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Thinking of Selling your Hotel?

Thinking of Selling Your Hotel? Here’s How to Know it’s the Right Time

As an established hotel owner, you may perhaps have entertained the idea of selling your business. You may understand that timing plays a part in such decisions. But is now the best time? And how will you even know when that ‘best time’ actually comes around? It’s rarely an easy call to make, so here’s a few things you should consider.

Reasons for selling

Sometimes you may just have to accept the fact that you can’t really control your need to sell. Other aspects of life which cannot be put off may simply intervene. You, or your partner, may be suffering poor health, or you may have to face divorce or some other family crisis. Equally, you may be fast approaching retirement, or have been presented with some need to liquidate your assets which must take priority over your business responsibilities.

More often, as a hotelier, you may notice a relentless downward spiral in profitability. Whilst some owners catch the problem early and are able to take remedial measures, others may find things have gone far beyond any hope of retrieving the situation.

If your accommodation business is performing poorly with little hope of an upturn, then taking the decision to sell may be your best chance of selling at an acceptable price. In such unfortunate circumstances it may be best to salvage what you can rather than risk a further decline.

On the other hand, some hotel owners may recognise that their soundly performing business is presenting them with a golden opportunity to sell on their own terms. A business with a good track record will usually sell for a better price, and often sells far more quickly too. And this is especially so where the owner can show that profits are on a sustained upward trajectory.

Research the market

To determine your sale prospects, or even simply to optimise the outcome once you are nearly ready to commit, it will always pay to carefully research the market. Whilst that is likely to involve seeking professional opinions, it should also involve a thorough personal investigation. It’s only by immersing yourself in such detail that you can get a proper ‘feel’ for market conditions.

For instance: Are local sector trends a reflection of regional market conditions? Or are there local factors which are exerting a stronger influence? And considering the national picture: What do the long-term sale statistics say about the future prospects for the hotel industry? And what seems to be the optimum time of year for selling with a view to securing the best return on your investment?

The hotel industry is one that fluctuates and so you will need to keep a careful eye on what the future trends are. There are three main factors that will impact the value of your hotel: the profit that your business is making, what multiple of the profits the buyer is willing to pay and the condition of the business. Make sure that you are in a positive position with all three of these factors where possible if you want to make a good return on your investment.

Threats and opportunities

You may know some local owners are about to retire and close down, or be aware of plans for major leisure and tourist developments about to occur in your area. Indeed, such information may be just what you need to hear to give you an ideal chance to present your business as being rich in potential.

Or alternatively, you may have been advised that a national hotel chain has earmarked your town as a likely location for expansion, or perhaps you have lost some of your best staff who have proved well-nigh impossible to replace.

Whatever the scenario, if a hotel sale could be on the horizon, you must remain alert to how such developments could affect your prospects.

You should also identify whether there are areas where your business could expand in the future so that buyers can be promised the chance for expansion. Is there is the potential for more rooms to be added? Could a restaurant or spa be included as part of the business?

Assess what pre-sale preparation is required?

If you can afford to sell when you’re ready, you should also consider what pre-sale preparation will be necessary to get your business up to the mark in order to prepare for a listing. If you have a well-run hotel in good health with strong bookings, perhaps also supported by strong local patronage, you must also have the evidence to prove the worth of your business.

One extremely important element here is your business paperwork, which must be in excellent order. Any serious buyer will never take your word alone. They will wish to see historical evidence of your trading revenues, and much else besides.

Have clear documentation of the occupation rates and how this fluctuates during the year. You will also need to do an audit of the stock that will included at the time of handover of the hotel.

In addition to exemplary paperwork, your premises should be in good repair and decorated to a good standard throughout. But beyond maintenance, and just as important, you should ensure your hotel is equipped in a way which reflects the latest industry trends and emerging technologies.

This extends beyond micro-details such as contemporary coffee facilities in your rooms, and should certainly include an overhaul of your (hopefully) mobile-friendly hotel website as well as your booking systems and digital marketing strategy.

By Matthew Hernon is an Account Manager at Dynamis looking after Business Transfer Agents and Franchises across BusinessesForSale.com and FranchiseSales.com.

