Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

The B&B Team

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

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Archive for the ‘Innkeeping Business’ Category

Breakdown of Communication in the Digital Age

July 19th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

 

Have you experienced a breakdown in communications in the digital age? We have come a long way from the Pony Express or the carrier pigeon as a way of communicating, or have we?

Email is and has been the most universal mode of communication for business. It is good and efficient in many ways. Today most businesses can’t recall how they functioned without it! But in some ways, it is lacking.

Good

                For organizational communication. Contracts, proposals, confirmations, policies, directions.

                Quick, convenient and targeted.

                Email trails can be kept for documentation, proof.

Not Good

                For communicating subtlety, nuance, intonation and tenor of voice.

                Poor interactive form of communication.

                More susceptible for getting lost in the shuffle with too much information, aka ‘email noise’.

Suggestion: Anytime you perceive a problem in your email communications. Pick up the phone, make that call. One five-minute phone call can often solve an issue versus 15 back and forth emails throughout one day. Plus, more time efficient in the long run and more satisfying to both parties.


breakdown of communication in the digital age

How about face to face communication? In many businesses talking to people face to face is a lost art. Workers stuck in a cubicle with only a computer to talk to!  Innkeepers know how satisfying and effective face to face communication can be. They do it all day.

But of course Innkeepers rely on email as well, all for the good reasons listed above. But have you ever checked in guests that you were sure would be…you know,  PITAs but turned out to be lovely people? Your first perception could have been tainted by your email communications with them. The subtlety, nuance, intonation and tenor of voice could not be heard in the emails.

Scenario

15 back and forth emails over multiple days from guest requesting; 1. Special dietary needs  2. Multiple reservation day changes 3. Assurances of ‘best room in the Inn’. 4. on and on.

Their emails communicated a needy, demanding nature and a bit snarky. Then they show up and are as sweet as pie and very appreciative of your attentiveness, patience and response to their needs. Bingo!

Just like never judge a book by its cover, never judge a guest by their emails! In the scenario stated, this may be a time to pick up the phone. Smile, it’s seen through the line. The result, both parties feel satisfied and say to themselves…”OK, that’s done, I feel much better!”

Food for thought. Check out this article from Forbes, by Adam Rogers. As Workplace Communication Evolves, Email May Not Prevail. Interesting look at the future of email. Evolving towards texting, and messaging on social media. Also discusses the annoying presence of automated emails that clutter the landscape. And no one likes clutter!

So when in doubt, pick up the phone. All of us at The B&B Team love to talk (email is OK too) and…

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Summertime in Maine, and the Eatin’ is Easy

July 10th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

summertime in Maine, and the eatin' is easy

Summertime in Maine

While visiting Maine, what first comes to mind? Then what’s the next question of your host?  “Where can we get the best lobster and blueberry pie?” Welcome to summertime in Maine.

Let’s take a journey to the past and explore the culinary history of the lobster and the Maine blueberry.

“The Lobster is the most moral creature in the universe, though he doesn’t know it. He is also probably the best-tasting. He knows that very well, and that is why he makes it so hard for you to get him up off the deep ocean floor and out of his armored shell.”  Robert P. Tristram Coffin, Maine native, poet, essayist, lecturer and professor. 1892-1955

His writings of Maine farm and seafaring lifestyle are classic. Reading Coffin’s poetic words brings to light what life was like in Maine in simpler and hardier times.

Of his many books, Mainstays of Maine (published 1945) is a favorite, all about food, but not a cook book. The pages are filled with colorful recollections of family recipes, gatherings around food laden tables and folklore.

“…there is a lot in the weather and scenery of Maine, and the feel and look of the land and water.” Coffin

And what does the land and water produce in Maine? Lobsters and blueberries. Those culinary mainstays of Maine.

Here is Coffin’s recipe for Maine lobster.

Steam them on a fast fire for only 10 minutes. (Couldn’t get much simpler than that!)

In addition Coffin points out; “…you need only your two hands for shelling. And hunger!”

There is a messy etiquette to shelling, but once learned, it comes naturally. And it’s all worth the effort. Don’t wear your best attire. Those little plastic bibs or, better yet, large kitchen towels covering your front are a must.

As a side, maybe some local corn, drawn butter and a roll of paper towels. Followed by dessert, any sort containing Maine blueberries.

