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Joey Camb

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This may be something people are already doing but is a spin off from the reading material thread. But was thinking about something along the lines of working with other local businesses ie nail place, shops, coffee shops etc to say get a discount with a coupon from us. It could be in guest bedrooms like a coupon booklet or an added extra in a gift package or both. Was wondering if it would be a hassel to set up or if other people have anything similar going? or what people thought generally? I am working on the premise that we would only work with businesses that are worth dealing with. One restaurant does a discount if you produce a B&B business card so they can see where the referals come from.
Hopefully the local businesses would recomend you in return and it would be a nice touch for guests.
 

Copperhead

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A very interesting consept and one that may work well for you. I have tried several approaches like this but have found that in most cases, the management changes or something and they no longer would honor the discount or what ever. If you do this make sure it is set up in a way that is easily managed - able to remove outdated ones quickly as this could become a cumbersome task.
I do have one tour company that I have had sucess with since I opened - they get it! The only difference is that instead of a coupon, I call and make their reservation, securing the discount for them. We did have to make a couple of tweeks in our agreement as they did have a few people (locals?) ask for my discount that were NOT our guests. Now they do not allow any discount unless DH or I call them to arrange the tour. Yes, it is a little more work for me, but provides our guest the feeling of being treated special.
 

IronGate

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A very interesting consept and one that may work well for you. I have tried several approaches like this but have found that in most cases, the management changes or something and they no longer would honor the discount or what ever. If you do this make sure it is set up in a way that is easily managed - able to remove outdated ones quickly as this could become a cumbersome task.
I do have one tour company that I have had sucess with since I opened - they get it! The only difference is that instead of a coupon, I call and make their reservation, securing the discount for them. We did have to make a couple of tweeks in our agreement as they did have a few people (locals?) ask for my discount that were NOT our guests. Now they do not allow any discount unless DH or I call them to arrange the tour. Yes, it is a little more work for me, but provides our guest the feeling of being treated special..
copperhead said:
. . . I do have one tour company that I have had sucess with since I opened - they get it! The only difference is that instead of a coupon, I call and make their reservation, securing the discount for them. We did have to make a couple of tweeks in our agreement as they did have a few people (locals?) ask for my discount that were NOT our guests. Now they do not allow any discount unless DH or I call them to arrange the tour. Yes, it is a little more work for me, but provides our guest the feeling of being treated special.
Is there any kind of reciprocity, so that clients who come first to the tour company get some kind of discount from you? Do you reimburse the tour company for any of the discount provided to your guests?
 

Morticia

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A very interesting consept and one that may work well for you. I have tried several approaches like this but have found that in most cases, the management changes or something and they no longer would honor the discount or what ever. If you do this make sure it is set up in a way that is easily managed - able to remove outdated ones quickly as this could become a cumbersome task.
I do have one tour company that I have had sucess with since I opened - they get it! The only difference is that instead of a coupon, I call and make their reservation, securing the discount for them. We did have to make a couple of tweeks in our agreement as they did have a few people (locals?) ask for my discount that were NOT our guests. Now they do not allow any discount unless DH or I call them to arrange the tour. Yes, it is a little more work for me, but provides our guest the feeling of being treated special..
We've found a few (not local) places that will work with us like that. Around here a couple of restaurants will work with us and there is a town-wide coupon sheet that guests can download before they arrive. I keep some on hand as well.
For the destinations that work with us we make the reservations and give the guest their admission passes and then we get billed when the passes are used. If the guests decide not to go, we don't get billed.
 

IronGate

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Like Copperhead, I'd worry about what would happen if the other company didn't honor the coupon or discount. Unfortunately, it could possibly reflect badly on you. I've wondered about having a supply of coupon books (Entertainment or Gold-C books here in the States). As guests were preparing their itineraries, you could provide a coupon as a surprise benefit. If anything happened with the other company, you'd be off the hook since you didn't advertise or do anything other than try to make your guest happy with an unexpected benefit of staying with you. If you run out of coupons for a company, you run out and need not mention the coupons at all.
Additionally, since those books are sold as fund-raisers for schools and the like, you are getting some "good citizen" points by buying several.
 

