Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

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

The B&B Team
 
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Archive for the ‘Innkeeping Business’ Category

6 Thanksgiving F&B Traditions

November 16th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Thanksgiving F&B Traditions-Norman Rockwell Illustration from 1919

Memories of our childhood Thanksgivings feasts, fond or quirky, we all have them. I asked our team if they would share with me their most memorable Thanksgiving F&B (that’s food & beverage) traditions.

Humorous Highlights

1. Paris Peas by Eliot Dalton

Thanksgiving F&B traditions

Paris Peas

“Somehow when my Mom came back from going to a fancy cooking school in Paris, she came up with World/Whirled Peas: Fresh or frozen peas. (it would be healthy if you stopped here).”

  • Blend peas with unsalted butter and half & half until desired consistency.
  • Add crumbled smoked bacon

Footnote: “We always wondered what she really did in Paris!”

Thanksgiving F&B traditions

Just add peanut butter!

2. PB on a Roll by Scott Bushnell

“My mom and her sister married by dad and his brother and, along with my maternal grandparents, the three families got together for all holidays…and Thanksgiving was a favorite. I still get ribbed to this day, many decades later, that despite the lavish spread of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I asked for peanut butter to put on the roll. I was only 8…when will they ever get past it?”

Now for a quick libation to wash down the PB.

3. Festive Signature Cocktail by Dana Moos

Thanksgiving F&B traditions

  • Bourbon
  • Muddled fresh cranberries
  • Splash of rosemary & cranberry simple syrup
  • Splash of soda
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Over ice

4. Hot Apple Cranberry Crumble by Marilyn Bushnell (Originally from The Mainstay Inn, Cape May NJ). “We always make this apple cranberry compote that is still a favorite with the family. This will always remain on the menu!”

Thanksgiving F&B traditions

 5. Pumpkin Pie topped with Whipped Cream and Toasted Coconut by Rick & Janet Wolf

thanksgving F&B traditions

Needs more coconut!

I make the pumpkin pie from a recipe passed down from my Grandmother (Ga Ga). The recipe was all in her head, nothing written down. In the latter part of her life, I had her show me the recipe. It has changed over the years but one thing I never change is the amount of clove, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. It makes it oh so spicy and a rich dark amber color. The toasted coconut came later, a tradition from Rick’s mother. A wonderful blend of flavors.

6. Corn Pudding by Peggy Scherman (Peter’s favorite)

Thanksgiving F&B traditions

Preheat oven to 350

  •  4 (11 oz each) cans of corn drained
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2+ Tbsp. sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 1/3 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4+ tsp salt

 Process 1 can of corn and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add this mixture to remaining 3 cans of corn. Pour into lightly greased 2 qt. baking dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until set.

More Thanksgiving F&B traditions, memories and sentiments.

From Peggy Scherman-“Thanksgiving is always at our house with our state-side kids and now our granddaughter, Charlie. When it is all over we kiss the kids good-bye, send them off with leftovers, and then dig into those dishes. (I help some, but Peter does the lion’s share, sending me off to bed.) And that’s the way we do Thanksgiving at the Scherman’s.”

From Dana Moos-“I used to do a turkey inspired by my grandmother, except she cooked hers in a bag. One year she started an oven fire at my house when she cooked for us when we were little and my parents were on vacation!!”

From Tish Dalton-“There will be 20 of us this year. The job of roasting a turkey always comes to me. I roast it in a bag, with a few onions, celery stalks, carrots and a dose of white wine. The bird is always juicy and the ‘drippings’ are awesome.”

From Linda Hayes“Following the traditional meal, we relaxed around the tradition of working a jigsaw puzzle and then enjoyed dessert two hours later. Homemade pumpkin pie, pecan pie (with all the pecans placed pretty side up) and our favorite, mincemeat pie. And the puzzle tradition continues with my children too. This year I’m going to try Dana’s cocktail and Rick’s toasted coconut!”

From Rick Wolf-“Most of all, it’s the time together with family and friends and the traditions and memories we create that make this my absolute FAVORITE holiday of the year”!

