Tag Archives: breakfast

How To Profit From Designing Bed and Breakfast Retreats

bed and breakfast retreats

 

 

Bed and breakfast retreats can be very profitable for bed and breakfast inn owners. I will be presenting on an upcoming Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) webinar.  Here is the blurb:

 

 

“From dreaming to planning and pricing to marketing, Kristi Dement will show you how to profit from designing retreats at your bed and breakfast.  She will reveal 15 different types of B&B retreats that your inn could host.  Plus, learn several reasons we should all love retreats!”

 

We will discuss:

 

  • 3 Essential Questions To Ask in the Dreaming Phase
  • Understanding the Role of Activities and Breaks
  • Crucial Planning Considerations
  • Option of Working with Outside Professionals
  • Types of Retreats and The Importance of Names
  • Customizing Retreats for Specific Clients
  • Critical Retreat Policies to Have in Place
  • Retreat Pricing Guidelines
  • Structuring Your Retreat
  • Building Retreat Buzz
  • Key Retreat Marketing Strategies
  • Reasons to Love Retreats

 

Throughout the Professional Association of Innkeepers International webinar, I will be sharing the images (like the one above) from talented hospitality photographer Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography.

Click here for the blog post with a link to the YouTube video of my previous PAII webinar called, “How You Can Profit From Creating Memorable Guest Packages” led by Heather Turner, the Marketing Director for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.

This PAII webinar is scheduled to take place on Wednesday January 25 at 2 pm.  After the webinar, I will provide a link to the presentation right here.  To get more ideas for designing retreats, look at BnBFinder’s website under Specials and then Classes, Courses, and Workshops.

If you can think of another issue for me to address, with regards to designing bed and breakfast retreats, please feel free to comment below.  Alternatively, if you have experience leading bed and breakfast retreats, I welcome you to introduce yourself.  Tell us the name of your inn and where it is located and let us know what has worked well for your bed and breakfast retreats.

January Holidays B&B Inns

Celebrating January holidays at B&B inns can attract more hospitality business.  Both big and small,  there are special holidays throughout the year.  Some holidays are officially observed (like Thanksgiving) while others are just for fun (like April Fool’s Day).

january holidays

 

Depending upon where you are in the United States, the month of January can be really cold yet beautiful.  It is a time for reflecting on and making decisions to improve your overall life.  It can also be about honoring those who have made a great impact on the world like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

January Holidays

 

Jan. 1 New Years Day

  • Keywords: Happy New Year, New Year’s Day, January 1st, 1st Day of the Year
  • Themes: fresh start, new you, resolutions, commitments, goals, dreams
  • Example: New Years Eve Special

 

Cobblestone Bed and Breakfast of Birchwood, Wisconsin celebrated the New Year with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, noise makers, and hats.  That sounds very festive!

Example: New Years Eve Dinner or New Years Eve Package

 

Each New Years Eve, Orchard Inn of Asheville, North Carolina hosts a decadent 7-course dinner. The night begins with hors d’oeuvres at 7 pm and then dinner at 8 pm. Then guests raise a glass to the New Year with a complimentary glass of French champagne. 

Guests who chose their New Years Eve package (for the 2015-2016 calendar change) received 2-nights accommodation, breakfast each morning and dinner on New Years Eve as well as a choice of dinner on December 30th or January 1st.

 

 

january holidays

St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument in St. Augustine, Florida

Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Day

 

  • Keywords: MLK Day, Martin Luther King Day, Civil Rights Leader
  • Themes: freedom, respect, equal rights, unity, peace

 

 

 

 

Example: Carriage Way Bed and Breakfast of St. Augustine, Florida is promoting FREE admission into Castillo de San Marcos Fort on Monday, January 18, to honor the memory of where Dr. King himself walked.

Example: Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast of Durham, North Carolina, named by Black Enterprise magazine as the number one black-owned bed and breakfast in America, promotes their local area’s Annual MLK-Black History Month Parade.

 

Promote your bed and breakfast by celebrating more holidays throughout the year.  Have the appropriate decor (such as New Years’ noise makers) to make your inn more festive.  Consider hosting a dinner or encouraging your guests to attend local events (such a parades) in your area.

