How to survive the summer season running a B&B
PUBLISHED: 10:18 10 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:18 10 August 2016
Running a B&B is hard work, especially during the peak summer season, but these tips from other chambres d'hôtes owners will help you survive the summer and make sure your busy months are a success
1. “In July and August insist on a minimum two-night stay, as guests staying for just one night can dramatically increase your workload.” Paul Jack, B&B owner of Maison Belmont
2. Be organised! Make sure you have a good booking system so you know who is expected and when and make sure you always have enough food, drink and clean sheets.
3. Give your guests set check-in and check-out times to give you enough time to clean the room. However, also be flexible with guests arriving late due to travel delays and consider offering to store luggage during the day for those arriving early/leaving late.
4. “Focus your breakfasts on summer fruits from the local market, juices and yoghut. Most of all, ensure variety: guests who stay for up to a week will tire of croissants and baguettes!” Paul Jack, B&B owner of Maison Belmont
5. Always be friendly and available to your guests to advise on local attractions and restaurants, no matter how busy you are. It will leave them with a good impression of you and your business and hopefully encourage them to return.
6. “Have plenty of recommended sites of interest, restaurants and cafes at hand for your guests and never recommend anywhere you haven’t been to yourself.” Paul Jack, B&B owner of Maison Belmont
Read more: What is life like running a B&B in France?
7. If you have a swimming pool then make sure it is regularly cleaned and consider covering it when not in use to limit the debris that falls in the pool. Supply sun loungers and inflatable toys for guests to use.
8. “It’s important to separate home and work life where you can. We have clearly defined B&B quarters and private accommodation and our own space is our sanctuary.” Paul Jack, Maison Belmont
9. Don’t underestimate how long it will take to prepare breakfasts, clean the rooms, do the laundry and complete all your admin! Having a routine will help you complete everything in time. Get the whole family involved in running the B&B and maybe, if you can afford it, consider employing some help during peak season.
Read more: 10 tips for running gîtes in France
10. “Allow time to make the most of summer yourselves. From after breakfast and guest check-out until guests arrive in the late afternoon, relax and unwind – remember it’s your summer too!” Paul Jack, Maison Belmont
11. Remember to relax! Take time to have a drink and a chat with your guests in the evenings, they will appreciate it and it will give you a chance to relax. After all, the most rewarding part of running a B&B is meeting interesting people from all over the world.
12. Finally, remember that peak season only lasts a few months! It might seem never-ending at the time but it will quieten down in the winter. Make sure you take some time off in the winter to recharge your batteries – it’ll give you something to look forward to!
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