From Janet Wolf-Ditto

Thanks for Listening and from The B&B Team we wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Janet Wolf

10 Reasons to Live, Play and Work in Rockland Maine

November 9th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

10 reason to live, play and work in Rockland Maine

‘Festival of Lights’ Main St. Rockland 10 reasons to live, play and work in Rockland Maine

In the last few years Rockland, Maine has become a mecca for new residents seeking an authentic Maine location. Why? Here are 10 reasons to live, play and work in Rockland Maine.

Two innkeepers who have lived and worked here for many years describe Rockland’s authentic, warm hospitality like “Mayberry in Maine.” Their names are Andy and Barney (just kidding).

The following list was submitted by these two innkeepers, aka Andy and Barney!

10.  Where else do you have the region’s best downtown and working farms?

9.  Water views everywhere. Penobscot Bay, Rockland’s working harbor and fresh water lakes.

8.  Four season outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, skiing and kayaking (ocean or lake). All just minutes away.

7.  Rockland’s 19th century downtown and historic neighborhoods translate to easy walkability and exploration.

6.  The vibrant downtown along with regional and national stores make a great year-round shopping destination.

10 reason to live, play and work in Rockland Maine

Large crowd funnels into Rockland’s Annual Lobster Festival. Photo by Carl D. Walsh

5.  Summer in Rockland means:

  • Summer Solstice
  • North Atlantic Blues Festival
  • Maine Lobster Festival
  • Maine Boats, homes and Harbor Show

4.  Museum Mecca

  • The Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center
  • Center for Maine Contemporary Art
  • Maine Lighthouse Museum
  • Sail, Power & Steam Museum

3.  Art, art everywhere! Featuring many galleries highlighting local and nationally acclaimed artists.

2. From Primo Restaurant to Thai Tugboat, Rockland offers great quality dining experience for every budget.

1.  Rockland is what Maine means by the expression, “The Way Life Should Be.”

Live in Rockland Maine. Sound good so far?  Work and own your own hospitality business. Play in an authentic Maine town surrounded by scenic seascapes and landscapes.  The following are two B&Bs for sale in Rockland, wonderful opportunities offered by The B&B Team.

10 reason to live, play and work in Rockland Maine

Beautiful aerial view of the classic Victorian B&B and Rockland Harbor

An 8-guest room classic Victorian bed and breakfast in a quiet neighborhood in Rockland’s Historic District, a prime location. Located just a block from the Knox County Courthouse and other downtown businesses. The architecture is grand, with double parlors, wrap around porch, high ceilings and plenty of light. The landscaping and mature gardens are simply gorgeous. The grounds are perfectly suited for tented outdoor events. Inside, the parlors and dining room are ideal to host meetings, family reunions, intimate gatherings or small celebrations. Innkeepers live in a separate cottage on the property. A wonderful retreat yet conveniently close to the inn.

Rockland 10 reasons to live, play and work in Rockland Maine

Elegant and grand Rockland Maine B&B

A 12-guest room elegant and grand Rockland Maine bed and breakfast. Set in a quiet neighborhood minutes from downtown. Each guest room offers amenities needed for today’s discriminating traveler whether on a romantic getaway, leisure or business trip. The amount of attention to detail from laundry to attic, from amenities to safety is unparalleled. A real grand dame of Rockland with well manicured lawns and gardens and unparalleled curb appeal. The owner’s apartment has a private entrance and includes a full kitchen, living/dining room plus 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. Great private space.

Good, well run, popular and profitable B&Bs are not just a place to stay while visiting an area. These two inns are popular destination properties in the area. The attractions of the area are a bonus, and in Rockland Maine, it is a genuine bonus.

I hope you have enjoyed the 10 reason to live, work, and play in Rockland Maine. I have enjoyed sharing them with you.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Little Bit B&B-Little Bit Something Else

October 31st, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Little bit B&B, little bit something else

”I’m a little bit country. And I’m a little bit rock ‘n roll.” A Donnie & Marie hit, remember them?

What is it? They couldn’t make up their minds? Or are they a compatible blend of each? In a similar fashion, The B&B Team offers properties for sale that are a “little bit B&B-little bit something else.” I’ll explain.