 

 

Put them and their colorful vigors into muffins or pies. Or have you ever tried them in a plain vanilla cake? They are something to make the heart flutter there. And, of course, a blueberry pie, if the crust is flaky as ribbon candy, is one of this world’s best things, eaten hot right out of the oven, with the berries all singing still at full cry. A blueberry needs heat to bring out its best points.” Coffin

It is not just about the food to complete a culinary experience, but the times and places where they happen. One special place is Monhegan Island. An island 12 mile off the coast of Maine.

“Among the most iconic sites on the entire coast, Monhegan is famous for its small, close-knit fishing industry and its reputation as a seasonal and year-round home to artists for more than four centuries.” Town of Monhegan Website

Summertime in Maine

Monhegan Island Harbor landing-Car free destination

In addition, “The island is surrounded with the Monhegan Lobster Conservation Zone, an area where only Monhegan fishermen can set traps, that was granted to the island by the state legislature. The legislature also granted Monhegan’s fishing fleet a special winter lobstering season in the 1930s.” Island Institute 

The island innkeepers live the Monhegan lifestyle and provide the island hospitality in the fairer months to the droves of tourists. Its summertime in Maine, and the livin’ is easy and eatin’ is good at The Monhegan House and Restaurant  “A place where the simple island life is made memorable.”

Summertime in Maine

The Monhegan House

The Monhegan House restaurant is a favorite of natives, tourists from all over the island and the Inn guests. The restaurant utilizes fresh and local ingredients. Lobsters! For a change of pace, The Novelty (behind the hotel) is open throughout the day and evening and offers delicious pizza, wraps and salads as well as an extensive selection of wine and beer.  We also offer hand-dipped Shain’s of Maine ice cream and house made bakery items.

Looking to live the simpler and hardier Monhegan Island lifestyle? Consider The Monhegan House- A Maine Island Inn for Sale. There could not be a better Maine location to experience what Robert P. Coffin wrote about so many years ago.

“For Maine ledges and Maine water are good things for the world to look at and feel.” Coffin

In addition, The B&B Team has many coastal Maine properties for sale.  21 in fact!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

PS- And thanks to my Aunt Hennie for teaching me the messy etiquette of hand shelling a lobster.

 

What Story Does Your Inn Tell?

June 27th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

waht story does your inn tell?

What Story Does Your Inn Tell? Devonfield Inn, Massachusetts Berkshires. Jumping Rocks Photography

What story does your Inn tell? Or in the tried and true marketing term…what is your USP, unique selling proposition?  Its’ all about defining who you are, what makes your product (your Inn) stand out above the ordinary. If someone asked you this moment to describe your USP, could you answer without hesitation? What unique experiences does your Inn offer? Marketers call this the ‘elevator pitch’.

One way is to tell your story with images. Images that a viewer can see not just on your website, but Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest. Compelling images that tell your story and motivate a viewer to book a stay with you and become a repeat loyal guest.

Hospitality photographers, Jumping Rocks Photography‘s portfolio of images include images of ‘experiences’.  Mathew and Mark describe how they approach photographing the guest expereince.

“When providing inn and hotel photography, we understand that interior design and architectural photography cannot tell the whole story. The guest experience transcends these physical elements; the human aspect must also be conveyed. Authenticity is key to making effective travel lifestyle photography. Typically, we use our models as “props” to help sell the unique experience of a particular resort or hospitality property.”

These experiential images on your website are important. But what about the instant gratification images that today’s travel shopper is seeking.

If you are marketing for a visual-heavy industry, like travel, food and beverage, or the arts, or any brand that targets millennials, you can’t afford to ignore the latest force to join the social media leviathan line-up.” Ignite Social Media.

What is this? I gave you a hint, Instagram. Maybe not the latest force, it has been around since 2010, but a most popular one, specifically for mobile engagement.

Hint: Add special events to that list, especially weddings.

What story does your inn tell?

Travel for Food & Beverage here at The Inn at English Meadows, Kennebunk Maine

What story does your inn tell?

Eden Vale Inn, Gold Country CA. Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography

With Instagram you can shoot and post your images not only instantly but often. Each photo you post adds to your story.

Now some people are better at taking smart phone photos. You may be one of them, or not. But you can learn. There are short webinars that show you some tricks. Experiment and find your hidden talent. It’s there!

The Monhegan House on Monhegan Island Maine. I Phone Photo by Janet

And then there are hashtags. (Do I have to!?) Why are they important? Here is a good explanation from ‘secret Instagram hashtag formula.’