Become known for celebrating amazing holiday festivities (like these January holidays at B&B inns) throughout the year. This attracts visitors to come again to experience your hosting of another holiday.

 

Top Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

What Should My Inn Blog About?

inn blog about

What should my inn blog about, you ask?  Since each inn is unique, your blog should give readers a better understanding of your particular bed and breakfast. Is your location a relaxed beach setting, a scenic mountain location, a rural country farm, a contemporary urban inn, or something else entirely?  Entice your website visitors to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Pictures are a very visual way to attract vacationers.

 

Why do people visit your local area?  What local leisure activities can guests participate in?  Does your area have any local tourist attractions?  Blogging about this will give you fresh content and keywords for search engine optimization.  Moreover, knowing this information helps you target different types of guests:

  • Adventurers
  • Antique lovers
  • Art and drama lovers
  • Board game players
  • Business groups
  • Business travelers
  • Class reunion attendees
  • Environmentally conscious people
  • History buffs
  • Hobby lovers
  • Honeymooners
  • Mystery lovers
  • Pet owners
  • Readers
  • Relaxation seekers
  • Shoppers and antique lovers
  • Sight seers
  • Spa lovers
  • Special occasion reasons (birthday, anniversary, family reunion)
  • Sports spectators
  • Vegetarians
  • Wedding guests
  • Wine lovers

 

Do you offer any special packages or retreats?

  • Girlfriend getaways
  • Quilting retreats
  • Romance package
  • Writers retreats
  • Yoga retreats

 

How does your inn serve breakfast?  Some B&B inns have their own restaurant.  Some bring breakfast to your room on a tray while others have a common dining area for guests.  At some bed and breakfasts, guests can choose from a menu what they would like to have while at others everyone the same delicious gourmet cooking.

Be sure to ask guests if they have special dietary needs.  Your blog can feature pictures of your breakfasts as well as recipes of guests’ favorite dishes.

 

What kind of amenities can your guests enjoy?

  • Game rooms
  • Gardens
  • Hot tubs
  • Luxurious linens
  • Pool

 

Potential guests also like to know more about the owners, innkeepers, and staff members of bed and breakfasts.  Be sure to put their pictures on your website including their name, a couple sentences about what they do, and what they recommend guests try when they visit.  You could even feature staff members that receive a lot of compliments from your guest feedback.

Be sure to tell guests what you, as an innkeeper, love the most.  Let them know that you will be attentive to their needs, but also give them the privacy they desire.  If you have a historic bed and breakfast, be sure to share your inn’s history.

Do you have any accreditations or affiliations?  Membership in a bed and breakfast association and/or having received a certain award or level of distinction will set you apart from other bed and breakfasts.

 

Do you have your own bed and breakfast shop?

  • Coffee mugs
  • Cookbooks
  • Robes
  • Soap

 

How does your inn celebrate the seasons?

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter

 

How does your inn celebrate holidays?

  • New Years
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

 

Your inn can blog about remodeled or redecorated rooms.  Improvements to your inn are worth talking about.  Previous guests may want to return based on your description of the new changes.

Do you offer any incentives for frequent stays and/or referrals?  Reward your guests for returning and recommending your B&B to friends. On the topic of frequency, be sure to have a frequently asked questions section on your website.

Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

 

When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn.  Give website visitors an “inn-side” look at your B&B from behind the scenes.  Having a blog and being active on social media is a great way to draw more attention to your website.

Don’t have the time or desire to write a blog or stay active on social media?  Let Kristi Dement at Bed and Breakfast Blogging do all the hard work for you.  Her clients see results with consistently booked rooms.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Healthy Breakfasts: Berries

healthy breakfasts berries
Healthy breakfasts: berries may be small in size, but blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries are big on taste as well as rich in three areas: antioxidants, fiber, and folate. Eating berries can help improve your health, wellness, and weight. Better yet, berries can be enjoyed all year long.

 

All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best choices. There are powerful antioxidants found in berries, including Vitamin C, may help:

  • Prevent and manage arthritis
  • Slow age-related memory-loss
  • Decrease inflammation in joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Make skin more radiant
  • Make hair more healthy

Berries also contain fiber and folate. Fiber aids in weight loss and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate may protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related memory loss, and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may also help avoid depression and improve one’s mood.