West Stockbridge, Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts-Bed & Breakfast with a Twist

9 guest rooms with all the B&B amenities plus efficiency units you might find in an upscale motel or hotel. Guests staying at the Shaker Mill Inn enjoy their breakfast in the privacy of their rooms. The rooms are stocked with breakfast items. Baskets with baked goods, fresh fruit, quiches and tarts.

The innkeepers at the Shaker Mill Inn have created an efficient self-check-in and check-out system as well. This business model also allows innkeepers more free time without daily breakfast prep, serving and clean up. Yet the current innkeepers are always available and in communication with their guests. The welcoming personal touch is very evident at the Shaker Mill Inn! Little bit B&B, you bet. Plus a very nice spacious and private owner’s apartment.

Romah Motor Inn Boutique Motel

Sebago-Long Lakes Region Maine Boutique Motel

What makes a motel boutique? Nine well maintained pristine rooms located in the heart of a Maine destination tourist location.  As one guest described it; “Lovely, comfortable and cozy little motor inn with expert and gracious service!” For future innkeepers looking for this kind of lodging there is a 2-bedroom owner’s apartment with 2 baths, private deck, kitchen, living room, dining room, laundry, storage, 2 car garage, plenty of space!   Open year round too, but strong summer business.

So much new owners can add to lodging properties like the Romah Motor Inn. Go funky nostalgic, add more modern conveniences, let your imagination soar! Go a little bit B&B. Paint your own future here. The Romah Motor Inn is a well-established business, a financially feasible property. Prime and ready to welcome serious buyers.

Monhegan House- Island Views

Monhegan House-Monhegan Island Landmark Inn

10 miles off the coast of Maine, unique in that ¾ of the island’s 700 acres is all natural and preserved. Take a ferry (everything comes over by boat), land at the dock, your luggage is picked up and delivered to the Inn. Take a short walk through the small village, pass weathered shake-shingled cottages, artist’s studios and shops, arrive at the Inn and your adventure begins.

They say time distorts once you set foot on the island. And this is true at the Monhegan House too. And it is a good thing! There are two suites on the ground floor with ensuite baths. Full breakfast served in the restaurant’s dining room. That’s the little bit B&B. The rest? The remaining rooms on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors utilize shared bath/shower/toilet/sink facilities that have been recently renovated and are exceptionally clean and maintained throughout the day for guest’s comfort. You may call this a ‘little bit rustic camp style’. But guests embrace the ‘rustic’ plus the total Monhegan House experience, spotless rooms, great food (breakfast and dinner), great hospitality. And they come back time and again.

Lehigh Valley Historic Globe Hotel

Lehigh Valley Historic Hotel

Small town historic hotels that have been restored and brought back to life as bed and breakfasts, it’s a wonderful thing!

‘In the early 1900’s when railroads were the popular mode of transportation, weary passengers en route to the Poconos and points north would debark at the East Greenville Station for The Globe Inn.’

Pull up to the hotel in your ‘modern’ mode of transportation and you are still greeted with the same exceptional hospitality of yesteryear. The guest rooms have been restored with all the amenities guest are looking for in a fine B&B. Whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces and some with kitchenettes. One review describes the Globe with the words, ‘clean, charming and warm.’ But wait there is more ‘something else’, a real cool downstairs pub, rooms for dining, weddings, celebration events or meetings. A wonderful gathering location for locals and today’s ‘weary passengers!’ Plus opportunity…the inn has operated a restaurant in the past and new owners have many options for food & beverage service, if desired.

You can see now what that ‘little bit of something else’ is and can be. Opportunity knocks, make what you desire of that ‘something else.’ Take on the challenge, let your creative passions take hold and soar.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

College Town B&Bs for Sale-Opportunity Knocks

October 19th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

college town B&Bs for sale

Opportunity Knocks. College Town B&Bs for sale. Shenandoah Valley Inn

In recent years college towns across the US have been touted as great environments to retire to. Did you know they also make it onto lists of best towns for entrepreneurs? It is not only about education and cultural opportunities. College towns attract industry and employment opportunities. Put this all together and it adds up to? College towns as very good locations for…you got it, bed and breakfasts and country inns. Good college town locations bring good businesses! Lets’ take a look at what The B&B Team has of offer.