“Instagram hashtags aren’t just about keywords. It’s about expressing commonality with your audience.” Jenn’s Trends

The author’s formula recommends 15-20 hashtags per post. Wow, that is a lot but worth it when it works.

Another eye opening article on Instagram. Top Tips on Instagram Marketing From the World’s Instagram Experts. By Foundr, Jonathan Chan

After posting images on Instagram (and other social media platforms) that tell your story, your USP enfolds. You now have the opportunity to expand on your story, add chapters that ‘transcend your physical elements’ and tell the experiences your brand/Inn conveys.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Motor Courts & Roadside Motels for Sale

June 6th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Motor courts & roadside Motels for salemotors courts & roadside motels for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motor courts & roadside motels for sale. A growing trend for the last decade or so has been the comeback of Mid-Century motor courts & roadside motels. From California to Maine, these thriving and surviving properties have been scooped up and refurbished.

Auto touring became the way to travel once the automobile became affordable and US highway systems were expanded. After WWII the burgeoning middle class took to the roads. A simple drive up and park next to your cottage, cabin or strip of motel rooms. And there was most likely a pool, playground, lawn games and barbeques. Multi-generational travel, families and honeymooners seeking slow scenic leisurely drives and simple lodging.

Old fashioned ambiance

Down East Magazine article; Vintage Road Tour’ by Virginia M. Wright, featured some of the surviving and thriving motor courts in Maine.

“In coming to Maine, people want to stay in a place they can’t find everywhere else.”

This statement could be about vintage properties anywhere in the states.

“There are hints of a renaissance for these simple shelters as a new generation of courtiers (no one uses the term anymore) find value in their retro charm and the conviviality of their shared outdoor spaces.”

Looking to become an innkeeper to ‘courtiers’?  The B&B Team has two wonderful properties with oodles old fashioned ambiance.

Eureka Springs Motor Court

A mid-twentieth century Eureka Springs motor court for sale that includes motel rooms. It is a property that is enjoying a vibrant life in the twenty-first century! There are 7 original cottages and 4 connected motel rooms.

The lot of about an acre offers guests a comfortable place to relax. The back yard is spacious, with a large gazebo, horseshoe pit, and a woods view. There are four fire pits for guest enjoyment, as well as a covered area with grill that guests can use.

Fundamentally, this Motor Court represents great value today and a first-rate location and size to grow significantly with a strong marketing plan.

Boutique Motel-Wiscasset Maine

Located on scenic Coastal Route One on 8 acres of woodlands. 29 motel units built to last from 1915 to the 1950’s. The Main lodge building has a lobby and dining room lounge with wood burning fireplace. All the outdoor leisure activities included. Firepits, picnic tables, croquet, bocce ball, badminton, and a half mile walking trail around the property.

Many additions and renovations have taken place over the years. In May 2017, the current owners finished 6 cabins that were unfinished and turned them into 4 beautifully designed cabins.

This is a very well-maintained property and very strong, financially viable business. This boutique motel in Wiscasset, Maine is currently a seasonal operation, May-October, but could remain open year-round.

Motor courts & roadside motels for sale. Retaining or reestablishing vintage charm to these properties is the key to keeping the old-fashioned ambiance travelers are seeking. Retro charm, conviviality, simplicity and shared outdoor spaces. The Eureka Springs Motor Court and the Wiscasset Boutique Motel Lodge have all of the above. Give us a call, we can help you in your search.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Get More Direct Bookings

April 28th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Is your goal in 2018-19 to get more direct bookings? Your response should be a resounding YES.

From a PhocusWire (powered by PhocusWright) article entitled; Online travel agency fightback: Tactics to lure direct bookings’. By Max Starkov. Geared towards the hotel industry but there is some good advise that is universal for all lodging properties.

Fact: ‘The conversion rate for hotels is a low 2% for booking direct.’

“For example, imagine 100 people visit your hotel website. Out of those people, less than two will complete a booking, and more than 98 will look around before leaving to make a booking elsewhere – either with your competitors or with the OTAs.”

With this fact you can understand why hotels are concerned and are spending bunches of dollars and valuable staff time to convert their site visitors to stay and book.

You may be asking… what would be the conversion rate for our smaller independently owned and operated B&Bs?

Fact:An outdated website and booking engine leads to lower conversions.’

Your PMS (property management system) should be a quality, robust, and connected system. For example, Think Reservations has something called ‘Channel Management’, direct connectivity with Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia, BedandBreakfast.com and AirBnB. You would be able to see on a monthly chart where your reservations came from. As a result, track your online conversion rate.

