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Why people don't stay at B&B's Part II

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Madeleine

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Caller last night wanted to know if we were a B&B. I told her we were and she said they didn't want a B&B, they wanted a motel. OK, why? Why a motel over a B&B?
  • 'We are only staying 1 night, we don't need fancy.'
  • 'We don't want to spend a lot of money.'
So, right there 3 issues with the perceptions of a B&B...B&B's are ONLY for multi-night stays. B&B's are 'too fancy' (which I think may also be code for 'too expensive'). And then right out, B&B's are too expensive.
I looked up the prices on motels in town last night. $110+. I won't go that low in peak season. But, it's still not the $59 these folks were expecting to pay for a motel. They were going to be stretching their budget regardless.
How do we get beyond the perceptions that B&B's are only for 'romance' or 'multi-night stays' or that B&B's are 'too fancy'? We are far, far from 'fancy'. But no one would believe that from the road. They'd have to see it, but they have already decided they won't be staying.
Sure, on nighters are a lot more work, but they all add up to pay the bills.
(Let's just ignore the fact that they called a B&B to find out where a motel is. If they found my B&B, they were looking for a B&B. We don't show up under searches for motels.)
 

Arks

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Plus, in thinking B&Bs are expensive, folks usually don't take the breakfast they're getting into consideration, a breakfast far and above the "free continental" they get at the motels that even include a breakfast.
 

Highlands John

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That's interesting because I think here in the UK we have the opposite problem. B&Bs have always been the cheapo option, as I've said in another thread they tended to be the old wifey letting out a room in the house to earn some extra money. I think that image still persists and there are still quite a lot of that sort of B&B around still.
 

Flower

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Plus, in thinking B&Bs are expensive, folks usually don't take the breakfast they're getting into consideration, a breakfast far and above the "free continental" they get at the motels that even include a breakfast..
I feel it is money , not coming into peoples"s homes, cheaper price paid yes not including breakfast, check in and out times more flexible, less personable, Hotel and Motel is quick in and out with minimal interaction.
Many people are just happy with the nondescript self serve breakfast at the Hotel/Motel. They don't want a sit down interaction with people.
 

gillumhouse

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When I travel, I am more likely to go motel because when we travel we are usually on a tight schedule so we are what I call "hit and split". We stop when we are too tired to drive and get up early to hit the road. That is NOT B & B travel. I have been fortunate enough to have had a few times that were NOT hit & split and stayed in some VERY lovely B & Bs.
 

toddburme

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I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay.
 

JBloggs

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Agreed in the UK it is an alternative to a ritzy hotel. And of course, they are all over the board from alternatives to above par in both countries.
Whenever I plan a trip I try to view it as one of our guests would, when they plan a trip. I get easily frustrated and don't like the hoops I have to jump through to book a B&B (in many instances) and that puts me off.
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B (vs innmates who are always super places to stay) and just test the water a bit. See what is the current status quo. I bet HJ can share more since he is planning a trip to the U.S. soon. Wait, I think he already did share that, people not having online rez or don't return calls/emails promptly etc.
 

JBloggs

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I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay..
toddburme said:
I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay.
You nailed it Toddster. It is an "experience" and not everyone wants an "experience"
But they get it wherever they stay, one way or another. They just don't think about it in advance...
Let me share what a customer service expert shared this week, she travels all over and stays in hotels. She often watched the front desk interaction etc. Anyway, this one chain she now opts for will check her in, she is in the room for about 10 min's and the phone rings "Mrs Jones, this is the front desk, we are calling to see if you have everything you need for your stay?"
She was taken aback, floored more like it!
  1. Our family of four always find 3 towels in a hotel room. We ALWAYS have to call the front desk for the 4th person (or lord forbid we want more than one towel per person).
  2. There may be a couple spare pillows (or if it is a king bed they line them up like diamonds on the bed) but...there are still not TWO PER PERSON which is required for any of us who like to read in bed, or even watch telly. So we ALWAYS have to call the front desk, who calls housekeeping, and we stand around waiting, so we can get the extra pillows.
And there ya have it, something simple that spoke volumes! Do you do this with your guests? After they check in do you ask if they have found everything they need? Many of us have a little blurb we say "If you need anything please ring the bell..." or there is a card in their room or check in sheet saying "If you need anything..." But do you ask?
Sorry this is lengthy. I have to add one more thing. After some major pitas I stopped putting personalized welcome cards in the rooms. I do cards or notes for special occasions, always. But I was putting a little card in every single room with a PERSONAL welcome to the guest(s). I stopped. I am now back on it, doing it again. Why? Because when you stay in a hotel you are not greeted by name, there is no personalization to your stay. That is what makes us different. We are real people who CARE about our guests.
I think to myself, how much would I appreciate it if I saw a "Welcome to the inn Mr & Mrs Bloggs, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your stay" I would love it! I would overlook the little pitfalls I found. Guaranteed!
As the saying goes "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." --Maya Angelou
 