Staunton, Virginia-Overlooking the Rolling Hills of the Shenandoah Valley

The list of colleges in close vicinity to Staunton is astounding. Mary Baldwin University, James Madison University, Washington and Lee University, and University of Virginia. In short, Staunton is at the heart of education in Virginia!

With colleges and universities come graduates, many of whom want to get married close to their alma mater. Shenandoah Valley Inn and Wedding Venue for sale is ideally located and with the facilities to make this come true. Plus more…12 acres of grounds surround the inn, 10 spacious guest rooms, commercial kitchen set up for catering and spectacular Shenandoah Valley sunsets! The opportunity here also includes growth. Performance the past few years has been modest but the growth potential is significant, given the property’s perfect setting, size, and facilities for weddings and events as well as luxurious bed & breakfast accommodations.

urban Bed & Breakfat

Annapolis Maryland College Town Bed & Breakfast

Annapolis, Maryland-Colonial Capital City

Best known as the home of the United States Naval Academy. Prestigious comes to mind, Forbes rated it as the #1 public college in the US. St. Johns College is another college draw. The third oldest college in the US with high marks too.  Annapolis seaport and its maritime history attracts more than 1 million people a year to its shores. Quite significant!

The Annapolis Maryland B&B for sale, located in the historic district of Annapolis, is ideally suited for a couple or single owner looking for the pleasant lifestyle of this Chesapeake Bay maritime area. With a MUCH higher Average Daily Rate than most other inns, this Annapolis Maryland B&B for sale offers the location, luxury, privacy, and historic quality for a satisfying innkeeper lifestyle as well as offering additional growth opportunities for a continued strong bottom line.

college town B&Bs for sale

Clinton, New York College Town B&B

Clinton, New York-Mohawk Valley Village

Clinton is referred to as a New England style village, I suppose because of its picturesque historic quaintness. It is very pretty. As is Hamilton College, a highly-ranked liberal arts college and major source of lodging for guests for The Arbor Inn, a successful 7 room B&B. The Inn overlooks the 1,350-acre campus of Hamilton College.

The inn is housed in a handsome 19th century farmhouse with later additions. It sits on 4.8 lush acres, graced by mature maple trees. Outside, a courtyard garden, extensive decks, porches and a patio maximize the pastoral setting. The inn’s business is consistently strong and the lifestyle consistently invigorating. Restaurants, shops and entertainment in college towns offer variety and cultural vibrancy. They don’t just cater to students, the community benefits and supports the businesses. Plus only 10 minutes from Utica, home of Utica College, another vital community.

urban Bed & breakfast

Lehigh Valley PA College Town B&B for Sale

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania-Small Towns, Big Hearts

College towns are not all about size, it is about heart, history and the celebration of the culture of our country. You can find all this in the three small towns located in the Lehigh Valley; Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem.

Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Inn for sale is visited by business and leisure travelers and families visiting Lehigh University, Lafayette College, Muhlenburg College, DeSales University. Another multiple college town of Easton. The inn’s strong relationship with the local colleges as well as two hospitals and a nearby industrial park is a large part of the Inn’s guest base. Eighteen guest rooms consistently occupied by parents of students, visiting performers and speakers, business travelers, as well as families visiting the hugely popular Crayola Experience.

Staunton, Annapolis, Clinton and Easton…these college towns and the inns for sale within offer good solid places to live and work. Your entrepreneurial spirt can thrive and grow in these locations. Opportunity knocks once again.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Off the Beaten Path Waterside Inns for Sale

October 12th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Off the Beaten Path Waterside Inns for Sale-Opportunity Knocks

Explore and discover off the beaten path waterside inns for sale locations. Opportunity knocks once again!

  • Places where the ‘night life’ is lying on a blanket in a field, gazing at a carpet of stars and listening to the chirping of crickets or the call of the loons.
  • Where ‘fine dining’ may be chatting with local fishermen at a pub and ordering the fresh catch of the day recommended by your pub mate.
  • Where a ‘shopping spree’ could be wandering into a small village where handmade Amish goods are sold, quaintly displayed on front porches.

It is all about relaxing, slowing your pace and having no stress laden agenda to keep.

Sound good?

There are so many locations in the US that are comparable to what I have described. Where travelers can explore and discover the night life, fine dining and shopping sprees, off the beaten path style.

