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
 

Posts Tagged ‘b&b’

Recap of Top 10 Lodging Trends 2017

December 6th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Recap of Top 10 Lodging Trends 2017

As the year winds to a close I thought I would compile a recap of top 10 lodging trends 2017. Some of these come from blogs I have written this year and others from a quick Google search of hotel/lodging trend articles.

1. In-room technology. The two items that stood out were: High-definition flat screen TV and high-speed Wi-Fi. It is all about providing the best picture and the fastest band width. Instant gratification plus a shorter attention span are the drivers.

2. Varied dining options. In most of your Inns, it is breakfast. The trends are:

Grab & Go Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt Parfaits – For your early risers

  • Grab & Go for early risers and early departures.
  • Letting your guests know (on your website breakfast page and/or booking process) that their food allergies and/or preferences are gladly accommodated.  Stressing they MUST let them know in advance.
  • Lighter fare options at breakfast. See The B&B Team Pinterest board for some great lighter fare breakfast ideas.

3. Self-check-in options for after hours. Convenience and peace of mind for the many guests that are delayed for a variety of reasons. Or just want to mosey their way to you without a time schedule.

4. Communal areas that bring people together. Hotels have been remodeling their lobbies to become more people friendly. Your common rooms and dining rooms may need a revamping too. Sometimes it can be as simple as rearranging your furniture to create comfortable communal seating areas or creating comfortable reading or laptop working nooks with great lighting.

Example of dining/common room divided into communal areas. Used beyond breakfast! Jumping Rocks Photography

5. Don’t forget the millennials. The ‘millennial appetite’ is not just about food or a more contemporary design. In addition, they are more into a healthy lifestyle, self-growth, and digital technology. They may want to experience the same places (your Inn and location) their parents have but experience them in a different way. They are a bit more adventurous and willing to explore ‘outside the box.’

6. Paying attention to your guests’ experiences outside your Inn as well as inside your Inn. Get to know them before they arrive. In your confirmation email you can ask them targeted questions. Why are you travelling to… (name your town and state)? Are you celebrating a special date? Take your pick of questions but don’t make it an inquisition, you’ll lose them.

7. Bring in the locals. Hospitality has always been focused on the traveler, as it should. But what about the locals? There are business influencers in your community that can benefit you and your Inn. Events like Pop-up dinners, Inn tours, holiday open house, Chamber After Hours, and hosting local charity events.  These events welcome locals into your Inn which brings awareness to your Inn and you!

8. The new definition of luxury. Read my past blog on that subject.

9. Mobile friendly websites. Getting back to technology. Today 51.8% use mobile devices to book. In 2019, the estimate is 86.4%. ‘Nuff said.

10. Video. 4 times as many customers would rather watch a short video relating to a product or service than read about it. Create your own or find out if your town chamber or state tourism organization has a video you can use on your website.

Woods Hole Inn, Woods Hole Massachusetts has a great video.

I know that many of you out there have been paying attention to these recap of top 10 lodging trends 2017, but there are still the innkeepers out there who are lagging. For those laggards, in the long run (your future) it will affect your business negatively. It is December and the future is just around the corner. Time to make your list and check it twice in 2018.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

An Innkeeper’s Journey

November 29th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

The B&B Team loves to hear from our Better Way to Learn Innkeeping Seminar graduates. Especially when they have made the journey from aspiring to real time! We got an email from Yoshio and Diane Endo, new innkeepers of The Inn at Ormsby Hill in Manchester Vermont that tells a great story. One year from Seminar week-end to paper cup. Paper cup?…read on.

Hi to The B&B Team,

It’s been a year of wild and exciting events since we took the Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar in Kennebunkport in November 2011. Follow our exciting time line:

November – Wow we are the oldest couple at the seminar…Anders Greta Lisa this is not a retirement business, Rick says.

December – Put Hawaii condo on the market and we will use proceeds of the sale for down payment on a B&B.Aloha

January – Sold! It took 37 days and 55 showings.

February – Our first search took us to the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. Think we found one.Flight

March – Financial due diligence and letter of intention sent to seller.

April – Purchase and sale agreement signed by both parties.

May – Inspection, inspection, inspection.B´elton John

June – Bank financing. It’s not over until the fat lady sings…

July – The sellers served breakfast and did check-outs in the morning. We came in the afternoon and did check-ins and served breakfast the next morning. We’re innkeepers!