But you may be saying… I am totally on board with a great new website with SEO near perfect, new and robust PMS, great responsive mobile-first site, great download speeds but I still want more direct bookings. (greedy aren’t we!).

Something that is new on the pike worth considering.

Online chats, social messaging. A way to engage with your potential guests with pre-stay conversations. Answer their queries (Do we have to sit with a bunch of people at breakfast? or Can you do Vegan?) A chance to wow them with your answers. As a result, keep them on your site and encourage them to book direct.

Hoperator is a ‘sales and messaging platform for travel and hospitality businesses’. Their mantra:

Engage. Convert. Retain

But you may be saying…I do this all the time on the phone, why do I need an online chat?

Just like all the media tools that are available to you, this is another to add to the bucket. And it just may be useful to you.

From Hoperator’s article: What is the Cost of Real Time?

‘Messaging isn’t just a new trend, it’s here to stay. There have been a number of reports produced in the last two years that show that the adoption rate of social messaging is over taking that of social network activity.  Plus, the world is becoming inherently more mobile, making messaging more and more prominent. Live chat alone has a 73% satisfaction rate (compared to just a 44% satisfaction rate with the phone) and it takes an average of less than 48 seconds to answer a simple question. Also, customers are 63% more likely to return to websites with live chat. In other words, live chat is quicker than a phone call and is more likely to lead to a satisfied customer.

And it makes sense. 83% of consumers want to deal with human beings when it comes to customer service.’ To learn more contact hello@hoperator.com

Right now the company has more hotel customers than B&Bs but they welcome all lodging types. Since innkeepers are glued at the hip to their phones, getting a ping that someone wants to chat may be less time consuming than a call, something to consider.

What are you doing to get more direct bookings? Would love to hear from you.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Breakfast Going Global

April 11th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

breakfast

Breakfast Going Global

Thank you, Linda Hayes, for sending me a most enticing and inspiring article, ‘The World of BreakfastThe shifting definition of what counts as breakfast food now embraces flavors from around the globe’. Explore breakfast going global.

Trends in food are constantly evolving, new flavors and creative presentations are certain to elicit the WOW factor. Are you ready to push the global envelope?

In our most recent ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminar we had two women with a Caribbean background who expressed a desire to introduce Caribbean recipes in their future B&B. Love it.

Rick and I were visiting The Inn at English Meadows recently and innkeeper Kate was serving Chilaquiles. Even though I am a huge fan of Mexican food, I had never heard of this dish. Fabulous, clean plate club for both Rick and me.

Here are a few of the dishes that got my attention. Let’s start with sweet.

Hong Kong Waffles

Breakfast going global

Area Four in Cambridge, Mass., combines the waffles with pistachio ice cream and blackberry sauce

“Also known as bubble or egg waffles. Soft, chewy in the middle with crisp lacy edges, made from sweet, eggy batter.”

I found a good ‘how to’ and recipe from food blogger “ginger & scotch”.

breakfast goin global

This is how they come out from an egg-waffle pan

Now let’s take a savory journey.

Chilaquiles

It is famous in Mexico. A dish of fried corn tortilla strips simmered (but not to long to make them soggy) in salsa or roasted tomatillo sauce and topped with egg, cheese (I like Queso Fresco) and possibly beans, squash, tomatos. Make your own combination, that is the fun of it. But a must on my plate would be avocado!

breakfast going global

Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Off to the Caribbean.

Another food blogger; ‘Immaculate Bites-Afro-Caribbean Recipes Made Easy’. Some beautiful and very enticing recipes. Dishes like, Sweet Plantain Hash & Eggs or this one…

breakfast going global

Jamaican Corn Meal Porridge

What you want to do, as suggested by The World of Breakfast authors is… “find that perfect balance between home and away.” That is what innkeepers do everyday at their inns. Now it may be fun to take that trip to Hong Kong, Mexico or the Caribbean or anywhere you like.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

What do Millennials Want?

March 26th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

what do millennials want

What Do Millennials Want?

Remember this catchphrase from TV’s The Brady Bunch? “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha”. Her sister Jan thought she got all the attention. Today it’s millennials, millennials, millennials, its’ all about millennials!

What do millennials want? How much attention should we give them? One thing for sure, we must pay attention to them as active consumers with disposable income. About 10 million millennials make over $100,000. And double that for 2 income couples.