Thought…you may even want to live and own a business in one of these places.

Here are a few off the beaten path waterside inns for sale you may want to explore and discover for yourselves.

off the beaten path waterside inns for sale

Chesapeake City Inn

Chesapeake City, Maryland-Hidden Treasure of the Chesapeake

Relax along the C&D Canal (Chesapeake and Delaware). Chesapeake City is a small town located in a tranquil unspoiled section of Maryland that sprang into existence in the 19th Century when the canal was created. The many restored 19th-century buildings and houses spot the town streets. Many have been converted into B&Bs. This Chesapeake City Inn  for sale is on the canal overlooking the placid waters with the maritime traffic slowly passing by. Explore and discover the laid-back lifestyle of a maritime community.

Cannon Beach Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon-Small Refined Seaside Village

Located in the Northwest corner of Oregon. In 1846 a cannon washed up on the shore from a shipwreck, thus the name. The shoreline is dramatic with the iconic Haystack Rock a focal point. On top is a protected wildlife refuge. And that’s as wild as it gets! Explore and discover Cannon Beach pastimes. Beachcombing (never quite understood what beachcombing is?) but you can do it here!  Plenty of tide-pools and whales to watch too. Two nearby state parks, Ecola and Oswalt, a National Pacific Coast Byway and the dramatic Nehalem Alps, lots of exploring and discovering!  Near the town of Cannon Beach sits Arch Cape Inn for sale. Built in 1994 to resemble a European chateau, the elegant and unique Oregon Coast Inn is as dramatic as the Pacific coastline it inhabits.

New York Adirondack Inn

Lakeside Adirondack New York Escape

The lure of the lake is why you are here! Located just off NY Route 28 in the middle of the Adirondacks where the wilderness is less crowded and the livin’ is easy. This NY Adirondack inn for sale is a destination resort where you can hide your car keys and experience a complete relaxed getaway without leaving the property. The private access to the pristine lake from the inn is a real plus. Complimentary rentals of kayaks and canoes to explore and discover the lake. Back to the inn for dining, swim in the pool, a sauna, and a nap? And in winter, after nearby downhill skiing or snowshoeing, the inn is a warm welcoming respite.

Prominent Moosehead Lake Country inn

Moosehead Lake, Maine-Wilderness Travel Destination

The Northwoods of Maine is untamed and truly one of the most spectacular places in the world. Nestled beneath the green forests and blue mountains is Moosehead Lake. The largest lake in the eastern United States that stretches 40 miles long and 20 wide island-dotted miles. The small town of Greenville sits on the lower end of the lake, noted as the ‘historic gateway to the north country’. The Lodge at Moosehead Lake and a prominent Moosehead Lake Area Classic Country Inn are two inns for sale in Greenville, Moosehead Lake area. Guests staying at these properties can explore and discover the lake from a floatplane, a guided tour by Maine Guides or a cruise on the historic steamship Katadin.

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake

If a quieter off the beaten path lifestyle is what you dream about, these few featured properties may become your reality. The B&B Team can help. Plus there are other off the beaten path inns not mentioned here. (A bit of a teaser!)

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Opportunity Knocks!-Bed & Breakfasts for Sale 5 Rooms or Less

October 5th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

bed & breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less

Opportunity Knocks! Bed & Breakfasts for sale 5 Rooms or Less. Finger Lakes B&B

Yes…Bed & Breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less. In addition, financially viable bed and breakfasts!

Lets’ get started.

In the Finger Lakes of New York there is a 5- guest room, including cabins, Bed & Breakfast for sale. It is a beauty, located between Seneca and Keuka Lakes, in the geographic heart of the Finger Lakes region, where tourism flourishes. The inn is listed as financially viable, rare for the number of guest room offerings. There are 2 cabins on the 6 acres and it has real expansion capability for more.

For owner/innkeepers:

The owner’s annex provides 1350 ± square feet of living space including a full kitchen, dining area, large living room, master bedroom, adjoining study and 1 ½ bathrooms. Large living room windows maximize views across the valley. An attached three bay garage provides plenty of storage and workshop space. WOW!