EmptyNest

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I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay..
toddburme said:
I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay.
You nailed it Toddster. It is an "experience" and not everyone wants an "experience"
But they get it wherever they stay, one way or another. They just don't think about it in advance...
Let me share what a customer service expert shared this week, she travels all over and stays in hotels. She often watched the front desk interaction etc. Anyway, this one chain she now opts for will check her in, she is in the room for about 10 min's and the phone rings "Mrs Jones, this is the front desk, we are calling to see if you have everything you need for your stay?"
She was taken aback, floored more like it!
  1. Our family of four always find 3 towels in a hotel room. We ALWAYS have to call the front desk for the 4th person (or lord forbid we want more than one towel per person).
  2. There may be a couple spare pillows (or if it is a king bed they line them up like diamonds on the bed) but...there are still not TWO PER PERSON which is required for any of us who like to read in bed, or even watch telly. So we ALWAYS have to call the front desk, who calls housekeeping, and we stand around waiting, so we can get the extra pillows.
And there ya have it, something simple that spoke volumes! Do you do this with your guests? After they check in do you ask if they have found everything they need? Many of us have a little blurb we say "If you need anything please ring the bell..." or there is a card in their room or check in sheet saying "If you need anything..." But do you ask?
Sorry this is lengthy. I have to add one more thing. After some major pitas I stopped putting personalized welcome cards in the rooms. I do cards or notes for special occasions, always. But I was putting a little card in every single room with a PERSONAL welcome to the guest(s). I stopped. I am now back on it, doing it again. Why? Because when you stay in a hotel you are not greeted by name, there is no personalization to your stay. That is what makes us different. We are real people who CARE about our guests.
I think to myself, how much would I appreciate it if I saw a "Welcome to the inn Mr & Mrs Bloggs, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your stay" I would love it! I would overlook the little pitfalls I found. Guaranteed!
As the saying goes "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." --Maya Angelou
.
LOVE HER!!!

Ithink I stayed in the same place she did :) I had the same experience a while ago..of course now I can't remember the hotel..but was floored when someone actually called to ask me if everything was ok!
 

Madeleine

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I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay..
toddburme said:
I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay.
You nailed it Toddster. It is an "experience" and not everyone wants an "experience"
But they get it wherever they stay, one way or another. They just don't think about it in advance...
Let me share what a customer service expert shared this week, she travels all over and stays in hotels. She often watched the front desk interaction etc. Anyway, this one chain she now opts for will check her in, she is in the room for about 10 min's and the phone rings "Mrs Jones, this is the front desk, we are calling to see if you have everything you need for your stay?"
She was taken aback, floored more like it!
  1. Our family of four always find 3 towels in a hotel room. We ALWAYS have to call the front desk for the 4th person (or lord forbid we want more than one towel per person).
  2. There may be a couple spare pillows (or if it is a king bed they line them up like diamonds on the bed) but...there are still not TWO PER PERSON which is required for any of us who like to read in bed, or even watch telly. So we ALWAYS have to call the front desk, who calls housekeeping, and we stand around waiting, so we can get the extra pillows.
And there ya have it, something simple that spoke volumes! Do you do this with your guests? After they check in do you ask if they have found everything they need? Many of us have a little blurb we say "If you need anything please ring the bell..." or there is a card in their room or check in sheet saying "If you need anything..." But do you ask?
Sorry this is lengthy. I have to add one more thing. After some major pitas I stopped putting personalized welcome cards in the rooms. I do cards or notes for special occasions, always. But I was putting a little card in every single room with a PERSONAL welcome to the guest(s). I stopped. I am now back on it, doing it again. Why? Because when you stay in a hotel you are not greeted by name, there is no personalization to your stay. That is what makes us different. We are real people who CARE about our guests.
I think to myself, how much would I appreciate it if I saw a "Welcome to the inn Mr & Mrs Bloggs, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your stay" I would love it! I would overlook the little pitfalls I found. Guaranteed!
As the saying goes "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." --Maya Angelou
.
I think you nailed it with 'they will have an experience...'
You have good ideas about the personalized greetings. But, even tho we request, in 2 places, that the person making the rez give us the names of everyone the party, they rarely do. I wouldn't be able to put 'Mr & Mrs Bloggs' because it might be Mrs Bloggs and her sister but she used her husband's name to make the rez. Why do women do that??? I get it on the phone all the time...
What is your name (for the reservation form)? John Smith. I have not always bitten my tongue. I DO sometimes ask, 'And your husband's name?' (Maybe that's why they don't stay at B&B's- sarcasm.)
But I like the idea of the greeting. I need to look at this. And I need to step out on the limb and ask if guests found everything they needed. (Because I do know they will tell me in detail if they did not.)
 