In addition to antioxidants, fiber, and folate, berries are “juicy foods,” which means they contain mostly water. Juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill people up quickly, since their high water content bumps up the volume while driving down the calories.

Remember, if fresh berries cannot be found, frozen (unsweetened) berries are a great substitute during the off-season months — and just as nutritious! Delicious serving ideas include:

  • Adding berries to a bowl of warm oatmeal during breakfast.
  • Putting berries on top of pancake batter as it cooks for berry delicious pancakes.
  • Drizzling chocolate to cover strawberries as a romantic snack for couples.
  • Stirring fresh raspberries into Greek yogurt to amplify its deliciousness.
  • Combining frozen berries with bananas and low-fat milk to make an afternoon smoothie for guests.

Offering berries to your guests is a healthy and delicious way to fuel their bodies. Guests love the taste of berries and innkeepers love their smiles and return visits!   Be sure to put pictures of your breakfasts on social media! People can “like” your posts on Facebook, “re-tweet” your tweets on Twitter, and pin your pictures on Pinterest!

 

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

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

B&B Guests: Business Travelers

business travelers

 

Business travelers may decide that they would like the bed and breakfast experience rather than an impersonal hotel. You can attract them by appealing to their needs. For example, in your local area, there may be a business conference in your area or a large corporation nearby or your inn may have its own conference room.

 

You can cater to their unique business needs by providing things such as a roomy desk with a comfortable office chair and wi-fi internet access as well as a coffeepot with freshly brewed coffee in their own room.  You can find out the most convenient time for them to eat their breakfast. When you go out of your way to be hospitable, they will remember your extra consideration and be a regularly returning guest!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Maximizing Your Time

maximizing your time

We all have 24 hours in our day.  Since none of us can buy time, we must maximize (make the greatest and full use of) this limited resource. This means we must have a strategy (a plan for obtaining a specific goal or result).

So what are goals?  Goals are the results toward which our efforts are directed.  The best goals are SMART:

  • Specific–target a specific area for improvement
  • Measurable–quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress
  • Action-oriented–state what action must be taken
  • Realistic–state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources
  • Time-related–specify when the results can be achieved

As an innkeeper of a bed and breakfast, you may want to categorize your goals based on the different areas in your job. I have included an example of a smart goal for each category.

  • Cooking–I will learn at least one new breakfast recipe each week and serve it to my guests.
  • Decorating–I will consult with a professional painter and get an estimate on interior and exterior painting costs.
  • Events–I will host a local chamber of commerce meeting every week.
  • Finances–I will keep an organized record of my earnings and expenses.
  • Gardening–I will plant at least 3 trees and 5 bushes this month.
  • Housekeeping–I will hire a maid to clean our rooms regularly.
  • Laundry–I will arrange for a laundry service to clean our linens.
  • Marketing and Promotion–I will hire someone to write a blog for our website.
  • Shopping–I will stick to my list every time I buy groceries.

You may think of other categories or come up with different goals.  The point is to make the best use of your time. This will allow you, the busy innkeeper, to get everything done and still have a little down time to yourself.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Hospitality of Hosting

hospitality of hosting

A gracious host is very welcoming and immediately sets you at ease when you arrive. Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. This includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. It is important, as bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers, that guests feel at home in your home.

Hospitality is associated with etiquette and entertainment. It involves showing respect for one’s guests, providing for their needs, and treating them as equals. The word hospitality derives from the Latin hospes, meaning “host”, “guest”, or “stranger”.

 

Hospitable Things To Say

  • “Make yourself at home.”
  • “What brings you here to stay with us?”
  • “Do you need more fresh towels or pillows?”
  • “Can I get you anything else?”
  • “Feel free to select from our DVDs and books to take back to your room during your stay here.”
  • “Would you like to know about some fun things to do in our area?”
  • “Your homemade fresh-cooked breakfast will be ready at….”
  • “Would you care for some tea this afternoon?”

As an innkeeper, you will need to know the fine art of how much to interact with your guests. Be available to answer their questions, but also be sensitive to their need for privacy.  Take your cue from the guests themselves since each person is different.  This way you tailor your hospitality to match the needs and wants of your guests. That is the hospitality of hosting!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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