Interested? Arrange a visit to this fine Finger Lakes B&B Gem for sale soon!

bed & breafasts for sale 5 rooms or less

Barcelona Lakeside Bed & Breakfast for Sale

Another ‘Small Inn, Big Success’ inn for sale in the Empire State, on the south shore of Lake Erie in Chautauqua County. Barcelona Lakeside Bed and Breakfast is a 4-guest room inn.

The inn is rated #1 out of 35 area B&Bs on TripAdvisor™. Barcelona Lakeside B&B is close to Chautauqua County’s and is the only area B&B with sweeping views of Lake Erie. Another real beauty! The house is a restored historic farmhouse surrounded by gardens and neighboring vineyards. These are just some of the reasons for the inn’s great success.

New owners can “turn the key” to this fine B&B and build on its solid foundation of profitability.

New River Gorge B&B

Morris Harvey House Bed & Breakfast

Lets’ move along to West Virginia to the historic 5 guest room Morris Harvey House in Fayetteville. Located in the middle of the New River Gorge recreational area. An incredible natural park encompassing over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, rich in cultural and natural history.

This New River Gorge bed and breakfast for sale boasts a solid track record of success with occupancies averaging around 50%, a remarkable achievement for any inn in a small-town setting, which is testament to the strength of the draw that the Gorge is.

For the owner/innkeepers:

A detached adjacent owner’s cottage with 2 bedrooms and full bath, kitchen, and living/dining room, affording space to relax and get away from the business while being immediately convenient.

These three bed & breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less gives new innkeeper/owners the opportunity to own and operate a viable business in beautiful viable tourist driven areas.

Thanks for Listening and letting The B&B Team share with you these three Bed & Breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less.

Opportunity knocks 3 times!

Janet Wolf

Rabbit Hole of Social Media

September 14th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Rabbit Hole of Social Media

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”. Lewis Carroll

This is a quote we often use in The B&B Team’s ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminars for aspiring innkeepers.

We suggest our seminar attendees need to focus on where they want to live. It helps them focus on where to start looking for inns for sale. You have to know where you are going.

This line of thinking can also relate to how small business owners/innkeepers should approach managing their social media.

  • Focus on the what, meaning which social media platforms will be most effective for your inn.
  • Focus on the when, how much time you should plan on spending on each platform.
rabbit hole of social media

Focus

I found a good blog on social media tips for small businesses. ’21 Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses.’ Interesting that the author used many Lewis Carroll quotes to illustrate the sometimes overwhelming tasks associated with social media. This article is chock full of good information, worth a read and a save for future reference.

“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.” Chapter 1- Alice in Wonderland

Do you sometimes feel like you are falling down the rabbit hole of social media? To avoid the tunnel it takes a game plan. I will take some key points from the 21 that the author lists. Points I believe relate to our small business niche. Points I hope will help you focus.

Facebook, blogging and email newsletters will most likely be your first platforms to attack. If you are in love with the image driven platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, go for it. They can be very powerful image tools. No platform is a requirement.

1. “Concentrate on your target audience and your goals from social media. In a world of choosing social platforms to concentrate on for small businesses, less is often always more.”

2.  “Take on what you can handle-and nothing more.” i.e. Scheduling, making a posting plan. I know an innkeeper who planned his social media on his weekly calendar. Facebook Monday…Newsletter Wednesday…Bogging Thursday. And most important, be consistent.

3. “What sort of content is your audience looking for?” Start with your location, location, location and all the offerings your area provides. This shows and tells the special experience your guests will be having. Your goal is to educate and entertain. Keep your readers engaged. Suggest NOT to bombard them with your ‘discounted, buy one get one free’ specials. Yawn and delete. ( You can always sneak your offers in AFTER you have engaged them with your great content).

4.  “Use high quality, crisp visuals. Recent research shows images increase social media engagement. Twitter updates with images in them receive 150% more retweets than those without and Facebook posts with images in them receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without.”  Show them the money shots.