4 Tips for Appliance Safety in Your B&B

Beckie Hatton is a Product Manager at Home Appliance Care, so she understands exactly how important it is to have safe and efficient electrical appliances. Here, she offers her advice to B&B owners who want to follow the rules and keep guests safe.

All B&B owners have a legal responsibility to safeguard the public and their employees from harm (legislation.gov.uk). More specifically, you must make sure your electrical appliances are well-maintained and fit for purpose to prevent fires, gas leaks, electric shocks, and other disasters.

Small hospitality businesses that fail in their legal obligations can face serious consequences, from penalties and lawsuits to property damage and fatalities. So, it’s important to stay on top of maintaining the electrical appliances in your kitchen, guest rooms, and communal areas to keep your guests safe.

Below, I’ll be sharing some of my tips for making sure the appliances in your B&B are safe to use.

Which appliances to check

Any utensils and appliances that are battery operated or can be plugged into the mains must be well maintained and regularly reviewed. You should check them for signs or wear or damage at least once every month as part of your fire risk assessment (gov.uk), and they will have to be serviced or PAT tested every 6-12 months to be declared fit for use (pat.org.uk).

When you first think about which appliances in your B&B could be considered high-risk, most people rightly think of ovens, toasters and straighteners that are designed to heat up. But washing machines and tumble dryers account for more than a third of domestic fires, significantly more than cookers (11%), so it’s crucial that you keep on top of the maintenance of these appliances in particular (Which?).

Should I call an engineer?

You should contact an electrical engineer if you have any concerns about the internal wiring of your appliances rather than attempt to fix them yourself. Tampering with electrical systems can cause injuries or fatalities, and if you don’t have the right tools or knowledge you could put yourself and everyone else on the premises at risk.

Plus, tampering with your appliances usually voids their warranty and your insurance policy, so you’ll have to cover the cost of repairing and replacing any damaged machines. It’s safer and cheaper overall to let the professionals deal with it instead.

Common faults to watch out for

External issues like loose plugs, switches and outlets can often be amended by a quick screw retightening, and you can also replace any broken casings yourself using just basic tools and knowledge — but you must switch off and unplug everything first so there’s no electrical current.

If you notice your plugs, outlets and switches are getting warm, it could be a wiring issue that can cause a fire if not immediately fixed. In this case, these will need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible and you should not attempt to use the appliance while you wait for the electrician.

Flickering lights or displays on your appliances, as well as your bulbs burning out too quickly, can be indicators that there is a loose connection somewhere inside the machine. If you notice any of these problems, you should stop using the appliance and call a professional immediately.

How to look after your appliances

Never skip your monthly fire risk assessments, annual services, or scheduled PAT tests. Fires and other electrical dangers don’t just happen as the result of faulty products — appliances that aren’t properly maintained pose a risk too. Failing to clean them properly, check them over regularly, and take care of small problems can lead to huge disasters, so you must have adequate maintenance strategies in place to tackle all these issues.

Encourage your kitchen staff to clean appliances at the beginning and end of each day to prevent build ups of food crumbs, grease and other debris — just be sure that they follow the manufacturer’s instructions for doing this safely. Cleaning in a way the manual suggests will also protect your appliances from corrosive damage which can lead to electrical issues, such as loose wiring. So, hang onto your user manuals and double check all their cleaning practices are compliant with the manufacturer’s suggestions.

These are just some of the ways you can make sure the appliances in your B&B are as safe as possible. By giving them a quick look over as often as you can and promptly reporting any issues to an electrician, your appliances can be safe for use and you can get on with managing your guesthouse.

Handy Hospitality with a Motorhome Lifestyle

When we think of holidays, the standard reaction is to think of golden beaches, warmer climates, palm trees and hotels. With the ever increasing costs of foreign adventures more and more people are looking for an alternative way to enjoy their break away. For many the answer could be on their doorstep….

Hospitality at Home

The UK is packed full of things to do and see. Exploring the Jurassic Coastline, taking in the history in Edinburgh to riding a carousel on Blackpool Pier. One of the most attractive prospects of holidays in the UK is the convenience of being able to drive to most destinations avoiding public transport and airports.

