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The check-in process

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Morticia

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I know we all have 'our' way of doing check-ins that we feel work for us most of the time. I'm here to say that one of the scariest check-in 'processes' is when the innkeeper sits down and settles in and invites you to do the same. OTOH, I do know as the innkeeper, I want to be sure I've given enough info to get the guest started so they're not ringing every 2 minutes with more questions.
Like JBJ is always saying, after 8 hours on the road the last thing you want is to have to wait to get to your room and unwind. Luckily, knowing that the check-in process is always an unknown, we stopped an hour in advance and used the rest rooms on the highway!
I think if there is one place a B&B could improve over a hotel it's getting the guest to the room as quickly and painlessly as possible.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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"Express check in" for those guests who need to unzip...you know. Or let them know where the facility is located before the check in schpeal-schpeak.
 

Samster

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A couple of folks have been taken aback when I ask, "Have you been traveling a long time to get to us? If so, there's a powder room just here." Then there are the ones that have said, "Thank goodness!" tee hee....
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd....
 

Morticia

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A couple of folks have been taken aback when I ask, "Have you been traveling a long time to get to us? If so, there's a powder room just here." Then there are the ones that have said, "Thank goodness!" tee hee....
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd.....
Samster said:
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd....
I think this is how she feels she welcomes you. I felt trapped. Even tho we know the area she had to get out all the maps and show us different things to do. I give out a map, but just show guests where we are. If they ASK for more info, then I proceed.
Hey, at least she didn't follow us into our room, close the door and give us a half hour speech about the history of the building! (That happened last year.)
 

Samster

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A couple of folks have been taken aback when I ask, "Have you been traveling a long time to get to us? If so, there's a powder room just here." Then there are the ones that have said, "Thank goodness!" tee hee....
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd.....
Samster said:
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd....
I think this is how she feels she welcomes you. I felt trapped. Even tho we know the area she had to get out all the maps and show us different things to do. I give out a map, but just show guests where we are. If they ASK for more info, then I proceed.
Hey, at least she didn't follow us into our room, close the door and give us a half hour speech about the history of the building! (That happened last year.)
.
I guess most of our folks are traveling quite a way to get to us and like JBJ says, they just want to visit the restroom and get settled in. Then, when they're feeling "human" again, they might want to chat. We're sure to let them know where to find us.
I can't imagine doing that with guests...I'd never get everything done. I am running as it is!!
 

NW BB

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I had one innkeeper sit us down, then sat down with a clipboard. It was like an interview! "What kind of music do you like?", etc. They have one log cabin as the B&B room, and their much bigger log cabin is on the same property and you go to breakfast in their dining room. When we went for breakfast, she was playing the type of music we told her we liked, and our breakfast consisted of foods we had told her about in the "interview".
All of this could be chalked up to personal service, but it went WAY overboard! It was kind of creepy.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I had one innkeeper sit us down, then sat down with a clipboard. It was like an interview! "What kind of music do you like?", etc. They have one log cabin as the B&B room, and their much bigger log cabin is on the same property and you go to breakfast in their dining room. When we went for breakfast, she was playing the type of music we told her we liked, and our breakfast consisted of foods we had told her about in the "interview".
All of this could be chalked up to personal service, but it went WAY overboard! It was kind of creepy..
NW BB said:
I had one innkeeper sit us down, then sat down with a clipboard. It was like an interview! "What kind of music do you like?", etc. They have one log cabin as the B&B room, and their much bigger log cabin is on the same property and you go to breakfast in their dining room. When we went for breakfast, she was playing the type of music we told her we liked, and our breakfast consisted of foods we had told her about in the "interview".
All of this could be chalked up to personal service, but it went WAY overboard! It was kind of creepy.
A clipboard? sheesh that would creep me out. That borders on psycho does it not? I would tell her to get creative! Surprise us!
 

Copperhead

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A couple of folks have been taken aback when I ask, "Have you been traveling a long time to get to us? If so, there's a powder room just here." Then there are the ones that have said, "Thank goodness!" tee hee....
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd.....
Samster said:
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd....
I think this is how she feels she welcomes you. I felt trapped. Even tho we know the area she had to get out all the maps and show us different things to do. I give out a map, but just show guests where we are. If they ASK for more info, then I proceed.
Hey, at least she didn't follow us into our room, close the door and give us a half hour speech about the history of the building! (That happened last year.)
.
Bree said:
Samster said:
Did this innkeeper actually sit you down for a chat & cuppa tea or something? That would be odd....
I think this is how she feels she welcomes you. I felt trapped. Even tho we know the area she had to get out all the maps and show us different things to do. I give out a map, but just show guests where we are. If they ASK for more info, then I proceed. Hey, at least she didn't follow us into our room, close the door and give us a half hour speech about the history of the building! (That happened last year.)
We had this happen a couple of months ago. We arrived at the same time as one other and were taken in the parlor and asked to take a seat. The innkeeper started going through the rules of the house - on and on - a good 20 or so minutes. Then took the other arrival to their room, came back for us. Gee this could be very time consuming if they were full as they have if I recall 15 rooms!
I do try to get through my 'talk' as they are signing in and as we walk to their room but I do know I could do things faster at times. I usually ask if they need or want maps of the area & such during our walk to the room. Then we take care of business (I take payment on arrival) provide maps and answer questions when they head back down to retrieve there luggage. It does vary but this is the basic. I do have the most important info (except how to use the door code) on a small sign in the room. Although I hate signs, it has reduced the number of times I am asked again about breakfast...then there are those who do not listen or read.