5.  “Be patient! A lot of small business owners don’t know about all of a platform’s capabilities, or get frustrated when they don’t see a high engagement rate or grand following right away.” Frustration can lead to inertia. Don’t let that happen. Keep posting regularly, focus on the what and the when. And by all means…

“Remember what the Dormouse said…feed your head.” (with knowledge that is!). White Rabbit lyrics. Jefferson Airplane. Couldn’t resist that quote, it just popped in my head!

rabbit hole of social media

The rabbit hole of social media is not something you want to fall into. Hope this helps you focus as well as inspire you to find your old childhood copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Fun reading in between posting.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Our Fight Against the B&B Stereotype

September 5th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Our Fight Against the B&B Stereotype

Join our fight against the B&B stereotype. Last week you may have seen the scathing, meant to be humorous article in the online travel section of the Boston Globe; Does B&B stand for blah and bummer? One man’s stand against breakfast with strangers.  If not I have provided you with the link. I suggest you read it.

Now that you are as incensed as I became, you can now read my immediately response to the author, Christopher Muther. I share it with you now.

Dear Chris,

Have you ever had a terrible meal at a small chef/owned restaurant? Maybe you go on TripAdvisor and give it a 2 or 3 star review and probably won’t go back. But you know that not all small chef/owned restaurants are the same. Right?  I am not going to continue with this thread of thought because you are obviously a bright guy and get it.

What I am going to say is that writing about one, allegedly out of touch, living in the past B&B and giving it a scathing review based on your prejudiced (unfounded?) assumption that all B&Bs are similar to Mrs. Butterworth’s B&B. (By the way, do they really still make that stuff?) This is very unfair and articles like yours can unfortunately hurt the small independent lodging businesses.

Fact: B&Bs are changing, it is Darwinian. But it takes time. Of course we like to see positive press about our industry. Like the article just published in Down East Magazine featuring a selection of new Maine innkeepers entitled, The New Innkeepers.

This quote from the article says it all…

“Baby-boomer hoteliers — long the driving force behind the state’s inns, B&Bs, sporting camps, and other accommodations — are handing over the keys, and a new crop of hosts are bringing with them fresh aesthetics, new investment, and novel ideas about what it means to be a guest of the house.”

Chris, I know your article was amusing and was meant to initiate a chuckle or two but it really just dragged out another stereotype that our industry is working very hard on diminishing.

Now if you want to write something positive about our industry, take a look at the B&Bs for Vets program.

Thanks for Listening… Janet Wolf

New Innkeeper featured in the Down East article, Victoria Hood, West End Inn, Portland Maine. A client of The B&B Team and seminar graduate. Photograph by Michael D. Wilson

Our industry’s B&Bs are changing. Innkeepers, new or seasoned, with the ‘fresh aesthetics, new investment and novel ideas’ are the future. Keeping up with hospitality industry trends is key. One way of doing this is education, education, education! How, when and where? The Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace is THE place to be. February 26-March 1, 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia. Our forward looking association, AIHP, Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals, has a very forward thinking education program planned. Please consider attending.

The B&B Team is committed to the fight against the B&B stereotype. Join the fight, let’s move forward and once again…

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

B&Bs For Vets-Honoring Their Sacrifices

August 23rd, 2017 by Janet Wolf

B&Bs for Vets 2016

B&Bs For Vets-Honoring Their Sacrifices

B&Bs for Vets 2017 is now in full swing, accepting B&Bs signing up to offer our veterans a minimum of one free night (or more). Have you signed up? If not take a look at the Innkeepers Information and please consider joining the growing group of inns thanking our veterans and the many sacrifices they make.

Found a great blog written by a woman who knows! Listing four major sacrifices our veterans face. Veterans put their lives in danger while life at home moves on without them. The joys of daily family life we civilians often take for granted.

Missing the birth of their baby is a definite number 1. Depending on where a new daddy is, communications can be sketchy. Their wives go into labor, give birth and they may have no way to contact them. Or they may have watched over video chat the birth but then not physically able to hold and touch their child.

Stress of not knowing the where and what of your service member’s status. Months may go by without a word, not knowing if the person you love is hurt or worse.

‘Normal’ life planning for veterans is challenging at best. Buying a home in a neighborhood of your choice for your children with good schools and securing roots in the community. Not happening for military families.

The ultimate sacrifice is the unthinkable but the reality. Saying goodbye, permanently, yet knowing full well that the ultimate sacrifice was for a cause they felt deeply about. A void to live with for the rest of the loved ones lives.