Wednesday at the AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace. I listened to Jeff Fromm’s session, ‘The Financial Impact of Millennial Influence on Travel‘. Among many attributes, Jeff is known as the Millennial Marketing Guy. He’s done all the research, written the books and has some great insights.

Some millennial facts:

what do millennials want? All you Baby Boomers out there know this TV catchphrase. For everyone else, Google it. I digress…

Millennials were born between 1977-1995

Comprising of about 25% of the U.S. population

As a group they are larger than the Baby Boomers

Three times the size of Generation X (born 1965-1976)

These facts alone give us reasons to pay attention, work on your business to be relevant and attract this generation of active consumers. “Brands old and new, cannot afford to ignore this generation.”

An interesting insight from Jeff; “Consumers date brands before they fall in love”. Online dating of course.

Let’s start the conversation with this mindset.

Timeline: shop..date…fall in love…get married for life?

Maybe, unless that brand messes up, becomes irrelevant, inconsistent and loses their trust. Or if you are a millennial, you may just get bored and want to try something new. Think about it. Would you, millennial or not, go back to the same brand if it disappointed you, or would you shop another brand? You know the answer.

“Understand that millennials are the ultimate day traders, and that’s what’s driving changes in food, restaurants, travel, insurance,” says Jeff Fromm. “If your brand isn’t unique, you run the risk of being traded out for private-label or a low-cost alternative.” Jeff Fromm

Our industry’s B&B’s could be described as ‘private label’. We sure aren’t the Hilton or Motel 6.  So how can you get that millennial to trade out to you?

I am picking 3 areas of focus from Jeff’s session. Focusing on what may help you create and sustain a brand that millennials will shop, date and fall in love with.

Unique and Innovative

put an egg on it

New England Johnny Cod Cake with Poached Egg, Oven Roasted tomatoes and Lemon-Tarragon Aioli– Inn at Pleasant Lake, NH

Are you serving the same breakfast you served 5 years ago? Breakfast is half your name. Millennials as well as older generations with millennial mindsets are adventurous eaters. Food trends are constantly changing. Discovering and trying out new recipes is fun. Make them as visually appealing as they are appealing to the pallet. Millennials want to share their experiences on social media but only if they are worth sharing.

Adventurous

Millennials are searching for new experiences in everything. Travel for sure. Does your website show potential guests unique adventurous experiences inside and outside your property? Or do you show the same outdated guest room photos, typical romance packages (that everyone else has) and lists of ‘things to do’ (without any links or photos) that hasn’t been updated in years. Unfortunately, The B&B Team sees this all to often.

what do millennials want?

Dogsledding-Mush your own dogsled memorable adventure. Lodge at Moosehead Lake, Maine

It is easy to connect with local businesses that offer unique and adventurous experiences. Create packages with them. Wherever your inn is located, there are adventures nearby.

Frictionless Journey

How easily are you found on a web search? First, you want to come up at the top of pages in a search of Inns in your area. If not, your SEO needs help. Pretend you are a potential guest (millennial or not) and do a search. You may be surprised. Second, how easy is your booking process. Seamless? Is your PMS (property management system) outdated? May be time to research a new, innovative user friendlier system. Third, how frictionless is your check-in procedure? Can guests access your inn after hours with a keyless lock system? Or do you wait up for them, greet them with tired eyes and impatient words?

These questions and examples just touch on the insights that Jeff spoke about.

A final insight from Jeff Fromm. Successful brands: “Treat others the way they want to be treated”. Plus…“Always be helping”. These things are huge when sustaining your brand.

Innkeepers have got that down, right? But there is always room for improvement, for more love.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Wellness Tourism-Growing Trends

March 19th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

wellness tourism growing trend

Wellness Tourism-Growing Trends

Wellness tourism is a 500-billion-dollar segment of the travel industry. Looks like something innkeepers should consider integrating into their business plan. Don’t leave a piece of that 500-billion-dollar pie on the plate!

AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace, day two.

I attended Julie Pankey’s session, Top Trends in Wellness Tourism, The Guest Experience. After many years of experience managing and growing successful hospitality spas, Julie formed her own spa consulting services company, J M Pankey Partners. She is very passionate about what she does, a huge key to her success.

Here is a brief summation of Julie’s top ten wellness tourism trends, with some added observations from me.