Arks

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Agreed in the UK it is an alternative to a ritzy hotel. And of course, they are all over the board from alternatives to above par in both countries.
Whenever I plan a trip I try to view it as one of our guests would, when they plan a trip. I get easily frustrated and don't like the hoops I have to jump through to book a B&B (in many instances) and that puts me off.
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B (vs innmates who are always super places to stay) and just test the water a bit. See what is the current status quo. I bet HJ can share more since he is planning a trip to the U.S. soon. Wait, I think he already did share that, people not having online rez or don't return calls/emails promptly etc..
Joey Bloggs said:
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B...
Be sure to pop into their kitchen as they're preparing breakfast, assure them that they don't mind you being in there, and proceed to rummage through the refrigerator. Just to see how THEY handle it.
 

JBloggs

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Agreed in the UK it is an alternative to a ritzy hotel. And of course, they are all over the board from alternatives to above par in both countries.
Whenever I plan a trip I try to view it as one of our guests would, when they plan a trip. I get easily frustrated and don't like the hoops I have to jump through to book a B&B (in many instances) and that puts me off.
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B (vs innmates who are always super places to stay) and just test the water a bit. See what is the current status quo. I bet HJ can share more since he is planning a trip to the U.S. soon. Wait, I think he already did share that, people not having online rez or don't return calls/emails promptly etc..
Joey Bloggs said:
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B...
Be sure to pop into their kitchen as they're preparing breakfast, assure them that they don't mind you being in there, and proceed to rummage through the refrigerator. Just to see how THEY handle it.
.
Arkansawyer said:
Joey Bloggs said:
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B...
Be sure to pop into their kitchen as they're preparing breakfast, assure them that they don't mind you being in there, and proceed to rummage through the refrigerator. Just to see how THEY handle it.

 

JBloggs

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Service is what sets us a part. That is what sets one inn apart from the next. Over the top service? No.
Case in point, I go to the same grocery store to get my produce and the grocery manager is there every time, and ne'er once has said hello, or how are you, or drum roll please...smiled. You can walk through the whole store and have NONE of the employees who work with the public - smile at you. At the check-out yesterday "you saved $15 dollars" as she hands me the recpt and out I go. Nothing more.
I would actually ENJOY shopping there and spending hundreds a pop if they smiled, said thank you, or acknowledged me. Never. They don't.
Now I took daughter to a local Mexican restaurant where a former server from the one on our corner (which is now closed) now works, he walked over and greeted us and shook our hands, he is from Dominican Republic. He was not even our server. He came back by to see how everything was (and he was not our server). Well done!
 

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They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it.
 

Skamokawa

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Agreed in the UK it is an alternative to a ritzy hotel. And of course, they are all over the board from alternatives to above par in both countries.
Whenever I plan a trip I try to view it as one of our guests would, when they plan a trip. I get easily frustrated and don't like the hoops I have to jump through to book a B&B (in many instances) and that puts me off.
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B (vs innmates who are always super places to stay) and just test the water a bit. See what is the current status quo. I bet HJ can share more since he is planning a trip to the U.S. soon. Wait, I think he already did share that, people not having online rez or don't return calls/emails promptly etc..
Joey Bloggs said:
I was just thinking I need to get out and stay at an anon B&B...
Be sure to pop into their kitchen as they're preparing breakfast, assure them that they don't mind you being in there, and proceed to rummage through the refrigerator. Just to see how THEY handle it.
.
You just delivered my guffaw for the day!
 