Thank you Rachel Engel for your blog; ‘4 major sacrifices military families make. It’s not just missing out on celebrating anniversaries and milestones.’ Her insights are close to home for her. Her writings specialize in military and military family issues. She lives in a military installation with her active duty military husband and children.

The B&Bs for Vets program is our industry’s humble way of saying thank you to our veterans for the multitude of sacrifices they make. ‘Sacrificing’ a room or maybe more on Veteran’s Day is our way of recognizing and honoring their many sacrifices.

IMPORTANT NOTE: “Because of where the holiday falls, we are asking innkeepers to give their free rooms away on November 9, 10 or 11, 2017 (innkeeper’s choice of dates).”

I will close with a quote from an innkeeper that hosted an ‘innfull’ of veterans last year.

“What we also did not imagine, was how rewarding, personally, doing this would be. We enjoyed pleasant conversation with the vets and spent hours talking with them about their experiences in the service. We look forward to participating in this program again next year. Thank you for providing the mechanism that makes this all possible.” Larry and Patricia Reynolds. Gracefield Hall Bed & Breakfast

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Public Hotel-Learn From Success

July 31st, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Public Hotel-Learn From Success

Public Hotel Gardens on the Lower East Side

Ian Schrager, hotelier and former Studio 54 nightclub impresario, you may recognize the name, is known also as the inventor of the boutique lifestyle hotel back in 1984. His latest creation is shaking it up. The Public Hotel (known just as the “Public”) located in New York’s Lower East Side. It’s mantra, “Luxury for all.”

“In the nightclub business you have the same product everyone else has. The only way to distinguish any venue is to create magic, energy, excitement in the air. It’s the same with hotels. Every hotel room has a bed, but we don’t rely on the bed. We rely on excitement.” Ian Schrager. United Airlines Rhapsody magazine July 2017

The WOW factor looms large at the “Public.” And yes, it is affordable for a NYC hotel. Rooms are priced at around $250. (just noticed some rooms offered at $150)

Public hotel

Dining Venue at the “Public”

How does he do it? Well, first of all he is Ian Schrager, and we’re not. But I firmly believe we can learn from successful hoteliers like Mr. Schrager. We are all in the hospitality industry and we all want to be successful. And our guests all want to feel pampered and experience luxury.

“Feeling luxurious is something people of all ages, of every strata of wealth, of any education are entitled to experience.” Ian Schrager

What struck me when I was canvasing Public’s website was the simple and straight forward descriptions of the rooms and amenities. You can choose from:

  • Queen Room, Queen Good View, or Queen Great View.
  • King or King Great View
  • Loft Great View
  • Suite                                   As I said, simple and straight forward!

Public hotel-Lean From Success

And the amenities… no flowery language… just the facts, but you can see you are getting good value for the rates.

  • THE MOST COMFORTABLE KING SIZED BED
  • DISTINCT ZONES FOR SLEEPING, RELAXATION, WORKING AND ENTERTAINING
  • SEPARATE PULL OUT SOFA BED, DINING/WORK TABLE
  • SOAKING TUB
  • THE FASTEST WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS IN NYC
  • A 50″ FLAT-SCREEN LCD SMART TV WITH APPLE TV
  • FLOOR-TO-CEILING, TRIPLE GLAZED WINDOWS TO ALLOW LOTS OF SUN IN AND KEEP ALL THE NOISE OUT
  • TOUCH-CONTROLLED BLACKOUT SHADES AND SHEER CURTAINS
  • CUSTOM-DESIGNED LIGHTING FROM WORK LIGHT TO CANDLELIGHT
  • 10 EASY-TO-REACH USB PORTS AND POWER OUTLETS
  • BOSE WIRELESS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
  • IN-ROOM SAFE AND PERSONAL COOLER
  • FREE BOTTLED WATER
  • 269 SQ FT

We can all learn from success and get inspired from other’s creativity. Take a look at Public’s website. You may find something that will add that magic, energy and excitement to your Inn.

Another suggestion…attend the 2018 Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace at Norfolk, Virginia’s Hilton on Main. There is no better place to “learn from success” and find out what is happening in our industry today. The B&B Team will be there, all 10 of us, stop by and say “Hey!”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

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