A key buzz word that is making its way into the UK hospitality industry is “RV Lifestyle”. Packing your necessities into a campervan (or Recreational Vehicle) and heading off on an adventure has become something of a fashionable trend.

So why choose a Motorhome Holiday?

Freedom and flexibility

Being able to take a detour or change plans at any time is an attractive prospect for holiday makers. Travelling in a motorhome means no flights or trains to be tied to, if a road looks interesting – take it! It can be handy to have a list of campsites in the area that will accommodate campervans as there are restrictions as to where you can park up for the night.

Home from home

Everything you need is contained in the vehicle, there is no need to cram camping equipment into the boot of the car, or pile suitcases around passengers on the back seat! Most motorhomes have clever storage options, and room for all the necessities.

Larger motorhomes have lounge areas, tables, kitchenettes, bedroom sections even washrooms. Smaller vans have kitchen facilities and fold out sleeping areas. There are many different options to suit every requirement.

Hospitality and Trends

The UK Caravan and Motorhome Club (https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/) estimates there are approximately 225,000 campervans on Britain’s roads. There are a multitude of pages on social media sites such as Pintrest dedicated to people “making over” old motorhomes, offering suggestions on clever furniture ideas and decorating.

Decisions to be made

Whether you want to own or rent a motorhome, there are a few things to consider:

  • What do you want? Who is travelling with you, what type of space will be required? A motorhome trip for 2 will have very different needs than a family of 5.
  • If you are planning on purchasing a motorhome, where will it be kept when you are not using it?
  • Try it for size. Before purchasing a motorhome, rent one to make sure it is something you want to do. Purchasing a campervan can be quite expensive and if you don’t enjoy it, it is a costly error.

Where do we go?

If you are stuck for ideas on where to go on your campervan adventure, Your RV Lifestyle (https://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/things-to-do-in-england/) have picked 100 Things to do in England! London to Lanhydrock, Dorset to Durham, this article will give you plenty to think about if you are planning a motorhome holiday.

For those who prefer to be stationary, Stewart Hindley & Partners are experts in raising finance in the hospitality industry. If you have ever considered owning and operating a hotel, bed and breakfast or guest house, get in touch with us today and we can help source the best loan for your business.

10 things your competitors can teach you about running a pub

There are a lot of pubs across the UK that are closing, however, there is still a large market that new business owners can tap into!

In general, many licensed premises seem to be migrating to larger properties where it’s possible to develop a more varied and ‘experiential’ offer for their customers. Keeping on top of trends will keep your doors open.

So let’s look at 10 things flourishing pubs already do to bring back the crowds.

  1. Screen sports

The connection between drinking and watching sport is as strong as ever. And given the retreat of major sports like football, rugby and cricket from free-to-air channels, it’s no surprise pubs screening major internationals and matches involving top teams do great business.

You could take advantage of the increased interest in sports such as cycling and the rise of women’s football and US sports like NFL, baseball and ice hockey. Screening these sports in your pub can add further to a rich palette of sporting options likely to build a strong following in any pub.

  1. Pets welcome

Making your establishment pet-friendly can attract a broader clientele and, with careful planning, need not contravene the elements of good hygiene. Drinking bowls for thirsty animals and easy access to outside spaces are the primary requirements for pet owners keen to share their leisure time with four-legged friends.

Generally speaking, you should have zones where pets are welcome along with their owners. That means those who have allergies, or who are not especially fond of animals, can also enjoy your pub facilities without feeling intimidated.

It’s also sensible to make your pet house rules very clear from the outset, otherwise you may invite disputes.

  1. Food trends

Customers are far more adventurous than in previous years so don’t feel shy about serving something other than the traditional pub fair. However, your customers will be able to tell if it’s not authentic, so stick to what you know!

There is also a staggering rise in the number of people who are opting for meat-free diets. It’s important, therefore, to think about adding options to your menu that will cater to them!

  1. Beer trends

Craft beers of all kinds continue to grow in popularity and attract avid enthusiasts. There are varied opportunities for you to host ‘tastings’ and introduce ‘guest’ beers to create a sense of interest and anticipation around a well-planned drinks menu.