August – Central air conditioner failure in 90 degree weather…quick go get three window units by 3 pm.

September – Water pump stopped working last night…It was determined that the well pump failed at 7am on Friday…Well is 520 feet deep! We are expecting a full house this week-end…Panic time! Can they fix it by 3pm check-in time or must we turn away guests? The incredible plumber’s team replaced the well pump by 3:20 on Friday!Plumbers Crack

October – there are never enough Ormsby Hill mugs as everyone is taking them to their room for their first cup of coffee in the morning. Solution…provide a paper cup so they don’t need to bring cups back. Brilliant!Day 141/365 Coffe

November – Successfully finished the peak foliage season with October occupancy of 73%

Thanks to The B&B Team for introducing us to the wonderful life of innkeeping! this was certainly a year to remember. It was not possible without your help and friendship. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and passion for B&B’s. Many Happy Returns, Yoshio and Diane

We are so thankful for our many clients who become successful innkeepers, thankful for their faith in The B&B Team and for their friendship. It is a wonderful and exciting journey for us to participate in and witness also.  For those who take our seminars and decide not to take this journey we are also thankful. Innkeeping is a wonderful profession but is not for everyone.  We want our seminar graduates to become educated and well informed so they are able to make informed decisions. So when we receive such positive feedback like this email from Yoshio and Diane our paper cup runneth over!

Thank You

Photographs were added by blog author and don’t represent any real plumbers from Vermont!

 

NASA Turns 50

March 24th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

Many of us grew up as ‘space age boomers’ along with NASA.  From making our own space helmets out of tin foil to watching men walk on the moon from our black and white TVs, we have witnessed history! Then there are those that grew up to experience the celestial highs and emotional lows of the Space Shuttle program from a more up close, personal and professional point of view. Chuck and Martha Nighswonger, Innkeepers of the Night Swan Intracoastal Bed and Breakfast in New Smyrna Beach  worked at the Kennedy Space Center for many years prior to their careers as Innkeepers.

Chuck and Martha related to me that one of the high points was having the opportunity to have viewed every Space Shuttle launch since 1984. Also they are very proud of having been part of a team of very dedicated men and women that were and still are true believers in the NASA mission. Chuck states that the lowest point of his career was the loss of the Challenger on that very sad January morning in 1986.  He was part of the recovery team that went to sea for over three months.  Their goal to recover the rocket motor was successful and from that retrieval they were able to find the cause of the disaster. 

As Innkeepers, Chuck and Martha share these experiences with their guests especially when their stories are accompanied by the viewing of a launch from their two story dock on the Intracoastal Waterway.  The next launch is scheduled for Monday, April 5, 2010 at 6:27AM followed with a sunrise at 7:00.  So just imagine, the sky turns into daylight and birds awaken and start to sing as if it were morning, after two minutes dogs start to bark and the inn’s windows rattle, a contrail in the sky and the day turns to night again, soon to be followed by the sunrise.  Boy do Chuck and Martha know how to give their guests a spectacular bed and breakfast experience!

Getting back to ground level, the Night Swan’s hospitality, great breakfasts and comfortable and clean rooms help create another kind of ‘close encounter’ that any visitor to Florida’s east central coast would find unforgettable. Picture yourself, watching baby dolphins frolic in the waterway viewed from your guest room’s private balcony or the inn’s classic wrap around porch, taking a stroll through the historic town of New Smyrna Beach and stopping for a great meal at Mahony’s Oyster Bar with the best and freshest seafood stew available this side of the moon! 

The B&B Team had the pleasure of experiencing Chuck and Martha’s hospitality when we hosted one of our Seminars for Aspiring Innkeepers at the Night Swan this past January.  Chuck and Martha insist that our next trip should be planned during a launch but we must accelerate our visit because there are only five more Space Shuttle launches scheduled.  Maybe Martha can provide us with some cardboard and tin foil and we can all sit on the deck in our space helmets and watch the end of an era.  But, as one ‘space age boomers’, I am hopeful.  The NASA Mission Statement ends with the declaration that America’s adventures in space have…’empowered all of us with the sense that anything is possible and that as interconnected as the modern world is, there are still goals to strive for and new places to explore.’  Let’s hope so…and a Happy Birthday to all at NASA!

Janet

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