Madeleine

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They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it..
Silverspoon said:
They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it.
See, I am too literal for these people. You say you don't want a B&B, you want a motel and I give you directions to a motel! There was no question of price, no question of location. There was nothing but, 'Are you a B&B?' and then her stating they didn't want a B&B.
 

Generic

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They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it..
Silverspoon said:
They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it.
See, I am too literal for these people. You say you don't want a B&B, you want a motel and I give you directions to a motel! There was no question of price, no question of location. There was nothing but, 'Are you a B&B?' and then her stating they didn't want a B&B.
.
These are the times that I'm so tempted to send them to the worst place in the city... I never do, but I am SO tempted each time.
 

Silverspoon

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They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it..
Silverspoon said:
They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it.
See, I am too literal for these people. You say you don't want a B&B, you want a motel and I give you directions to a motel! There was no question of price, no question of location. There was nothing but, 'Are you a B&B?' and then her stating they didn't want a B&B.
.
These are the times that I'm so tempted to send them to the worst place in the city... I never do, but I am SO tempted each time.
.
I send them to the Chamber of Commerce for advice since I really have no idea about the availability or quality of the motels. Period. If they end up driving around looking for vacancy signs so be it. But in this day and age, with mobile devices so common, they surely have some alternatives in mind.
 

Highlands John

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I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay..
toddburme said:
I understand that we all want more business. But B&B's are fancier and a bit more expensive. I think we cultivate that image. In the US, the B&B has evolved into something special and a bit distinct from the typical hotel/motel stay.
You nailed it Toddster. It is an "experience" and not everyone wants an "experience"
But they get it wherever they stay, one way or another. They just don't think about it in advance...
Let me share what a customer service expert shared this week, she travels all over and stays in hotels. She often watched the front desk interaction etc. Anyway, this one chain she now opts for will check her in, she is in the room for about 10 min's and the phone rings "Mrs Jones, this is the front desk, we are calling to see if you have everything you need for your stay?"
She was taken aback, floored more like it!
  1. Our family of four always find 3 towels in a hotel room. We ALWAYS have to call the front desk for the 4th person (or lord forbid we want more than one towel per person).
  2. There may be a couple spare pillows (or if it is a king bed they line them up like diamonds on the bed) but...there are still not TWO PER PERSON which is required for any of us who like to read in bed, or even watch telly. So we ALWAYS have to call the front desk, who calls housekeeping, and we stand around waiting, so we can get the extra pillows.
And there ya have it, something simple that spoke volumes! Do you do this with your guests? After they check in do you ask if they have found everything they need? Many of us have a little blurb we say "If you need anything please ring the bell..." or there is a card in their room or check in sheet saying "If you need anything..." But do you ask?
Sorry this is lengthy. I have to add one more thing. After some major pitas I stopped putting personalized welcome cards in the rooms. I do cards or notes for special occasions, always. But I was putting a little card in every single room with a PERSONAL welcome to the guest(s). I stopped. I am now back on it, doing it again. Why? Because when you stay in a hotel you are not greeted by name, there is no personalization to your stay. That is what makes us different. We are real people who CARE about our guests.
I think to myself, how much would I appreciate it if I saw a "Welcome to the inn Mr & Mrs Bloggs, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your stay" I would love it! I would overlook the little pitfalls I found. Guaranteed!
As the saying goes "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." --Maya Angelou
.
Maybe I'm just an old synic, or maybe I worked in IT too long. The front desk isn't calling you up because they care, they're ringing you up becuase their computer tells them to and it tells them to becuase the top boss has ordered that that's how it should be.
When you stay in a B&B the person who looks after you cares because they're doing a job they want to do, and it's their business that thrives or fails depending on how happy the customers are.
 

Madeleine

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They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it..
Silverspoon said:
They knew perfectly well that you were a B+B but were trying to put pressure on you to offer a one-night stay at a discounted price without actually having to ask for it.
See, I am too literal for these people. You say you don't want a B&B, you want a motel and I give you directions to a motel! There was no question of price, no question of location. There was nothing but, 'Are you a B&B?' and then her stating they didn't want a B&B.
.
These are the times that I'm so tempted to send them to the worst place in the city... I never do, but I am SO tempted each time.
.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
These are the times that I'm so tempted to send them to the worst place in the city... I never do, but I am SO tempted each time.
All the hotels/motels except one are located within a mile of each other here. They didn't ask my opinion, just directions. If they ask opinions I ask if they have internet access on their phone and tell them to look it up on TA.
 
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