Some establishments have even gone as far as allowing customers to brew and then taste their self-brewed beer. Though the jury may be out on whether this produces the ultimate taste experience, there is no doubt about its positive impact upon customer loyalty.

  1. Eco-friendly credentials

This can include acquiring food and drink from sustainable sources of known provenance, ethical food production in animal-friendly environments, and the use of minimal energy to deliver the final product – as in the concept of food miles.

Elsewhere, some establishments minimise their waste, avoid the use of harmful chemicals, and heat their premises and/or produce their hot water using solar energy or a renewable energy source such as woodburning stoves.

  1. Provide an experience

Your customers’ preferred leisure activities can be varied. Some customers will delight in traditional pub games from darts and snooker to card and board games, as well as skittles plus the ever-popular pub quiz.

But equally, there is an appetite for experiences of all kinds: mini golf, escape rooms and even VR options. An increased interest in fitness and health activities has also resulted in pursuits such as table tennis and trampolining as well as five-a-side football facilities.

  1. Millennial and Generation Z trends

If you want to appeal to these generations, you will need to think about the experience that they have at your pub. However, given the opportunity, they are also as keen as anyone else to do well in trivia quizzes.

Some establishments have run successful sessions teaching millennials how to play darts, which suggests that (with some encouragement) an experiential introduction to many traditional pub pursuits might also bear fruit – especially if also accompanied by a modern twist in the way that you present them.

  1. Community activities

If your pub is prepared to support teams entering in leagues (e.g. darts, skittles, five-a-side football), this is a great way to bring in new people. And likewise, there are many sports teams and other community groups who would appreciate using a pub space to hold meetings, social evenings and other events. You might even be able to fill slack mid-week evenings by exploring such methods.

  1. Bar snacks

With a little thought and research, anyone can move beyond peanuts and crisps. Tapas-style samples, dips and even small plates are now more popular than ever. You can try exotic tastes, healthy options, cured meats and chicken products and more.

Shareable dishes also work well, and a little experiment with all these options will transform your bar offerings and delight your customers.

  1. Review your branding

If you bring some of these ideas on stream they should, of course, be accompanied by a matching revamp of your in-house and online marketing platforms. Because modern consumers will want to be able to discover what menus, entertainment and experiences your pub can offer long before they make the decision to visit!

By Matthew Hernon is an Account Manager at Dynamis looking after Business Transfer Agents and Franchises across BusinessesForSale.com and FranchiseSales.com.

Commercial Property Finance – Invest in your Business

The Federation of small businesses reports that there were 5.6 million small UK business at the start of 2018, and the UK real estate market is still a very desirable investment. The appeal of owning commercial property, whether to run a business from it, or rent out the space is keeping the UK commercial property finance market a highly competitive industry.

There are many types of commercial property finance, and many factors that influence the type of lending required. Industry, length of term, size of business and client risk profile are all aspects that potential commercial lenders will assess.

Anyone can apply for commercial property finance from small start-ups to large established businesses. Some lenders are more specific to the industry for example; hospitality or retail and can offer more specialised plans depending on the property investment and circumstances.

Adaption and flexibility

Commercial lending has had to adapt in recent times as owners and tenants are demanding more flexibility. Commercial office space in particular has had an influx of people looking for flexible working spaces. The evolution of “hot desks” and remote working requires owners to provide shorter leases to tenants.

The commercial property finance industry has had to meet the changing needs of commercial property investors, moving away from very rigid lending solutions and offering more customisable commercial lending options.

Owner vs Tenant

The commercial property market is not just for investors. When owning and operating a business there are many reasons to consider commercial property finance and purchase a building as opposed to renting a space.

Depending on the type of commercial property acquired, mortgage payments may not differ greatly from rental payments. Property prices are frequently rising so there is always the opportunity for capital gains and a premises could experience a significant increase in value over a short time.

Expert Advice

Working with a broker like Stewart Hindley is advisable when considering commercial lending. Extensive market knowledge means they can source the best deal available and offer expert advice on how to proceed. Commercial property finance can be quite complex and it is important to have a strong understanding of what potential lenders may need and how to present an attractive proposal to successfully secure commercial lending.

Stewart Hindley Commercial Finance can advise the type of funding you are likely to need following a no obligation consultation and suggest the best approach.

