Running a Bed and Breakfast (“B&B”) sounds great at 5pm rush hours in the streets of Manhattan during the cold of winter. The fact is it can be a real job. Let me give you a taste of what it’s like in the life of a typical B&B owner.
Imagine it is 8pm on a Friday in the middle of summer at your lovely B&B. You just finished clearing out the dining room, in which your guests recently indulged in some light fare and beverages. You’re tired. It’s been a long day. You’re about to begin to do the dishes, which will take you an hour or so, and the phone rings. It’s John Smith, a late arrival guest, who was to check-in at 9pm. He tells you he will be there no later than 10pm.
It’s now 9pm, you’ve just finished the dishes and now you are tossing the dirty towels into the laundry and gathering up new towels, to replace the old ones in the bathrooms. This takes you another hour or so. You check your watch. It’s 10PM, no John Smith. “Where could he be?” you wonder to yourself. You check the phone for any messages, none. At 10:30pm the phone rings. It’s John Smith. He is on the Garden State Parkway at exit 117. He should be there in about ½ an hour. At 11pm John Smith finally arrives. You check him in, show him his room and at 11:20pm you rush to your bedroom to hit the sack because you promised early riser, Julie Murphy, you would have fresh coffee and a continental breakfast for her at 6am. If you’re lucky you pass out from exhaustion at 11:45pm and squeeze in just over five hours of sleep.
Welcome to the tranquil world of B&Bs. Not your typical day, but you get the idea. My point is this, managing a B&B not as easy as you would think. It can, however, be everything you thought it would be as long as your thoughts are anchored in reality.
The level of your attention to detail, along with your B&B’s location, can make your B&B a real success or a real nightmare. During your B&B’s busy season (primarily May-September in the Northeast) you are always on the go. Your hours are dictated by the hours of your guests. A late arrival can keep you up late and an early riser might require that you wake up at 5am.
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes a B&B? Generally speaking anything larger than 5 rooms is considered an Inn and anything less is considered a B&B.
How do you know if your B&B is successful? 100 nights, out of a year, filled to capacity, is a good year.
Can you make a living running a B&B? In most cases you will need about six rooms to make a living at it. Anything less is just supplemental income. If a host wants to make a living at a B&B they must open …