Tag Archives: concierge

How To Be Better Than Your Competition

wine cellar featuring table with wine bottle and cheese plate

Being better than your competition is the goal of most business owners. This post is for hospitality providers like bed and breakfast innkeepers. You must think of yourself as an entrepreneur because you are! Your goal is to stand out from all other lodging options. The best way to do that is to discover what is called your “unique selling proposition.” Basically, what do you offer than no one else does? By providing exceptional food, friendly hospitality, concierge services, and luxurious amenities, you will build a list of returning guests. There are a number of ways to do that, and it depends upon your preferences, priorities and personality.

Amazing Amenities

Do you offer spa treatments (either in your room or an actual spa)? Do you have a restaurant that also serves lunch and dinner to guests (and may be open to the public)? What kinds of amenities come in each of your guest rooms (mini-fridge, hot tub, free internet access, entertainment, etc.)? How do your linens feel? Do you add extra touches like mints on their pillows? When your guests feel special, they will want to return to feel that way again.

Concierge Services

Depending upon the type of guests you attract, concierge services can be on the high end. For example, before staying, if a guest contacted you and said they wanted to surprise who they are bring because it is their birthday or anniversary, do you have a plan in place? Are you connected to other local businesses? It is of great benefit to get to know the owners of local restaurants, boutiques, entertainment venues, etc. so you can network with them.

Custom Packages

Custom packages should be tailored around why people visit you and your local area. For example, if you are in wine country or near a popular winery, consider adding a wine tasting package that includes chauffeur service to a few local wineries. You know the area and your guests will appreciate not having to drive.

Another example, often destinations for romantic getaways offer packages that include couples’ massages, flowers, chocolates, restaurant gift certificates, event tickets, and so on. Think about what couples love to do in your local area.

Food Options

If you have relationships with local farmers, regularly shop from your local farmer’s markets, raise farm animals, and/or have your own garden, be sure to tell your guests about that. People love to hear stories about that.

Alternatively, if you accommodate the dietary needs of your guests, be sure to mention that. “With advance notice, we can provide alternative food options.” Perhaps you pride yourselves on being vegetarian, vegan, diabetic-friendly, heart-healthy, or even providing your guests with “comfort foods.”

Some bed and breakfasts offer a free wine tasting time in the afternoon. This can be a social time and opportunity to interact with other guests. You may offer premium nuts, select cheeses, and other delicious appetizers as well.

Most inns offer complimentary homemade goodies for guests to grab at their leisure. Some offer extras like dessert and wine delivered in the evenings. This can also be part of a package.

Hosting Retreats

When you host retreats, you have the option to lead the retreats entirely on your own, have guest speakers, or have other people host their own retreats using your food and accommodations. The options for types of retreats are endless. Think about why people visit your area. Various retreats include business retreats, relationship retreats, project retreats, and many more. Take the time to assess your interests and plug into your local area. This is yet another way to stand out and be better than your competition.

Offering Classes

Do you ever get told that you should teach a class about something you are talented at doing? If you are good at cooking, dancing, painting, photography, writing, yoga, or something entirely different, you can use your talent. Do you have a famous local talent that would be willing to teach classes at your inn? Even if you don’t teach the class, you can bring an expert who does.

Private Events

This depends upon your area and your interests. For example, if you live in a college town, then perhaps you can host graduation parties. If you have a background in coordinating weddings, and your accommodations is large enough, you can host weddings. Even smaller lodging places host elopements or intimate weddings. Hosting private events is another way to be better than your competition.

Strategic Marketing

Do you have a plan in place to grow your bed and breakfast business to the next level? Consider working with someone who is experienced at helping inns improve their bottom line.

Do they listen to your vision of what you would like to do with your accommodations? Are they providing helpful advice to get you there? Do they seek out opportunities for you to receive press? Are you open to their suggestions?

The relationship you have with a hospitality marketing company, like Bed and Breakfast Blogging, can mean all the difference in the world. We partner with innkeepers to attract their ideal audiences (including pet lovers, history buffs, and adventure seekers).

A good marketing strategy means carving out your own niche and uniquely marketing to them in a variety of ways including: blogging, email marketing, social media, local partnerships, publicity, and much more.