Get in touch today to discuss options available.

Is combining career and property investment the way forward?

For people today there are daily stresses of work, finance and finding balance in life. What if you could combine property ownership and work? The general misconception is that owning a bed and breakfast or guest house is for people in the later stages of their lives, looking to step away from perhaps a stressful job or invest in a business before retirement. This isn’t the case, if you can meet the B&B funding requirements of the lenders, this combination lifestyle could be possible.

Why not purchase and run a bed and breakfast?

Entering the world of bed and breakfast ownership is no easy task as running a successful business can be a challenge. Stewart Hindley & Partners are experts in their field, specialising in bed and breakfast funding and guest house finance. They have helped many clients over the years, young and old realise their dream of owning and running a B&B, by offering expert guidance to secure the B&B funding required.

So why is owning a bed and breakfast so great?

If you like meeting new people, would like a flexible work day, enjoy entertaining, and are not fazed by a bit of hard-work then a guest house could be the perfect way forward. Many look for B&B funding to escape the daily grind, but why not consider the prospect of a successful bed and breakfast business before becoming tied to the 9-5 way of life. Many people work hard to own a home, then are unable to spend any time there as they are working hard to pay for the mortgage! By considering B&B funding, that hard earned property is not only a home and a workplace, it is an investment and a way of life.

A Modern Day B&B

Bed and breakfasts don’t have to be quaint cottages by the seaside. Travellers and tourists are always looking for new experiences. Themed rooms, eco homes, even a Peruvian-inspired bed and breakfast with Llamas…. There is also greater demand for an online presence with social media promotion and online testimonials. Once you have secured B&B funding, a solid marketing plan will help the business.

There are no specific qualifications associated with running and owning a guest house. However, before looking for B&B funding, it would be wise to undertake some in depth research. Local areas, activities, events, facilities, who is your potential competition and how will you compete with them? Would you do all the daily jobs yourself or would you need to employ people?

Here to help you through

So whether you are thinking of making the leap into the bed and breakfast industry, or an experienced B&B owner, Stewart Hindley and Partners have the knowledge and expertise to help secure the right B&B funding.

Get in touch with Stewart Hindley and Partners today.

 

The appeal of the British glamping holiday

The glamping holiday – a very British affair

Shepherds huts, tee pees, wood lodges, yurts and even treehouses are dotted across the English countryside as glamping continues to grow in popularity. In fact, these ‘alternative’ glamping holiday accommodation units are becoming as institutional as afternoon cream teas, strawberries and tennis, and black taxis.

Holidaymakers are flocking to the great outdoors with the promise of being at one with nature whilst also banking a good night’s sleep.

As long ago as 2010, Sawdays, one of the first and leading directories of handpicked and inspected special places to stay, saw the potential in this type of holidaying.  They created their own spin-off website canopyandstars.co.uk, a collection of inspected and selected, quirky places for glamping.  From there glamping has really taken off.  Today, many sites including TripAdvisor and Air B&B offer glamping opportunities for holidaymakers happy to brave the uncertainty of the British summertime weather.

So, what is driving this desire to glamp?

Could it be the B word?

Yes, I mean Brexit. The uncertainty around whether we’re in or out. Brits don’t know whether to expect vast re-entry queues at the end of a summer holiday or whether we’ll continue the in-or-out debate for the months ahead. It could be that the uncertainty around Brexit and whether we have a blue passport, or a burgundy passport could be making Brits more reluctant to book an overseas trip.

Maybe it’s a money thing?

Of course, part and parcel of this is the poor performance of the pound at the moment. With such low exchange rates, the appeal of travelling overseas that drove everyone to hop off to the continent in the ‘90s, now isn’t so strong.

Or an escape from digitalisation?

Or perhaps it’s a rebellion from living our lives in the fast lane. The rate at which we live, breathe, drive, in fact, do everything, has sped up. Increasingly frequently we crave getting back to nature. Digital detoxes have become a real ‘thing’ recently, but not everyone wants complete isolation from the digital world. For some, just being back under the starry sky, shrouded beneath a green canopy or even just breathing fresh air is enough to enable us to find the pause button and make us feel grounded once again.