Morticia

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Like Copperhead, I'd worry about what would happen if the other company didn't honor the coupon or discount. Unfortunately, it could possibly reflect badly on you. I've wondered about having a supply of coupon books (Entertainment or Gold-C books here in the States). As guests were preparing their itineraries, you could provide a coupon as a surprise benefit. If anything happened with the other company, you'd be off the hook since you didn't advertise or do anything other than try to make your guest happy with an unexpected benefit of staying with you. If you run out of coupons for a company, you run out and need not mention the coupons at all.
Additionally, since those books are sold as fund-raisers for schools and the like, you are getting some "good citizen" points by buying several..
I did one last year that I sweated because it was a VERY casual arrangement. I made the rez for the guests and printed out their 'admission' tix and prayed there wouldn't be some new person who didn't know about the arrangement. I called again this year, explained it all to the person who answered the phone and she said, 'Oh, yeah, the Captain's really pretty relaxed, don't worry about it.' (So relaxed he never billed me last year!)
 

JBloggs

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL
 

Innkeeper To Go

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL.
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
I agree completely. There's a place for negotiating discounts with community partners but, to me, it's when we're building a package or because we are constantly referring folks to them. And yes, that discount would be small but it really should go to the inn.
Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places.
That said, out here in wine country, I know many places who rely on coupons from wineries for free tastings and the like for their guests. There's an exception to everything.
 

Joey Camb

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I'm just churning ideas but for example a friend of mine has a small cafe near by us and I was thinking of asking her for say to do 5% off for our customers if they show one of our coupons (they do fab home baked cakes fresh every day and other beautiful things) and I am friends with a jewlery shop same thing and various hairdressers and beauty therapy places as a place to start. As regards attractions I know a chap who does outdoor activities and stuff hadn't thought of him but could be a welcome addition as an activity. Was thinking of working with him to put together a package ie stay with me and do rope climing and team building during the day etc. I agree with copperhead and would try to work with places that are owner operated so less likely to have problems with recognising coupons and new staff etc.
 

IronGate

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL.
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
I agree completely. There's a place for negotiating discounts with community partners but, to me, it's when we're building a package or because we are constantly referring folks to them. And yes, that discount would be small but it really should go to the inn.
Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places.
That said, out here in wine country, I know many places who rely on coupons from wineries for free tastings and the like for their guests. There's an exception to everything.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
. . . Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places. . .
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL.
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
I agree completely. There's a place for negotiating discounts with community partners but, to me, it's when we're building a package or because we are constantly referring folks to them. And yes, that discount would be small but it really should go to the inn.
Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places.
That said, out here in wine country, I know many places who rely on coupons from wineries for free tastings and the like for their guests. There's an exception to everything.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
. . . Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places. . .
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
.
IronGate said:
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
I think I'd rather not give coupons to what you'd call the Chez La-di-da myself. I'd rather call and make reservations for the guest. If I want to treat them, I'll have the waiter treat them to a glass of wine or dessert and let them know it's from the inn.
Personally that's the way I'd prefer to show guests that they are appreciated. And something that will be remembered by the guest.
I don't want to encourage guests to nickle and dime everyone in town.
But that's just me.
 

Proud Texan

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We've been doing something like this from the get go.
I negotiated with each of the businesses, did the coupons myself (credit card size) then I print them off my computer on pre-scored/perforated business card stock I get from the local office supply.
Our guests like them because most are to the better (recommended) eateries in town and one buys a free wine tasting at the local vineyard. The retailers love them because it brings them business they may not have otherwise seen.
I should add that imprinted at the bottom of each card is, "Especially for Guests of XYZ Bed & Breakfast"
 

IronGate

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL.
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
I agree completely. There's a place for negotiating discounts with community partners but, to me, it's when we're building a package or because we are constantly referring folks to them. And yes, that discount would be small but it really should go to the inn.
Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places.
That said, out here in wine country, I know many places who rely on coupons from wineries for free tastings and the like for their guests. There's an exception to everything.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
. . . Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places. . .
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
.
IronGate said:
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
I think I'd rather not give coupons to what you'd call the Chez La-di-da myself. I'd rather call and make reservations for the guest. If I want to treat them, I'll have the waiter treat them to a glass of wine or dessert and let them know it's from the inn.
Personally that's the way I'd prefer to show guests that they are appreciated. And something that will be remembered by the guest.
I don't want to encourage guests to nickle and dime everyone in town.
But that's just me.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
IronGate said:
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
I think I'd rather not give coupons to what you'd call the Chez La-di-da myself. I'd rather call and make reservations for the guest. If I want to treat them, I'll have the waiter treat them to a glass of wine or dessert and let them know it's from the inn.
Personally that's the way I'd prefer to show guests that they are appreciated. And something that will be remembered by the guest.
I don't want to encourage guests to nickle and dime everyone in town.
But that's just me.
There's nothing to prevent you from making the reservation, springing for wine and/or dessert AND providing a coupon to them. If the establishment printed the coupon or put it into the coupon books, it's fair to say the guests are not nickel and diming. They are patronizing an establishment that was legitimately advertising for guests. Anything you do for a guest that is unexpected and heartfelt will be remembered.
Of course, a high-end establishment is quite likely not going to be passing out discount coupons, so they won't be available. If they are, however, available, I see nothing to lose and goodwill to gain by providing them to my guests.
 

