to another service business......call it hosipitality......
OK....hunkering down was taken out of context.........perhaps another phrase would have been better.
Point was..........in a down economy there is trepidation to move forward......for me moving forward is increasing revenue........this to often relates to stagnant pricing..........if anyone can hold prices for good and service for several years, contintue to walk away with profit.........Great!!........I'd be the first to ask how that was accomplished.
Truthfully.............no...................no, I don't fear the economy. I don't fear recessions or near depressions...........been through to many.........I embrace the challenge.........figure out ways to repackage services to spark interest....find new revenue streams with added services. And yes, shop insurance, suppliers. Find inefficencies...what ever possible to reduce overhead and operating costs.....all the while producing a product that meets or exceeds expectations..........will raise pricing where and when necessary............the business is the beast that has to be fed.........only way to feed the beast is cash flow and profit.
I've gotten to wraped up in this thread for being an aspiring................Sorry Swirt......
My apologies to all
 
Fear essentially sparks entrepreneurship? huh? That is strange. Are you saying Benjamin Franklin did what he did out of fear? I feel that fear is an opposing force to entrepreneurship.
Boomer wrote "Fear creates ingenuity, which in turn sparks entrepreneurship"
and "Sorry to say, but as a business person, if you are not in fear of the economy, then your totally out of touch with reality - I do not know of any business big or small that has not felt the effects of the economy"
Again I will disagree with you, I am not in fear of the economy and I am not totally out of touch with reality, but thanks for saying I am. Of course it is effecting everyone...You must watch...oh never mind I might get political and talk about the current fear mongering.
 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
It's always interesting to read how one thing works in a certain location (or even at an individual property) that won't work not that far away. I tried early check in fees and was heckled on the phone for 'nickel-diming' the guest. Late check-out fees, however, are accepted.
The only 'out-sourcing' we have left right now is the lawn mowing and the snow removal. That's just money I need to spend for sanity's sake. Our housekeeper went back to school yesterday and will be here on 'select' weekends (no sport events she has to be at) so that frees up a bit of money as well.
But, we went without housekeeping help one summer and it is brutal. Which makes that money well spent!
.
Yes it is - we started this in May I think. We had too many early check-in attempts - and decided to lock our door midday in order frankly to get work done - we do most housekeeping - 9 rooms and our own landscaping - If we need to stop our projects to open early, then a fee is substantiated. In all honesty, not a single complaint as of this writing.
CHECK-IN TIME : 3:00pm - 10:00pm -

Early Check-In Package: is available upon request at time of booking your reservation. This option will allow you to check-in as early as 1:00pm and will be billed at a rate of $25.

To ensure our registered guests comfort, the B&B always keeps the front door locked until 3:00pm standard check-in time.
CHECK-OUT TIME : 11:00AM

Late Check-Out Package: is available if your room is not booked on the date of your departure. This option is available from 11:00am - 2:00pm only and will be billed at a rate of $45.

Due to last minute bookings, this option can only be approved the evening before your departure - You will be refunded total amount of this package if room is booked - please inquire at the front desk.

.
I have to ask...do guests actually READ this on your website and ask for it or do you have to advise them of it when they ask for an early check-in?
Second question...do you have walk-ins where you are? How do you handle that if you don't answer the door before 3 PM?
Third question...how do you handle the guests who think this doesn't apply to them and ring the bell anyway? (And you are actually expecting an early arrival so you answer.) I'm just looking for a nice way to say, 'Go away until 3 PM.'
With a housekeeper it's not necessary to shoo guests away, but it is when we don't have one.
.
1 - Like everyone else on here have talked about, some read, and some do not
2 - We are truly a destination Inn, nowhere near main roads - I think in 7 yrs we have had 3 walk-ins - we actually do not accept walk-ins as a general rule, and even say so on our entrance - of course it is worded nicely.
3 - We Leave a list on our door for VIP-early check-in guests - to ring - We very clearly tell everyone else that there rooms will not be ready until 3pm - and if they ask why they can't, we tell them that is why we have a vip early check-in package - their rooms are priority in cleaning.
Mort, in all honesty, we have not had an issue as of yet. If we have no early check-ins, we make sure our door is locked - since we do not take walk-ins as a rule, it works for us
 
Fear essentially sparks entrepreneurship? huh? That is strange. Are you saying Benjamin Franklin did what he did out of fear? I feel that fear is an opposing force to entrepreneurship.
Boomer wrote "Fear creates ingenuity, which in turn sparks entrepreneurship"
and "Sorry to say, but as a business person, if you are not in fear of the economy, then your totally out of touch with reality - I do not know of any business big or small that has not felt the effects of the economy"
Again I will disagree with you, I am not in fear of the economy and I am not totally out of touch with reality, but thanks for saying I am. Of course it is effecting everyone...You must watch...oh never mind I might get political and talk about the current fear mongering..
Ah, a play on words - No point in going on about this, you know exactly what I am talking about - just makes good blogging for some I guess - I'll move on
But thanks for you 2 cents
 
Fear essentially sparks entrepreneurship? huh? That is strange. Are you saying Benjamin Franklin did what he did out of fear? I feel that fear is an opposing force to entrepreneurship.
Boomer wrote "Fear creates ingenuity, which in turn sparks entrepreneurship"
and "Sorry to say, but as a business person, if you are not in fear of the economy, then your totally out of touch with reality - I do not know of any business big or small that has not felt the effects of the economy"
Again I will disagree with you, I am not in fear of the economy and I am not totally out of touch with reality, but thanks for saying I am. Of course it is effecting everyone...You must watch...oh never mind I might get political and talk about the current fear mongering..
Ah, a play on words - No point in going on about this, you know exactly what I am talking about - just makes good blogging for some I guess - I'll move on
But thanks for you 2 cents
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Boomer, I do not fear the economy. I will hang in regardless. As long as I can break even with the B & B and it covers any taxes I would have owed, I am happy.
When I came back to WV I expected to have no problem finding a job because I had done such a variety of jobs - WRONG! All I heard was, "you are over-qualified" so I started my own business - in Podunk. We have had flucuations in the economy in the 14 years since I opened - PLUS my rail-trail had a washout that took FEMA 2 seasons to approve the fix and get 'r done! There are a lot of variables over and above the economy. I know of one B & B that had their occupancy & revenue go to heck in a handbasket due to road work on the direct and best route to them. When things dip is when I market even more.
In our business, people go to funerals, reunions, visit family, travel on business, get like one of my repeats who called me and said (and I quote!) I have to get the hell out of town for a weekend! They need a place to stay and we are there to provide it. I am fortunate in that I can survive if I can get 15 room nights a month - it will cover my honking loan payments. But I started with no mortgage which made start-up a LOT easier.
 
the impression I get from my trade association and speaking with hotel people as well is people are mostly willing to pay the same but they are looking for added value (which I think B&B's do very well anyway as we are small and nimble businesses) for example where as before with a hotel bill they wouldn't really check it they would just pay now they are looking at all the items on it and checking. They are looking for optional extras which they may or may not use ie a pool or flat screen TV's. It is all about getting your money's worth which is not a bad thing.
 
Sorry to come in late - daughter, then grandson here.
When I opened, I called the B & B in the next town who had all PB and made my rates $5 less because I was 3 w/shared. Over the years I edged up by 2.50 to $5 per room. Then I raised the room with queen bed by $10 and left the 2 w/full-size the same for a year. In 2006 we created an ensuite PB for the queen room. That room is now $129 and the 2/full & share are $95, In January, everything is going up by $10. I held the line for 2 years - 2011 gets the rate hike.
I will not lower my rates! Took too long to get there. What I DO do is offer things like the Egg-Special (2 weekday night and choose your discount - could be from 10 to 50%) and military/cop/fireman discounts. I am going to look for some flat screen TVs for the rooms. Daughter talked me out of the king bed (it would take up the room) but agrees that Rosi's can take the queen. We also found the Harris is as it will be - not able to be arranged differently and the queen would swallow the room..
Yeah.. a bit off track... I was answering PT's original question of how we go about setting rates.
We had a good size adjustment up the last time, so it may be awhile, but if we ever saturate our current rate with value, we will start looking at raising our rates again. I agree that it is an intuitive thing that we feel as much as it the numbers. I imagine most innkeepers do this in some way or another. GH is saturating her value so that she can raise the rates $10. We kept adding value (when the economy tanked) until our value became obvious to potential bookers and they began choosing us over less expensive options. After our rate increase, we saw a few 4's in the value column- we began adding value, and then we started seeing five's again.
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knkbnb said:
but if we ever saturate our current rate with value, we will start looking at raising our rates again.
That is one of the best ways I've ever heard it put.
Knkbnb, I'm glad you are back...I've missed your point of view and input...
 
Sorry to come in late - daughter, then grandson here.
When I opened, I called the B & B in the next town who had all PB and made my rates $5 less because I was 3 w/shared. Over the years I edged up by 2.50 to $5 per room. Then I raised the room with queen bed by $10 and left the 2 w/full-size the same for a year. In 2006 we created an ensuite PB for the queen room. That room is now $129 and the 2/full & share are $95, In January, everything is going up by $10. I held the line for 2 years - 2011 gets the rate hike.
I will not lower my rates! Took too long to get there. What I DO do is offer things like the Egg-Special (2 weekday night and choose your discount - could be from 10 to 50%) and military/cop/fireman discounts. I am going to look for some flat screen TVs for the rooms. Daughter talked me out of the king bed (it would take up the room) but agrees that Rosi's can take the queen. We also found the Harris is as it will be - not able to be arranged differently and the queen would swallow the room..
Yeah.. a bit off track... I was answering PT's original question of how we go about setting rates.
We had a good size adjustment up the last time, so it may be awhile, but if we ever saturate our current rate with value, we will start looking at raising our rates again. I agree that it is an intuitive thing that we feel as much as it the numbers. I imagine most innkeepers do this in some way or another. GH is saturating her value so that she can raise the rates $10. We kept adding value (when the economy tanked) until our value became obvious to potential bookers and they began choosing us over less expensive options. After our rate increase, we saw a few 4's in the value column- we began adding value, and then we started seeing five's again.
.
knkbnb said:
but if we ever saturate our current rate with value, we will start looking at raising our rates again.
That is one of the best ways I've ever heard it put.
Knkbnb, I'm glad you are back...I've missed your point of view and input...
.
Emily Spiers said:
Knkbnb, I'm glad you are back...I've missed your point of view and input...
Me too!
 
