Monthly Archives: February 2014

You Can Succeed With Pinterest

you can succeed with Pinterest
You can succeed with Pinterest.  Did you know that Pinterest is a great way to attract guests to stay at your bed and breakfast?  I am going to be writing a series of blog posts about my journey starting Pinterest.

Pinterest is a social media website that allows you to pin different pictures onto boards. You can use your own pins or pin other people’s pins. It sounds much more complicated than it really is. You can succeed with Pinterest.

Pinterest allows you to be very creative and this is a great marketing tool for your business!  I would like to share some of my tips as well as discuss my Pinterest boards so you can see just how easy and fun it is for you to get started!  The best part is that anyone can use Pinterest because it is FREE!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Professional Associations

   

Do you know the value of belonging to professional associations?  Many inns and bed and breakfasts are members of professional associations. There are international, national, regional, and local associations, all of which provide services to both their members and the travelling public. Many require their members to meet specific standards of quality, while others simply require a lodging establishment to pay dues. These associations also facilitate marketing of the individual B&Bs and provide a stamp of approval that the business in question is reputable.

While various local governments have regulations and inspect lodging establishments for health and safety issues, membership in a state or national bed and breakfast association can indicate a higher standard of hospitality. Associations sometimes review their members’ properties and tend to have additional standards of care.  Associations may offer informative conferences.

In the US for example, each state has an innkeeping association (usually non-profit) that exists to promote the industry and tourism. Within those state associations, many city and regional bed and breakfast associations can be found. Many state, city and regional associations, have inspection criteria that often exceed government requirements for safety and cleanliness.  We have talked about organizations like AAA, the Better Business Bureau, and the Professional Association of Innkeepers International in previous blog posts.  People find comfort in staying at places that have earned high ratings.  Think about your B&B’s marketing strategy.

Innkeeper Trait Attentive

innkeeper trait attentive

 

 

 

Do you think of yourself as attentive to the needs of your bed and breakfast guests? Having the innkeeper trait attentive means you are:

 

  • observant
  • aware of others
  • thoughtful towards others
  • considerate
  • polite
  • courteous

The simple act of noticing little things (which is part of the innkeeper trait attentive) goes a long way.  This means treating guests they way they want to be treated.  If they have several questions when they first come in, then by all means make sure you have answered all of their questions. You can offer to give them a personal tour of your bed and breakfast or mention when the next event such as afternoon tea and goodies.

If they seem to want to go to their room right away to relax, then hand them a friendly information sheet on your B&B policies including check-out time and ask them to let you know if they need anything else. Do everything possible to show that you are completely dedicated to making sure they have a tremendous experience while they stay as your guests. This increases your chances of having repeat visitors as well as new friends.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Vegetarian Bed and Breakfasts

vegetarian bed and breakfasts

Vegetarian bed and breakfasts may decide to cater their breakfasts to vegetarians only or offer vegetarian breakfasts to their vegetarian guests.  A good rule of thumb is to ask for any dietary restrictions when you book your guests so there are no surprises in the morning! However, many people who like to eat meat can be just as happy being a guest at vegetarian bed and breakfasts.

 

Your nutritious breakfast menu could feature home cooked specialties prepared (with seasonally available) locally grown fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit or fruit juice, home made bread such as rolls, muffins or scones.  Guests can select either fresh brewed coffee or tea. You may include specialty omelets, pancakes, or even top your oatmeal with blueberries.

On your website, state that your wholesome vegetarian breakfasts sustain your guests all morning long.  Promote your healthful vegetarian breakfasts in blog posts and on social media as well.  Your B&B will attract vegetarians who are looking for a breakfast that complements their dietary lifestyle.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Awesome Yoga Retreats

awesome yoga retreats

 

 

Does your bed and breakfast offer awesome yoga retreats?  The bed and breakfast owners who do, emphasize the peacefulness of their quiet location, the beauty of their scenic nature, and the transformation in body and mind that can come with yoga.

 

You can encourage guests of all experience levels to challenge themselves in your safe and comfortable setting. Highlight the benefits of their coming: a place for them to strengthen and relax their body, free themselves from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and grow in creativity.

You may designate specific times of the year for these retreats.  Some B&B owners offer weekend yoga retreats. You can put together a yoga retreat package for your guests.

If no one on staff is an expert yoga instructor, you could find a yoga professional in your local area who is willing to conduct these retreats and pay them a reasonable fee per participant.

Be sure to promote your yoga retreats on your website, in your blog, and through social media.  You may be attracting a whole new clientele of guests to your inn.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Hosting Honeymooners

hosting-honeymooners

 

 

Did you ever think of putting together a Honeymoon Package for you bed and breakfast? Bed and breakfasts can be very romantic–especially for the newly married. Depending upon your B&B’s amenities, you could offer any of the following:

 

  • Beautiful fresh cut flowers in your own room
  • Choice of a chilled bottle of champagne, wine, or sparkling juice.
  • Box of chocolates by their bedside
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Scented candles
  • Two luxurious robes
  • CD’s of romantic music
  • Romantic movies the couple can choose from for viewing in the privacy of their own room
  • Complimentary snack basket
  • Pampering that comes with a “his and her” massage
  • Relax at a spa and enjoy a facial and manicure
  • Private couples mineral bath
  • Gift certificate to local restaurant and/or local shopping
  • 2 tickets to a local popular attraction
  • Dessert served in the dining room by candlelight
  • Rose petal turn-down service (silk rose petals scattered on your bed)
  • A luscious gourmet breakfast served in your suite or the dining room

If you have a Honeymoon Suite or even a private cottage, you can let your guests stay there. You can even make the package “a la carte” and let them decide which services they would like to you to provide.  

When they make an online reservation, have them specify in one of the comments boxes on the confirmation page. Be sure to feature this package on your website, in your blog, and on social media.  You can help make their honeymoon be filled with treasured memories!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Frequent Stay and Referral Program

frequent stay and referral program

Did you know that you can reward your guests for staying frequently and for referring their friends to you?  Repeat business and referrals bring in money.  As a bed and breakfast owner, you can put in place a program to encourage guests to come again and tell their friends about your B&B.  Having a frequent stay and referral program is a great way to reward your guests.

 

You can say, “The highest compliment you can give us is to return again as a guest and to refer us to others.”  There are a variety of arrangements bed and breakfasts offer, such as:

  • When five of your referrals have booked with us, you get a free night’s stay.
  • Refer another couple who stays two nights, and you get $50 off your next visit.
  • With three referrals, you earn a free night in our standard room or 50% off one of our hot tub suites.

You may need to specify certain restrictions including:

  • When your friends make a reservation online, they must type your name as the referral.
  • Must show their receipts from previous stays.
  • Only when your first night’s stay is on a Sunday through a Thursday.
  • Excludes special events, holidays, and peak periods.
  • Not redeemable for cash.
  • Other restrictions may apply.
  • Expiration date (if any).

You can promote this frequent stay and referral program on your website, in your blog, and through social media. Make sure you mention this as your guests leave to remind them of this unique opportunity.  You will enjoy seeing the familiar faces of your returning guests as well as meeting their friends!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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