IronGate

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I'm just churning ideas but for example a friend of mine has a small cafe near by us and I was thinking of asking her for say to do 5% off for our customers if they show one of our coupons (they do fab home baked cakes fresh every day and other beautiful things) and I am friends with a jewlery shop same thing and various hairdressers and beauty therapy places as a place to start. As regards attractions I know a chap who does outdoor activities and stuff hadn't thought of him but could be a welcome addition as an activity. Was thinking of working with him to put together a package ie stay with me and do rope climing and team building during the day etc. I agree with copperhead and would try to work with places that are owner operated so less likely to have problems with recognising coupons and new staff etc..
From a guest's perspective, I can say that finding out that the hotel can make reservations for me to various outings is worth a ton. In my own experience, it has turned a one-night stay into a three-night stay when we checked in and found out that packages were available so that we could do river rafting and horseback riding -- and the hotel would make all the arrangements. Of course, it would make more work for you, but it could be very profitable work.
 

JBloggs

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Unfortunately, like mentioned I have been to Florida - the Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and those other tourist TRAPS like Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Charleston, etc and you are inundated with those coupons and they are a huge turn off. We aren't hotels, we don't cater mostly to families, therefore we don't have a coupon books and all that sort of thing. Now again, if we can offer a package or something where we place an item in there that we have negotiated with a third party, then I think that would be nice. We have a different a clientele to the HOT DEALS crowd.
An innkeeper's recommendation to the best restaurant, or this or that is what I think is of great value.
I feel if the guest is already here then they are here, putting coupons in their room is not going to add value to their stay, how about a vase of fresh flowers or a posie? I have hydrangea that lasted two different rooms and still kickin' - give them something of quality, we are B&B's. :)
 