Raising rates during this economic disaster would be truly detrimental. We keep fixing our bottom line by cutting back on unnecessary items. The first thing we changed was cutting nearly 50% of our costs by changing our suppliers – we had a linen company that kept adding surcharges for gas, surcharges for just about everything, while maintaining his base price – he was a small regional linen company – we finally gave in to something we swore we would not do and went to a national linen company. We literally saved over 50% - now many local B&B’s have done the same thing – Linen is just a sample of our changes, too many to list here.
You mention revenue increasing solutions, all of which are great, and we do them, but since we have cut back on salaries, we now do most of the housekeeping ourselves – since this cuts into our mid-day time, we now charge $25 for early check-in requests(1 pm) and $45 for late check-out requests(2pm). We are surprised by how many opt-in for this feature – and wish we had implemented this sooner –sort of a pseudo rate increase, but one the guest voluntarily agrees too
You mentioned that guests know that prices have gone up on just about everything, of course they do, but they have also changed the buying habits in order to offset they expenses. We are what I term a “left over business” whatever is left over after everything is paid – this does not mean we are any less of an important part of their life, we are, they all need time away – but if we keep raising our prices, they will do as many are doing now, buying store brands Vs. quality brands
My favorite quote -
Business Acumen: “linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results” – a quote from one of my old business professors..
It's always interesting to read how one thing works in a certain location (or even at an individual property) that won't work not that far away. I tried early check in fees and was heckled on the phone for 'nickel-diming' the guest. Late check-out fees, however, are accepted.
The only 'out-sourcing' we have left right now is the lawn mowing and the snow removal. That's just money I need to spend for sanity's sake. Our housekeeper went back to school yesterday and will be here on 'select' weekends (no sport events she has to be at) so that frees up a bit of money as well.
But, we went without housekeeping help one summer and it is brutal. Which makes that money well spent!
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Yes it is - we started this in May I think. We had too many early check-in attempts - and decided to lock our door midday in order frankly to get work done - we do most housekeeping - 9 rooms and our own landscaping - If we need to stop our projects to open early, then a fee is substantiated. In all honesty, not a single complaint as of this writing.
CHECK-IN TIME : 3:00pm - 10:00pm -

Early Check-In Package: is available upon request at time of booking your reservation. This option will allow you to check-in as early as 1:00pm and will be billed at a rate of $25.

To ensure our registered guests comfort, the B&B always keeps the front door locked until 3:00pm standard check-in time.
CHECK-OUT TIME : 11:00AM

Late Check-Out Package: is available if your room is not booked on the date of your departure. This option is available from 11:00am - 2:00pm only and will be billed at a rate of $45.

Due to last minute bookings, this option can only be approved the evening before your departure - You will be refunded total amount of this package if room is booked - please inquire at the front desk.

.
I have to ask...do guests actually READ this on your website and ask for it or do you have to advise them of it when they ask for an early check-in?
Second question...do you have walk-ins where you are? How do you handle that if you don't answer the door before 3 PM?
Third question...how do you handle the guests who think this doesn't apply to them and ring the bell anyway? (And you are actually expecting an early arrival so you answer.) I'm just looking for a nice way to say, 'Go away until 3 PM.'
With a housekeeper it's not necessary to shoo guests away, but it is when we don't have one.
.
1 - Like everyone else on here have talked about, some read, and some do not
2 - We are truly a destination Inn, nowhere near main roads - I think in 7 yrs we have had 3 walk-ins - we actually do not accept walk-ins as a general rule, and even say so on our entrance - of course it is worded nicely.
3 - We Leave a list on our door for VIP-early check-in guests - to ring - We very clearly tell everyone else that there rooms will not be ready until 3pm - and if they ask why they can't, we tell them that is why we have a vip early check-in package - their rooms are priority in cleaning.
Mort, in all honesty, we have not had an issue as of yet. If we have no early check-ins, we make sure our door is locked - since we do not take walk-ins as a rule, it works for us
.
Boomer said:
Mort, in all honesty, we have not had an issue as of yet. If we have no early check-ins, we make sure our door is locked - since we do not take walk-ins as a rule, it works for us
Thanks. I'm right on the main drag so walk-ins are big biz. It's why I have to answer the door. It's also why, in my own head, I'd have a tough time charging a pre-booked guest for an early arrival if I let a 'complete stranger' in early 'for free'.
If we are full I have no problem hanging out the 'Back at 3' sign so we can get on with the cleaning & lunch-eating! That sign has never once stopped anyone from ringing the bell, tho. But it allows me to ignore it because I've stated I'm not here.
 

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