Association Memberships

I want to acknowledge the benefits professional association membership can bring. In this way, innkeepers are supportive of each other. Natural to their personalities, many innkeepers go out of their way to be helpful to others (especially their guests).

Belonging to an association allows for more networking, greater awareness of the hospitality industry, and coming together to encourage more direct bookings. By having a network of referral partners, when guests ask you to recommend a bed and breakfast in another area or when your inn is full, this is a great time to introduce them to other inns (and for other innkeepers to refer their guests to you).

Better Than Your Competition

By incorporating any of the ideas mentioned in this blog post, you are on your way to making your bed and breakfast business even better than your competition. Also, to establishing beneficial partnerships and associations. You are welcome to contact Kristi Dement for a complimentary 15-minute phone conversation.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

How You Can Offer Popular Guest Room Amenities

popular guest room amenities

 

Popular guest room amenities attract potential bed and breakfast guests.  Bed and breakfast guests are willing to pay more for bedrooms offering more amenities. In fact, some guest reviewers mention the amenities they enjoyed during their stay (which attracts more guests to stay at your inn).

 

Some bed and breakfasts have a room comparison chart that lists the guest room amenities available and then puts a dot or check by the amenities that correspond with each particular guest room.  This makes it easy for online visitors to see a room comparison and the price differences since there may be some rooms that have more amenities than others within the same bed and breakfast.

The amenities bed and breakfasts offer often depend upon the location and size of each bed and breakfast.  Geographical location plays a role in choosing guest room amenities (fireplaces usually more common in climates with cooler weather).  Likewise, the size of the bed and breakfast matters.  Typically the more rooms an inn has, the higher the likelihood of upscale amenities.

The amenities at bed and breakfasts range from small things (like an alarm clock and stationery) to big things (like wi-fi internet access and a large flat screen television). There are certain amenities that are usually standard.  For example, almost every bed and breakfast offers a private bathroom to their guests.

Other amenities in bedrooms are less common place.  For example, in-room hot tubs are seen as an added luxury.  This is typically found in bed and breakfasts that cater to those seeking a romantic destination.

The following is an alphabetical list of some guest bedroom amenities and features your bed and breakfast may offer:

  • Alarm clock radio
  • Antiques
  • Bathroom (private and connected)
  • Beds (oversized and comfortable)
  • Bedside table on each side of the bed
  • Blankets (extra)
  • Books
  • Bottled water
  • Ceiling fan(s)
  • Chairs
  • Chocolates
  • Coffee maker
  • Coasters
  • Coat rack
  • Comforters (extra)
  • Desk
  • DVD player
  • Ear plugs
  • Evening sweet treat
  • Fireplace (hand carved wood or marble)
  • Flowers
  • Furniture (such as antique or leather)
  • Guidebook with local maps and restaurant menus
  • Hair dryer
  • Handicap accessible amenities
  • Hangers
  • Hot tubs
  • Ice bucket and glassware
  • Individual climate control
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Lamps (such as Tiffany lamps)
  • Lighted make-up mirror
  • Luggage racks
  • Magazines
  • Microwave
  • Mini-Bar
  • Mini-Fridge
  • Mints
  • Mirror (full length)
  • Outlets with USB ports
  • Pillows (extra)
  • Pictures
  • Plants
  • Postcards
  • Private balcony, deck, patio, porch, or veranda
  • Private entrance
  • Reading lamps
  • Refrigerator (small)
  • Robes
  • Rose petals on your bed
  • Rugs
  • Separate sitting area
  • Sink (in the bedroom)
  • Slippers
  • Snacks or evening dessert in your room
  • Sofas
  • Stationery
  • Table
  • Tablet computer (stays in the room)
  • Technology charging stations
  • Television (large flat screen) with premium cable channels
  • Windows showing a breathtaking view
  • Wine and cheese
  • Wireless internet access (complimentary)

We wrote a separate blog post about guest bathroom amenities. Bed and breakfasts may suggest a packing list to help their guests prepare for their visit.

Bed and breakfasts are wise to point out exactly everything that is included in the stay at their luxurious bed and breakfast versus what guests may have to pay for if they chose to stay at a hotel (concierge, breakfast, parking, free wi-fi, wine and cheese, and much more).  By offering popular guest room amenities, bed and breakfasts can separate themselves from other lodging destinations and host more guests.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography