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 ‘travel’

V is also for VALUE-with a Bed & Breakfast

September 3rd, 2012 by Scott Bushnell

Mark Orwoll, International Editor of Travel + Leisure was interviewed this morning by CBS Morning Show who spoke to the hidden fees that surprise hotel travelers…and often cause that debate with the hotel front clerk that is uncomfortable for the guest and annoying for the clerk.

The Negotiator…”offer a lower price, you mamby-pamby!”

According to Mr. Orwoll, and due to the economy slump starting about 4 years ago, hotels started adding these fees to supplement the deep discounting they have had to do to keep their shares of the traveling market.  Such marketing efforts as Expedia, Priceline, and were reducing room revenues so the hotels resorted to other “hidden” fees to maintain overall revenues such as:

  • Internet fees (as much as $10-$20 per day)
  • Resort fees (what the heck is that?  Why should I pay for the spa and golf course if I am not going to use it?)
  • Mandatory valet fees (Can’t I park my own car and save the $20 per day?)

And we already know that the restaurants and gift shops in a hotel are not a bargain.

Bed & Breakfasts offer the full VALUE of free parking, free we-fi, free gourmet breakfast, newspapers, snacks and drinks, often wine and cheese gatherings, concierge services beyond the expectation in addition to striking up that personal relationship that is so important to the guest.

The lesson here for B&B’s?  Be sure these extras (all a part of the full guest experience) are on your website, on your marketing materials, and your reservation confirmations.  B&B’s have been offering such VALUE for decades and will continue to do so.  So let’s all be sure to take advantage of letting the traveling public know that the full guest experience is also at the best VALUE.  Scott

Why not make Lemonade out of Lemons?

March 19th, 2010 by Rick Wolf

The enormously successful Innkeeping Conference finished last Thursday evening, but for The B&B Team, it finished Saturday evening after an extra day of meetings and a great night on the town in Austin. Sunday morning rose beautifully in the Hill Country of Texas and all seemed right for our trip home.  Well, not so fast….the East Coast was being pummeled by storms of incredible proportion and we discovered that flights had been canceled Saturday and delays were expected Sunday.

To make a long story short (and avoid a rant!) that's where the problems began.  I can't find fault with the airlines over weather, but when they do not act in a proactive and informational manner and then put hundreds of stranded passengers in the hands of un-empowered and insufficiently trained employees, customer service and hospitality get a black eye …and then I do find fault with them.

On Sunday evening, after 8 hours of delays and finally a canceled flight, I was told the first JetBlue flight available to us was Thursday and that we would be on our own in terms of lodging, food, local transportation, etc.  If we decided to make our own plans, we were still on our own.  When asking about any question pertaining to what JetBlue would do to assist us……the answer was always, "NO", we don't do that….but we'll see you Thursday!

No, we can't book you on another airline.  No, we do not have any food vouchers. No, we do not have any hotel vouchers…the last 2 'No's' at 8:30 PM!  In short, NO, NO, NO, thanks, you're on your own and have a nice day!  Sadly, Peter Greenberg may have been right when he commented the airlines mantra has become, "We're not happy until you're not happy".

Deep breath and an observation or two. If our owner operated industry mistreated our guests like thousands of air travelers were mistreated last weekend, we would be raked across the coals in every manner possible!  This little mishap, cost us over $2000 extra so we could get home late Monday/early Tuesday morning instead of late Thursday/early Friday morning.  If as Innkeepers, we were so cavalier in our treatment of the public when problems occur, even those problems beyond our control, we would find ourselves spiraling out of business.

The solution?  Be empowered and make the right decisions.  Relegate the word 'No' to the trash heap with those other objectionable/nasty words in our language.  Even when the answer may have to be 'no', find a way to incorporate a touch of humanity and care in the response.  Recognize that without guests, we don't have a business…and perhaps most of all, recognize that the absence of 'No' is at the core of Hospitality and Customer Service! JetBlue had the opportunity to be a hero in the eyes of thousands of stranded passengers through any of the most basic of acts, but they chose not to and as a result sat with a bag of lemons just waiting to be made into lemonade.

Let's not allow ourselves to sink to the level of the airline industry in terms of customer service and hospitality…just another reminder of how important it is that we need to strive to be the best we can be everyday!

Under the Boardwalk

January 19th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

Yes it is January and the snow may be flurrying in circles on the Jersey Shore’s boardwalks. But if you like the seashore at any time of the year, this may be a great time to visit.  Fresh crisp air, a seagull’s cry and a cozy fire in a Victorian seaside bed and breakfast, sounds good to me.  While there your thoughts may turn to warmer days and recall a time when The Drifters sang a familiar tune.

In the park you’ll hear

The happy sound of the carousel

You can almost taste the hot dogs

French fries they sell

Under the boardwalk

Down by the sea

On a blanket with my baby

Is where I’ll be

One of my best memories  of beach side amusement parks were the simple fun of arcade games, traditional rides like carousels or bumper cars and being allowed to indulge in original ‘junk food’ like cotton candy, fried dough and other gooey stuff!  The boardwalks of the Jersey Shore are the paths that will take you there. 

It was 1868 when Cape May first laid down its boards.  It was a way for tourists to enjoy the shore without getting sand in their shoes.  The longer the boardwalks the better for early Victorian strollers to promenade and show off their finery, people watch and congregate. Today the boardwalks serve the same purpose, a pathway to enjoy the simple pleasures of summertime. 

There is a great guide book available entitled; The Beach Bum’s Guide to the Boardwalks of New Jerseyby Dick Handschurch and Sal Marino.  A review of this guide says the authors; “tell you where to walk, what to see, how to get there and some history, some stories, some stats and some facts about the boardwalks of New Jersey”.  You can find out about this book and other great information on the website…Down the Shore.

A popular and active community on the shore is a place once called Five Mile Beach, now this area is known as the Wildwoods.  The beaches are wide with soft sand; their ‘family friendly’ boardwalk is two miles long and their five amusement piers and park are probably the best in all New Jersey for rides.  For those collecting roller coaster rides, Morey’s Pier boasts the best ride in New Jersey.

So if you visit in the quiet season or in the spring, summer or fall when the boardwalks are bustling, we recommend the Wildwoods where a certain bed and breakfast with a wide Victorian front porch awaits your visit. The Candlelight Inn, is your classic Jersey Shore Bed and Breakfast destination and a perfect spot to stay and experience those nostalgic simple pleasures of summertime or any season.  Catch the smooth drifting sounds of the sea, yeah…on a blanket with my baby, that’s where I’ll be. 

Oh yes, and tell them The B&B Team sent you!

Janet Wolf