Morticia

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL.
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
I agree completely. There's a place for negotiating discounts with community partners but, to me, it's when we're building a package or because we are constantly referring folks to them. And yes, that discount would be small but it really should go to the inn.
Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places.
That said, out here in wine country, I know many places who rely on coupons from wineries for free tastings and the like for their guests. There's an exception to everything.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
. . . Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places. . .
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
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IronGate said:
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
I won't push guests toward the places that offer discounts, but if they say that's where they're going I whip out that coupon! Guests are VERY thankful to us for that.
In a town where there are a LOT of different dining experiences to be had, rest assured it is to the restaurant's advantage to work with lodging. Even if it is a free dessert or app. Not sure how many guests ask at a restaurnat where should they stay, I know it happens, and I know around here that the restaurants have their 'buddies' who they refer guests to.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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My two cents on this subject...bear with me...
#1) I give discounts and no one seems to appreciate them, they take them for granted. I am sure they appreciate it, but they never say so. I want the bookings, and I want to be able to promote it as specials on various websites in season and out, so I will continue to offer the discount(s).
So to do all the extra added work for someone to save $5 on a pizza is not part of my job here, too many other things to do.
#2) You are bombarded with coupons and all that in touristy areas, and it makes me insane. It is very Myrtle Beach-ish and tacky for the most part.
Now having said that, operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
Hope that makes sense. I do all the work and I should be the one to reap the +$5, but they won't ever do this, so no worrying about it here. LOL.
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
I agree completely. There's a place for negotiating discounts with community partners but, to me, it's when we're building a package or because we are constantly referring folks to them. And yes, that discount would be small but it really should go to the inn.
Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places.
That said, out here in wine country, I know many places who rely on coupons from wineries for free tastings and the like for their guests. There's an exception to everything.
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Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
operating as concierge for guests is terrific, planning itineraries and the added extras that B&B's can put together as a package or tour is fantastic. Case in point - the dinner cruise on our lake which never offers to give us even -$1 off, even though I continually send them business, and asked to be added to their website, which they won't do. But I NEED stuff to draw people in, I need attractions such as this, and packages. So...if I did save -$5 on the dinner cruise then I would add it into MY revenue, not the guests savings.
. . . Coupon books and other discounts? Not useful in most places. . .
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
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IronGate said:
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
I think I'd rather not give coupons to what you'd call the Chez La-di-da myself. I'd rather call and make reservations for the guest. If I want to treat them, I'll have the waiter treat them to a glass of wine or dessert and let them know it's from the inn.
Personally that's the way I'd prefer to show guests that they are appreciated. And something that will be remembered by the guest.
I don't want to encourage guests to nickle and dime everyone in town.
But that's just me.
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Innkeeper To Go said:
IronGate said:
Why not? If you hear that someone is thinking of going to NNN for dinner -- whether it be Chez La-di-da or Billy Bob's Pork Rind Palace -- don't you think it would generate a lot of goodwill to be able to say, "Oh, you know what? I have a coupon for that place. Go ahead and use it." Or even just hand the book to guests who are pondering dinner or entertainment, telling them to feel free to use any coupon they find. That kind of thing obviously can't -- or shouldn't -- be advertised on a website, but that's what makes it effective. It's just another little thing toward treating the guest well.
I think I'd rather not give coupons to what you'd call the Chez La-di-da myself. I'd rather call and make reservations for the guest. If I want to treat them, I'll have the waiter treat them to a glass of wine or dessert and let them know it's from the inn.
Personally that's the way I'd prefer to show guests that they are appreciated. And something that will be remembered by the guest.
I don't want to encourage guests to nickle and dime everyone in town.
But that's just me.
There's nothing to prevent you from making the reservation, springing for wine and/or dessert AND providing a coupon to them. If the establishment printed the coupon or put it into the coupon books, it's fair to say the guests are not nickel and diming. They are patronizing an establishment that was legitimately advertising for guests. Anything you do for a guest that is unexpected and heartfelt will be remembered.
Of course, a high-end establishment is quite likely not going to be passing out discount coupons, so they won't be available. If they are, however, available, I see nothing to lose and goodwill to gain by providing them to my guests.
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IronGate said:
Of course, a high-end establishment is quite likely not going to be passing out discount coupons, so they won't be available. If they are, however, available, I see nothing to lose and goodwill to gain by providing them to my guests.
Not suggesting in any way what you should do with your guests IronGate. I'm speaking of my opinion as to the question as to whether an innkeeper should spend time putting together discounts for coupons for their guests. And my opinion is that no, I believe that is inconsistent with the image the inns I know want to portray.
While I also said there's an exception to every rule and spoke of one, that doesn't change my opinion. There are lots of avenues for innkeepers to market themselves. This is not one I would advocate for the inns I know.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Unfortunately, like mentioned I have been to Florida - the Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and those other tourist TRAPS like Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Charleston, etc and you are inundated with those coupons and they are a huge turn off. We aren't hotels, we don't cater mostly to families, therefore we don't have a coupon books and all that sort of thing. Now again, if we can offer a package or something where we place an item in there that we have negotiated with a third party, then I think that would be nice. We have a different a clientele to the HOT DEALS crowd.
An innkeeper's recommendation to the best restaurant, or this or that is what I think is of great value.
I feel if the guest is already here then they are here, putting coupons in their room is not going to add value to their stay, how about a vase of fresh flowers or a posie? I have hydrangea that lasted two different rooms and still kickin' - give them something of quality, we are B&B's. :).
Joey Bloggs said:
Unfortunately, like mentioned I have been to Florida - the Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and those other tourist TRAPS like Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Charleston, etc and you are inundated with those coupons and they are a huge turn off. We aren't hotels, we don't cater mostly to families, therefore we don't have a coupon books and all that sort of thing. Now again, if we can offer a package or something where we place an item in there that we have negotiated with a third party, then I think that would be nice. We have a different a clientele to the HOT DEALS crowd.
An innkeeper's recommendation to the best restaurant, or this or that is what I think is of great value.
I feel if the guest is already here then they are here, putting coupons in their room is not going to add value to their stay, how about a vase of fresh flowers or a posie? I have hydrangea that lasted two different rooms and still kickin' - give them something of quality, we are B&B's. :)
Ditto to every word.
 

gillumhouse

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I do not do discounts to other businesses but I do send guests to vertain businesses that work with me. The winery is my anchor on ALL my tours but only the bike & winery had a picnic lunch - and they eatthat at the wiery (they have even asked folks not on the package that said they were our guests - where are your lunches?). They partnered with me on an ad campaign for that package. I scratch their back - send guests through the door - and they scratch mine - give me a package that draws people.
I send people to Jimmy's (and if I need a dinner for a freebie he gives it) and I make reservations for guests at restaurants (the nicer ones) but have never received anything other than a thank you from one and not even that from the other.
 

domsmom

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There are a few restaurants I work with and we have a very simple arrangement. They give me their business cards and I write the name of my b&b on the back along with the words 10% discount. These are places where the service is always good, the food is delicious, they are independent businesses like me so it is a win-win and no extra cost involved for anyone. The guests always appreciate the recommendation and saving a few dollars. The restaurant enjoys the free press.
 
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