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread.
 

muirford

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I try now to remember to point out the information booklet on the dresser, and say if they've forget anything from the tour it's probably in there, along with a map of the town and restaurant listing. It doesn't always work - just this morning had a second-night couple ask when breakfast was.
 

Morticia

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave -
DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread.
No, I don't give the guests 'the rules' on check-in. If I smell cigarette smoke I will say, 'We have an ash tray on the front porch, or feel free to smoke on the patio or on the grounds.' I don't tell them there is no smoking in the house. The only guests who get 'rules' are the ones who bring dogs. They need to know where my yard ends and the neighbor's begins, where to dispose of the poop bags (and that they are required by town statute to use them), not to leave the dog alone, etc.
We now have the sign posted on the counter that they must not go in the kitchen, but I don't 'tell' them that.
 

happykeeper

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
That's how we do it! We invite them to bring bags up if they like since we check our shoes at the door. Usually they do. Then its a quick mention of the outside stuff, into the foyer and quick mention of the parlor and the library, pointing out the dining room as we ascend- and boom- they are in their room within 2 minutes. A quick run down on the features of the room- and boom- they're able to settle in. Those that have burning questions will either jump right in or follow us out of their room chatting. Most come down a bit latter with questions. NO paperwork, swiping of the card, or registration. That has all been handled before arrival. We intentionally take very few walk-ins, so this works great for us. Our guests start off feeling like trusted friends.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
That's how we do it! We invite them to bring bags up if they like since we check our shoes at the door. Usually they do. Then its a quick mention of the outside stuff, into the foyer and quick mention of the parlor and the library, pointing out the dining room as we ascend- and boom- they are in their room within 2 minutes. A quick run down on the features of the room- and boom- they're able to settle in. Those that have burning questions will either jump right in or follow us out of their room chatting. Most come down a bit latter with questions. NO paperwork, swiping of the card, or registration. That has all been handled before arrival. We intentionally take very few walk-ins, so this works great for us. Our guests start off feeling like trusted friends.
.
knkbnb said:
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
That's how we do it! We invite them to bring bags up if they like since we check our shoes at the door. Usually they do. Then its a quick mention of the outside stuff, into the foyer and quick mention of the parlor and the library, pointing out the dining room as we ascend- and boom- they are in their room within 2 minutes. A quick run down on the features of the room- and boom- they're able to settle in. Those that have burning questions will either jump right in or follow us out of their room chatting. Most come down a bit latter with questions. NO paperwork, swiping of the card, or registration. That has all been handled before arrival. We intentionally take very few walk-ins, so this works great for us. Our guests start off feeling like trusted friends.
You make a very good point. That point being, that when they arrive after mucho travel they can get right into the relaxation mode vs "let's take care fo business first" - I know so many do it that way, but I want them to feel at home and relaxed, dive into a cool drink or hot drink in winter.
I guess we all do what we prefer as guests.
My better half thought it incredible when we stayed with an inn-mate and he pushed us right in the door and straight to the fridge for a cold drink or cocoa/coffee/tea or chilled water or whatever we wanted BEFORE proceeding. He thought that was great.
Sometimes we have to experience what others talk about here to 'get it' he finally got it that day and now does the same. Four paces into the fifty cent tour is the refreshments stop. How many guests immediately glug glug glug or want something to swill before moving on? MANY.
But most of ours have traveled a min of 3 hours, most 5+. We had a lady from Long Island drove straight here. We have people from FLA no stops - except fuel and a snack 12-14+ hours.
 

mooseberry

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
I don't actually give them the "RULES", but more give them a quick run down of where everything is located, what time breakfast is served, etc..then I tell them that there is more info located in their room inside a 3 ring binder and to please come see me if they have any more questions. It works for me and I also go over it with them while they check in .
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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My guests just checked in from WillowPond's state. I greeted them, took them on the tour, showed them all the goodies, and all I got back was 'ok' and then 'ok' and then 'ok' - I just got a new quilt that looks smashing in their room and I guess I expected them to say "lovely" they said 'ok' and I told them to give me a holler or stomp their feet or jump up and down if they need anything. I was beginning to think if something was wrong?
They came down 15 minutes later and were friendly and nice. hm. It is that travel thing. I tell ya! I am not funny at check in, but I am hilarious at breakfast! Gotta know your audience.
 