Welltality

A nice take on the word hospitality. Is welltality the new hospitality? In the hotel industry many are marketing themselves as ‘healthy hotels”. Take a look at what hotels are doing and incorporate some of the features into your ‘healthy B&B’. One example from Julie’s session was introducing dawn simulator alarm clocks or sunrise clocks into your guest rooms. For more information: The 10 Best Wake-up Light Therapy Alarm clocks to Buy in 2018. Listing the types of clocks available and their individual attributes. Possibly a nice wellness touch to your Inn? Also, take a look at Nature’s Tribute-doTerra Essential Oils.

Wellness trends

Dawn Simulator

Incorporate the Outdoors

 

Wellness tourism trends

Jumping Rock Photography-Cheshire Cat Inn, CA

Create outdoor spaces that become an extension of your Inn’s brand, style and ambience. The B&B Team is seeing Inns create outdoor spaces that are transformed into outdoor rooms. Not just a few chairs on a deck.

  • Private decks with an outdoor shower, hot tub, fire table with a nice view. That’s the ticket!
  • And beyond the porch, fire-pits, waterfalls into pools, fountains, great landscaping with outdoor lighting.
  • Winding paths to secluded spots with seating.

And don’t forget to showcase these areas with great photos. It’s not only the Wow affect but the Ahh affect. To add that Ahh affect to your property, check out Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. They were an exhibitor, speaker and sponsor at the conference.

Wellness tourism

Fire Table-Hermann Hill Inn, Hermann Missouri

Sustainability

Being mindful of using local products. Food especially. Many inns incorporate this into their brand and marketing successfully. Important to capture the guest looking for a ‘foodie’ wellness experience.

From The Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont

We know our farmers by name. 

For most of the year, over 75% of our ingredients come from within a 25 mile radius of the inn or from our IW Heirloom Garden. Just before winter appears, we stock our root cellar to carry us through until spring.

So…when tomato or corn are not in season, you’re probably not going to find it on our menu unless it’s been preserved.

To be an authentic farm-to-table restaurant, we know we have to keep things REAL.

 

Extreme Wellness

One step beyond the expected. One example mentioned was ‘salt rooms’ and ‘salt lamps’. I had never heard of this. What I found:

Salt therapy is a natural therapy that has been practiced since the 18th century. it involves inhaling dry salt, which can help cleanse both the airways and the skin to relieve congestion, inflammation and skin irritations. In a salt rooms or salt cave a halogenerator grind up pharmaceutical grade salt into minute particles that become airborne when dispersed into the room.”

May be worth finding out if you have one in your area and partner with them. Business partnerships can be a real asset to your Inn business. Making your partner businesses easily accessible to your guests.

Well NOT Wealth

This is offering your guest a retreat from technology. Regaining personal connections. Turn off the Wi-Fi, no phones, tablets, etc. allowed. Lock them up in a safe! This is a tough one, but just maybe this could be attractive to guests seeking a real getaway from it all. You must admit, todays small portable electronics glued to our eyes and ears for hours on end can create a lot of stress. There is always the old fashioned land line open for emergency communication.

Inn at English Meadows-Sunrise Room-Soft colors, clean, fresh. AHH

Another trend The B&B Team has been seeing is incorporating a spa like feel into guest rooms.

  • Hardwood floors.
  • Soft color palettes.
  • Bathrooms with spa features, luxury showers with body sprays, rainwater shower heads.

Another example of the non-extreme and more reasonable wellness approach from Julie.

“I am working with an Inn in Sandwich, MA to help them transform their suites into wellness suites.  Each of these rooms already have smart TV’s, king size beds, jacuzzi tubs, in room air purifiers and sleep sound machines so it will be really easy to incorporate yoga mats and a smart TV on demand fitness and relaxation programs as well as relaxing bath accessories and products, we will also add a mini bar of wellness products which may include sleep mask, relaxing pillow mist, anti-aging pillow case, foot cream and cozy spa socks, hydrating facial sheet mask and other goodies that just transformed these rooms into wellness rooms with very little money being spent.”  

wellness tourism

Upon arrival…Warm or chilled towels depending on the weather plus refreshment. Not just in the tropics but anywhere! Ahh

Think beyond the massage. Whether you have a spa, plan on opening one or just want to integrate some of these trends into your own business, being aware of these ‘welltality’ trends is enlightening and good food for thought. Always know that improvements, additional services and amenities are investments that will pay for themselves with increased rates and well marketed packages.

