Two night minimums

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InnBloom

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Help! I decided to be very firm about two-night minimums for weekends for the rest of the summer and through the Fall. It only makes sense to me NOT to take the onesies if I can sell the twosies. I LOVE when we feel like we sort of have a night off on Saturday because we don't have any checkins (or at least only one or two that come in during the last week when the minimum expires).
But this means I've been turning away bride after bride after bride who want to take one of my best rooms for a Saturday in the Fall. Occasionally I can talk them into Friday for herself and then Saturday for her and the groom, but more often than not, I lose the booking because they only want 1 night.
I guess I'm just looking for everyone else's experience with this. It's hard to turn away the bookings now hoping to recoup later, but I can only hang tough and see if it works. Has it worked for the rest of you? Has anyone just raised the rates of the best rooms and allowed one-nighters?
Any and all advice is welcome.
 

JBloggs

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I said those words last weekend, "Feels like we are on vacation!" Not just the saturday night to ourselves (because of the long weekend we still had sat and sun bookings as the two nights) but holy cow the amount of work flipping all those one nighters is unreal! Exhausting.
If you can get two nights, by all means do it!
 

Generic

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Our experience is a little different. We found that singles on the weekend were actually costing us money. You see, they blocked people who wanted the whole weekend.
We once had someone who wanted the whole weekend, but someone booked a single night. I asked them politely and even offered them a major financial incentive to change to a smaller room, which would have allowed us to book the others for a full weekend, and filled an orphan spot. But they insisted they wanted that room for that night... and now, we no longer take single nights on the weekends, ever! We accept them only when they are orphan nights.
 

JBloggs

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Our experience is a little different. We found that singles on the weekend were actually costing us money. You see, they blocked people who wanted the whole weekend.
We once had someone who wanted the whole weekend, but someone booked a single night. I asked them politely and even offered them a major financial incentive to change to a smaller room, which would have allowed us to book the others for a full weekend, and filled an orphan spot. But they insisted they wanted that room for that night... and now, we no longer take single nights on the weekends, ever! We accept them only when they are orphan nights..
Absolutely, they can prevent a two or three night stay in peak season! For the onesies you turn away you may be turning away money in the bank if you allow them!
Cost to clean and flip a room is doubled for a one night stay vs two night as well. There are many losses if you accept a single night, but many of us take what we can take until Leaf season or other peak weekends.
 

muirford

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InnBloom said:
I guess I'm just looking for everyone else's experience with this. It's hard to turn away the bookings now hoping to recoup later, but I can only hang tough and see if it works. Has it worked for the rest of you? Has anyone just raised the rates of the best rooms and allowed one-nighters?
We have the two-night minimum on Saturdays most of the year; we lifted it this year just during the slow season. If you want to incent an early two-night booking, add a small free add-on (cheese platter, bottle of wine) for a two-night booking now (keeping the minimum requirement). We lift the minimum about a week in advance and that generally works well to fill any last minute vacancies. We don't raise the rates for one-nighters.
 

Don Draper

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Flipping all those one nighters costs us big time, plus onesies prevent twosies and threesies from booking. If you are afraid you won't fill up by turning away these brides, add a big premium to the room rate for the single Saturday night (at least $50).
And today is the first day in over a month we have NO CHECK-INS, WOO HOO!!!! Heading to the "big city" for shopping and lunch.
 

egoodell

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You don't know until you try. Can you check the other B&Bs in your area and see if they require it? Maybe they do and that is why you get so many one night requests.
When you have the minimum also you'll be suprsied how many will go ahead and book both nights even though they say they only want one.
We have two night minimun year round - can't do one nights since we have the wine tours every weekend
Riki
 

Joey Camb

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We have different minimums for different events ie this conference comming is 5 night minimum and so on. If it is dead you can always take booking if you want. Round here though the people who insist on a two night mimimum are struggling and have since starting to take 1 nighters. think its a case of doing what works for you.
 