scrambled_eggs

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
That's how we do it! We invite them to bring bags up if they like since we check our shoes at the door. Usually they do. Then its a quick mention of the outside stuff, into the foyer and quick mention of the parlor and the library, pointing out the dining room as we ascend- and boom- they are in their room within 2 minutes. A quick run down on the features of the room- and boom- they're able to settle in. Those that have burning questions will either jump right in or follow us out of their room chatting. Most come down a bit latter with questions. NO paperwork, swiping of the card, or registration. That has all been handled before arrival. We intentionally take very few walk-ins, so this works great for us. Our guests start off feeling like trusted friends.
.
knkbnb said:
NO paperwork, swiping of the card, or registration. That has all been handled before arrival. We intentionally take very few walk-ins, so this works great for us. Our guests start off feeling like trusted friends.
If you are not doing any paperwork or swiping of the card is that done through rezovation before they get there? Do they sign anything at all or is that handled through their orginal reservation? I would love not to have to swipe the card and do all that at check in but I have to use the credit card terminal and I don't do the card processing at check out because I might forget or might have to step out in the morning.
 

Samster

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
Do we give guests the rules? NO! There's a room book with info and all the policies. They know that we're non-smoking when we get here but the occasional smoker does stay here and we do remind them about where they can smoke outside. That's about the only rule that we cover.
I do accept payment at check-in. After a year I kinda have the patter down & more often than not, the guest will say, "I need to give you my card, don't I??" I always offer up the restroom. Cold beverages are either in the guest area right outside their room or in their own guest fridge.
My dh is the one that can get so chatty I have to intervene and say, "These folks are tired from all their travel and probably want to get settled in!"
 

egoodell

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The funny thing is perception and why innkeepers need to be mind readers.
Some guests think the host is rushing them through the check in and get peeved while others want to use the facility, make phone calls, grab a bite to eat blah blah blah. So basically we need to read the guests and their needs.
The number of times one half of the party will yak yak yak and the other half finally steps into their restroom and goes amazes me, embarrasses me as well.
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
I have a question tho - SS mentioned the 20 rules that an innkeeper gave - DO YOU GIVE GUESTS THE RULES?
QUESTION FOR THE FORUM within this thread..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
DH will lead them through the 50 cent tour and to the door of their room and speak of what is in the room and then off he goes back downstairs, he never gets trapped IN a room like I do with questions. So which is better? No way of telling.
That's how we do it! We invite them to bring bags up if they like since we check our shoes at the door. Usually they do. Then its a quick mention of the outside stuff, into the foyer and quick mention of the parlor and the library, pointing out the dining room as we ascend- and boom- they are in their room within 2 minutes. A quick run down on the features of the room- and boom- they're able to settle in. Those that have burning questions will either jump right in or follow us out of their room chatting. Most come down a bit latter with questions. NO paperwork, swiping of the card, or registration. That has all been handled before arrival. We intentionally take very few walk-ins, so this works great for us. Our guests start off feeling like trusted friends.
.
So far what works for us is to greet, walk them through the common area showing where the DVDs are etc. Then to their room, offer to bring in bags, and invite them to settle in and then come and meet us in the library or the deck for a glass of wine and checkin, or to go to a local tasting if it's Friday.
They meet us and we have them fill out a simple registration, offer a glass of wine or take them to the tasting.
We present the bill after breakfast on the last day, and swipe the card. We already have the cc number from webervations from online booking so if there is confusion, or if they think they can just go, we can still bill them.
RIki
 

YellowSocks

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Rules? What rules?
We show them how to use the door, ask what time they want breakfast, swipe their card (unless they seemed bushed/discombobulated/antsy), give 'em the 50 cent tour, show them how to open their room door and where the switches are. If they're interested in the "dinner spiel" I give them a map of town and where to find what.
I do talk fast, and cover a lot as I'm moving...
=)
Kk.
 

Country Girl

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I charge the credit cards before my guests arrive so when they get to their room their receipt is in an envelope on their bureau. When they arrive I give a quick tour of the main rooms, show them where the snacks and beverages are and take them to their room. On their bureau I keep a list of restaurants, a map, and listing of events happening in our area for that day or weekend. Usually I will wait downstairs in the office or kitchen for a few minutes to see if they have any questions.
I always disliked the handling of the payment when the guests were checking out, so this works great for me. I'm much happier knowing that the "business" part of their stay here has already been handled. If they have to leave really early or are rushing off somewhere, we say a quick goodbye, give hugs and send them on their way.
 
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