Whatever the reason, the glamping phase is here to stay so, with the continued growth in popularity of glamping, maybe there’s an opportunity to extend your business to include glamping and give your visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life?

We understand the hospitality business through and through and are long-established specialists in securing hospitality finance. We can offer you friendly and informative advice to help you build your glamping business.

Browse our site for case histories and more information about the process involved in securing hospitality finance or call us now to speak to our team of experts.

How to boost your eco appeal as a staycation destination

Global tourism contributes around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That puts the tourism industry ahead of the construction industry in its contribution to the greenhouse effect. Tourists contribute to a global carbon footprint through air travel, rail travel, even travel by road. There are hidden costs: food, and how food reaches its destination, accommodation, heating and cooling of the accommodation, cleaning of pools and even the purchase of souvenirs all play their part.

However, despite all these different ways that tourists contribute to carbon emissions, the biggest contributor is air travel. Some figures suggest that air travel contributes around 65% of the carbon footprint of the tourism industry overall. As we become more aware of the impact we are having on our planet, more of us are choosing a staycation over tropical islands.

And, as we’re doing our bit to reduce our individual carbon footprint, it’s heartening to see B&Bs and hotels make a concerted effort to offer environmentally friendly holidays. Here are a few ways that you could make your B&B more eco-friendly to both minimise your carbon footprint and appeal to your more environmentally conscientious visitors.

  1. Install electric charging station

Between 2013 and 2017 the number of electric cars on the roads have increased from 3,500 to 125,000. Further growth is expected, but the challenge is currently the infrastructure. At present, according to ZapStats there are only 13,300 charging points at 8259 locations around the UK. Therefore, anyone taking to the roads for an electrically transported staycation is likely to welcome the opportunity to charge up overnight.

  1. Source local

Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to source goods locally wherever you can. Not only will your carbon footprint reduce, but your guests are likely to see it as a real appeal to have genuine locally grown or reared produce.

  1. Repair, reuse or recycle

Be responsible with your trash, compost what you can, and reuse or recycle wherever possible. Reduce the amount you send to land fill. If you can repair things or upcycle them, do so. If you can’t but the item is still usable, consider donating it to a charity where your unwanted goods can go to help someone else create a new home.

The specialist financial experts here at Stewart Hindley are here to help you secure the best commercial loan for your Bed & Breakfast business. We always seek to go beyond this, offering as much comprehensive advice to help you build a successful business and reach your potential. Highlighting the opportunity to create a more environmentally friendly holiday bolt hole is yet another of the ways we deliver this.

For more information on how we can help, please get in touch. You can call us on 01488 684834 or drop us a message through our website.

How hoteliers can increase room rates by improving customer facilities

Here, Mike Hardman from hospitality equipment suppliers Alliance Online shares his advice for hoteliers looking to improve their customers’ experience — and, therefore, increase revenue.

Your revenue per available room (RevPAR) is a good way to measure the average rate you sell your rooms at, allowing you to keep track of your success and compare your hotel with competitors. If you haven’t already, you can determine your RevPAR by multiplying your average daily rate by your occupancy rate. Your occupancy rate is the number of occupied rooms you have divided by your total number of available rooms, multiplied by 100.

If your RevPAR isn’t as high as you’d like, you can raise it by focussing on customer experience. Improving your facilities won’t just allow you to charge guests more for their stay — your customers will also be more inclined to share their positive opinion of your hotel online and bring you more custom.

Below are just some of the ways you can improve customer facilities and increase your average room rate in return.

Offer something extra for your guests

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During the booking process, tempt potential guests with packages and promotions. Give them the option of add-ons such as breakfast, shuttle services, or extra treats for their room to bump up their average spend.

When setting up rooms, it’s a good idea to provide your guests with low cost but high-quality items that have the potential to feel like little gifts. A bowl of fresh fruit, a vase of flowers, boxes of chocolates and, of course, toiletries can all be stocked in the room to make your guests’ stay more luxurious.

Improve your housekeeping and room services

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High cleanliness standards are perhaps the most crucial way to show your quality and maintain positive reviews from guests. Don’t be frugal with deep cleaning tools, products, and practices, or you could end up paying the price. You can also offer extra services for guests, such as laundry and dry cleaning, ironing and pressing, and even shoe polishing to increase value.