Alibi Ike

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We only do 2-night mins on very popular weekends where we know from experience we lose out big time by allowing everyone to book a single on Saturday.
However, we get enough guests who book 2 nights Thu-Fri or Sat-Sun that we generally have singles open on those weekends.
Because you're talking fall here I'd give it awhile longer before I caved on single nights. We get callers in March who want me to give them 3 rooms for Sat night only on Columbus Day weekend. No thank you. Even tho that weekend isn't full yet, I do have a couple of Friday nights and one Saturday night option for those guests who only want one night.
Having a 'peak single night rate' may not be a bad idea.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We have a 2 night minimum for both Fri & Sat nights. Folks can book Thurs-Fri, Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun, it doesn't matter to us. If we have an orphan night, we don't raise the rate unless we're in peak season. If you have your 2 nights just Fri & Sat, then you're stuck doing full house turn overs on Friday and then again on Sunday.
It takes courage when you first start doing the minimums! Hang in there and see what works for you. We will drop the minimum on the Wed before the weekend. Most of the time when people call for a 1 night on the weekend, they end up calling back later and making the reservation for 2 nights afterall. One thing that has helped us with the minimum is that we allow late check-ins on Friday nights. Our main draw comes from the metro areas 2 hours away and so people leave after work and don't get here until late. Also, because of the commute, I created a very simple fondue package add-on and encourage folks to purchase it for the late arrival so they don't have to stop and eat before getting here.
 

InnBloom

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We have a 2 night minimum for both Fri & Sat nights. Folks can book Thurs-Fri, Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun, it doesn't matter to us. If we have an orphan night, we don't raise the rate unless we're in peak season. If you have your 2 nights just Fri & Sat, then you're stuck doing full house turn overs on Friday and then again on Sunday.
It takes courage when you first start doing the minimums! Hang in there and see what works for you. We will drop the minimum on the Wed before the weekend. Most of the time when people call for a 1 night on the weekend, they end up calling back later and making the reservation for 2 nights afterall. One thing that has helped us with the minimum is that we allow late check-ins on Friday nights. Our main draw comes from the metro areas 2 hours away and so people leave after work and don't get here until late. Also, because of the commute, I created a very simple fondue package add-on and encourage folks to purchase it for the late arrival so they don't have to stop and eat before getting here..
Yes this is the way we have our two-night's set, too. It doesn't help the "no check-in's on Saturday" wish, but it does make for less room flips on any given day, you're right.
I like the idea of an add-on for late arrivals. Will give that some thought.
 

InnBloom

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We only do 2-night mins on very popular weekends where we know from experience we lose out big time by allowing everyone to book a single on Saturday.
However, we get enough guests who book 2 nights Thu-Fri or Sat-Sun that we generally have singles open on those weekends.
Because you're talking fall here I'd give it awhile longer before I caved on single nights. We get callers in March who want me to give them 3 rooms for Sat night only on Columbus Day weekend. No thank you. Even tho that weekend isn't full yet, I do have a couple of Friday nights and one Saturday night option for those guests who only want one night.
Having a 'peak single night rate' may not be a bad idea..
Yes, I'm learning that I have to give it time to work. Just had to turn away a 3-nighter because I caved too early on the 2 night minimum and someone took the room for Saturday only.
Live and learn (I hope).
 

Joey Camb

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We only do 2-night mins on very popular weekends where we know from experience we lose out big time by allowing everyone to book a single on Saturday.
However, we get enough guests who book 2 nights Thu-Fri or Sat-Sun that we generally have singles open on those weekends.
Because you're talking fall here I'd give it awhile longer before I caved on single nights. We get callers in March who want me to give them 3 rooms for Sat night only on Columbus Day weekend. No thank you. Even tho that weekend isn't full yet, I do have a couple of Friday nights and one Saturday night option for those guests who only want one night.
Having a 'peak single night rate' may not be a bad idea..
Yes, I'm learning that I have to give it time to work. Just had to turn away a 3-nighter because I caved too early on the 2 night minimum and someone took the room for Saturday only.
Live and learn (I hope).
.
Sometimes it works out had a one nighter in for tomorro she rang to cancell this morning (ie inside cancellation) said as a good will gesture would only charge 50% if she cancelled with the online booking agency ie so I wouldn't get stiffed for commission. So she did then rang me back to let me know it was done. Right after I hung up chap rang do you have Friday Saturday? so got a two night booking plus no commission! sent her a text to let her know as she was a nice lady with a proper excuse and was pleased Id resold so fast! Its all swings and roundabouts.
 
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