Thank you Julie Pankey for your enlightening session. JM Pankey Partners offers a Spa Hive Community, a place to “share ideas, solve challenges and connect with leaders and colleagues in the spa industry in a secure and private group.”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Scott Bushnell

March 14th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

A sad week and a tragic loss. Scott Bushnell left this world Friday evening March 9, 2018.

 All of us at The B&B Team® express their condolences to Marilyn and the entire Bushnell family.  Please take a moment and remember him and perhaps read and take heart in the remembrances of Scott from his ‘business family’.

Thoughts from Peter: Sensitive. Funny. Smart. Kind. Thoughtful. Nice. Calm. There aren’t enough “good” words to describe Scott Bushnell. Marilyn said that he always joked about wanting to die with a martini in his hand, which made me remember the time that the whole Team (all 8 plus Peggy and me) were at our house for our annual meeting. Of course, that’s when our septic system decided to back up! It was late in the day, and I was out digging with the septic guys. Scott looked at me from a back window, smiled a cat-like grin, and held up his martini in a toast, just to remind me what I was missing! I will miss everything about him. Marilyn, you and your family are in our hearts. We’re here for you. We are a Team.  

Thoughts from Peggy: We have been so fortunate to have Scott and Marilyn as valued colleagues and as treasured friends.  The love and support they had for each other extended to others through their warmth and generosity.  Marilyn has suffered a great loss as have we all.  I will remember most the personal side of Scott — his big heart and matching dimpled smile, his quiet strength, and his patience with and respect for others.  I will miss this gentle gentleman.

Thoughts from Rick:  Scott, I miss you.  Scott, you left Marilyn, your family and your business family too soon and we all miss you.  Scott, you left our industry too soon and the world of hospitality misses you.  We grieve for our loss and share our grief with Marilyn and your family and their loss too.

There are so many things I will miss but there are so many things I remember and am grateful for as a result of our friendship and association!

-Playing golf together in Myrtle Beach after an innkeeping conference………….oh and do you remember we were in shorts and had to wait to tee off until the frost was off the greens?  Remember who won the round on the 18th hole?

-Drinking martini’s together, gin for you and vodka for me, but both enjoying the first sips of those ‘mouthful of a cloud’ adult beverages.

-Loving Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses, though we never ate there together, but both loving those sizzling steaks.

-Gentleman’s bets on any given Red Sox / Oriole series.

-Speaking  together at an Aspiring Innkeeper session at an innkeeping conference and you talking about your ‘day in the life’ and me, mine, and then looking at each other with confused faces as our days were so different!  Your inn was predominantly business and ours leisure.

-Agreeing and when disagreeing, always at the end respecting the other person and always acknowledging it wasn’t personal.

-Listening with fascination about your tales of being a cadet at the USMA. …..thank you for your service.

 

But most of all Scott, I will miss your sense of humor, your smile, your integrity and the warmth I felt as we either said  “hello” or “good bye” with a big hug.  God speed my friend on your new journey and remember and smile for us as we will move forward and remember and smile for you.

Thoughts from Janet: Memories should be warm, bring smiles and perhaps some tears, warm tears.

 I love our team’s meetings in Scottsville Virginia each August. Before our two-day team meetings, we all gather at Peter’s and Peggy’s house for ‘refreshments’ and dinner. They have a wonderful open front porch where all 10 of us gather and relax. We all arrive at different times. From the porch we can see our team’s cars pull in the Scherman’s drive.

 “Here comes Linda, wonder what homemade goodies she will bring to the table this year?” “Good, there’s Marilyn and Scott. Rick, get the martini shaker going!” “Is that Dana?… nope, come on Dana.” Tish and Eliot pull in, always a rehearsed joke or two from Eliot and more homemade goodies from Tish. Smiles and hugs shared all around. Dana arrives! OK, let the party begin.

 This year, one less smiling face, one less hug. We will all miss you so very much Scott. I will miss your quiet demeanor, your slow smile and twinkle in your eye before you share your thoughts or tell a good story. Always wise, thoughtful and genuine. Many glasses will be raised to your memory and warm tears shed.

Thoughts from Dana: Although we might only see each other a time or two each year, our B&B Team feels more like a work family than just work colleagues. We work hard and we have fun. We enjoy time together. We communicate throughout the year. 

When I think about Scott, I think polite, gentleman, soft spoken, smart, dedicated, kind, and an infectious smile with dimples as big as his soul. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Marilyn without a smile to match. Just a very, very sweet couple and a pleasure to be around. I’m so very thankful we just spent several days together at the AIHP conference in Norfolk just over a week ago.