Make sure you’re advertising the fact you offer room service; if you find that guests aren’t always taking advantage of it, it might not be as obvious as you think. Present their chosen refreshments with style by finding modern, instagrammable crockery, and ask staff to remove the lids from serving dishes in front of guests in their room. Staff can also bring a bucket of ice and pour drinks out of the bottle for an extra flourish. This level of service feels fancy, but it also gives staff the opportunity to ask guests whether to leave the bottle and add it to the bill.

Customer service

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Effective planning and smooth communication between staff and guests allow problems to be solved before they become disasters. Keep on top of maintenance to prevent any issues arising during your customers’ stay, such as faulty air cons or cosmetic damage. Be prepared to manage your guests’ needs as quickly as possible by having plenty of extra pillows, towels, chairs, highchairs, and cots to hand. If this is something you might struggle with, consider whether your inventory management system needs updating.

As much as you can, go for the personal approach. Instead of working the whole building, give staff sections to take care of so they can better keep track of their guests’ names and preferences. If possible, it’s also good to invest in staff that can communicate in many different languages to cater for foreign guests.

Staff should be fully-trained and aware of the contents of all service dossiers and menus. That way, they can be a complete source of information and don’t have to leave guests waiting as they try and find someone who knows the answers to their questions. These little organisational details improve the overall guest experience, making them more likely to spend money in the future or convince others to do the same.

With these tips, you can begin to improve your customer facilities and consequently raise your average room rates.

The secrets behind a good B&B breakfast

Whisper ‘full English Breakfast’ and ears will perk up instantly as images of sizzling sausages, crispy bacon, juicy mushrooms, tasty vine-ripened tomatoes grilled to perfection, golden hash browns and eggs, sunny side up, spring to mind.

However, balancing the guest experience with the rising costs of food, can be tricky. You don’t want to see good food (and potential profits) go to waste, but you can’t disappoint your guests, and a decent breakfast can secure rave reviews and subsequent bookings.

Tom Kerridge, in this article on how to make a full English breakfast, suggests that the perfect English Breakfast includes sausages, smoked streaky bacon, plum tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, black pudding and eggs (sunny side up), topped with a slice of toast.

Whilst a supermarket saver sausage may save some pennies, it’s not going to leave your guests with a good taste in their mouth (literally). However, you can really get positive feedback flowing with decent ingredients in your breakfasts. If you can splash out and upgrade ingredients, tell your guests. If you see ‘locally produced sausages’ in a menu, it sounds so much more appealing than just ‘sausages’. And, if you’re dishing up organic sausages, say so.

Much of these ingredients will keep for at least several days in the fridge, which means you don’t have to limit yourself to a full English. You should consider offering a continental option too, with croissants, pain au chocolat, or other pastry options.

With an increasing awareness of healthy foods, you could offer a smoothie option, or fresh juicing? Whilst not exactly hassle-free, it can be a great way to minimise waste by using up leftover fruit and veg before it goes off. Juices are delicious and nutritious, and are almost certainly a unique selling point to share with your guests.

And, it doesn’t all have to be about the food.

Consider where your guests might like to eat. Whilst many will be happy with eating in a communal dining room, take into account that some may prefer to eat in the privacy of their own room. A ‘breakfast-in-bed’ option may provide added B&B appeal and many guests would be happy to pay a little more for the privilege!

Tell your guests what they can look forward to. Help them to anticipate the treat that awaits by describing the breakfast options. Maybe leave a menu in their room, or in a shared area, or at the very least on the tables. When your guests know what to expect, they can choose what not to have, cutting down on your waste too.

The very name, Bed & Breakfast, suggests that the breakfast part is a big deal. By considering what you are offering your guests for breakfast, you can ensure that the breakfast you offer is as responsible for getting return visitors as offering your guests a good nights’ sleep.

Stewart Hindley & Partners is an independent, whole-of-market finance broker which means we can find the most cost-effective way to re-finance or release capital for your B&B business. Our specialists in business funding and business recovery can help you find the right products and ensure your application for finance is successful.