My heart goes out to Marilyn and their families ♥️ Scott will be sorely missed.

Thoughts from Eliot:

He whom we love 

and lose

is no longer 

where he was before

He is now 

wherever we are.

St. John Chrysostom

Scott will be with me when I pour over spreadsheets, his perceptive and astute approach will continue to teach me. He will be with me when faced with health challenges, his courage will strengthen and support me. When presented with a demanding negotiation, his discretion, and thoughtfulness will guide me. Most importantly, his generous, honest, gracious and congenial spirit will provide laughter, joy, and meaning to my days. Including teaching me that “bacon is an herb”.

‘know when to hold’em’

Thoughts from Tish: Scott once told me a story from his career as an industrial engineer. 

 A corrupt boss had a scheme to get production-line workers eliminated so he could make money subcontracting their work. Scott knew and cared for the people (mostly women) who worked on the production line. As he described what happened, decades after the event, he became emotional. He was angry at the deceit and injustice and his eyes welled up with tears. To me, that moment revealed the depth of Scott’s ethics and the tenderness of his big heart.

Thoughts from Linda: We met when Lynn and I were “wanna be innkeepers”, then met again at a Select Registry meeting as you were exiting innkeeping, then again at conferences where we taught aspiring innkeepers our lessons learned, then became fellow team members sharing opportunities, and finally we became travel buddies –  exploring new cities and watching the twilight of Budapest come alive on the Danube.
You’ve intrigued me with your intense listening and then your gentle, yet persuasive perspective on whatever the topic of the moment. Your love for Marilyn has always been evident with your adoring looks that were certainly noticed. May we meet again…

With love in our hearts and tears in our eyes,

Thank you all for the kind remarks we received after publishing this in our newsletter. From folks who knew Scott, worked with him and from people who didn’t know him and wish they had. It was wonderful to hear from you all.

 Peter and Peggy, Rick and Janet, Dana, Eliot and Tish, and Linda
The B&B Team®

 

Time Management Tips for Busy Innkeepers

March 7th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Time Management

Eat The Frog! Time Management Tips for Busy Innkeepers

One of the first sessions I attended at last week’s AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace was presented by David Mayfield from ResNexus. Effective time Management. Some do it well, others not so much. But everyone can learn new techniques. In business and daily private life, time is precious, and worth the time to explore better ways to manage it.

Have you ever heard the term, ‘eat the frog’? It all started with Mark Twain, a guy who said a lot of smart things. His point…if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

So what does this have to do with time management? Fast forward a few decades to a publication by Brian Tracy, ‘Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.’

David Mayfield based his session on many of the points in this book.

Let’s go back to that frog. “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest and biggest one first. This is another way to saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.” Brian Tracy.

I think we have all felt the satisfaction of tackling and completing a dreaded task first, without procrastinating. And we have all sat and stared into the bulging eyes at that ugly frog and let it hop away and hide, only to return another day!

“The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue.” Brian Tracy

I would like to emphasize ‘valuable task’. Innkeeper (name withheld) knows that they must enter expenses in QuickBooks, they have been putting if off for weeks. But the lawn needs cutting. Which task is the biggest and ugliest? Time to be honest and time to eat that frog.

I think you get the frog analogy by now, lets continue. Here are a few of David Mayfield’s 7 keys to better time management that I picked up from his session.

Assume Responsibility

This was the first ‘key’ David listed. It is your business, and you are the one responsible to manage and complete the most important and valuable tasks.

Time Management-Write it Down

Write it Down

Write your goals down, the non-techy way, with pen and paper, each day. Then find the frog (the most important task/goal) on your list, you know what to do next.  It may be possible that other less timely important goals/tasks on your list you can delegate to staff? Delegating effectively is a real time saver.

Review Your Day

Checking off everything on your list at the end of your day can be very satisfying. But sometimes ‘life happens’ and tasks are left undone. Don’t fret, as long as one frog gets eaten you can sleep well. Burp!

This is just a snapshot of all that David had to offer in his session. ResNexus as well as other property management systems (PMS) offer many time saving automated services. Once you find the right PMS for you, using all the tools will help you streamline your operations and help you control the running of your business.

Another great tip…two monitors. Have your reservation system on all the time on one monitor during business hours. The other monitor could be your laptop. So when that call for a room, or online reservation comes in, you and your monitor are up and ready. Thought, install a photo of a frog as your screen saver.

time management

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

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