Category Archives: News

Iverary-Refurb

Press Release from The Inveraray Inn, Argyll: £750k Refurbishment

Inveraray’s oldest hotel, The Inveraray Inn, has recently completed a threequarter-million-pound refurbishment, reopening to the public on the 31st of January 2018.

The comprehensive refurbishment was carried out in phases over a two-year period with phase one completing on the 1st January 2017 and phase two completing on the 31st January 2018. The works included full refurbishment of all bedrooms, bathrooms and common areas, re-naming and re-branding, replacement of the electrical heat and hot water system with a biomasspowered solution and re-roofing. The work was carried out in order to restore the hotel’s reputation as one of Scotland’s and the west coast’s premium rural hotels.

Drew Anderson, General Manager of The Inveraray Inn said: “The Inveraray Inn is the oldest and most historic hotel in Inveraray and is one of the most iconic hotels in the west of Scotland. Originally built to accommodate officials visiting Inveraray Castle and now lovingly restored, each day we strive to offer standards of hospitality that might live up to the inn’s illustrious past.”

Further information: gm@inveraray-inn.co.uk | 01499 302 466 | www.inveraray-inn.co.uk

Iverary-Refurb-3 Iverary-Refurb-2

 

torquay

Spotlight on Devon and Cornwall

Devon and Cornwall remain some of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, offering some of the best coastline, countryside and varied towns and cities in the country.

Here we highlight below some great and varied places to stay in the region, all of which also just happen to have benefited from the expert advice of our specialist hospitality finance advice team at Stewart Hindley and Partners to put them on the road to success.

Devon

  • Torquay – famous for being the largest town on the “English Riviera” and a popular choice for thousands of visitors to Devon.

Blenheim House B&B in Torquay has everything proprietors Lee and Elaine Ratcliffe were looking for – a good location close to the seafront and train station and accommodation which had  just been recently refurbished (so wouldn’t need a lot of money spending on it) and a manageable 5 guest rooms.

From the start of their search they were in touch with us at Stewart Hindley & Partners and we were able to provide them with a judgement on whether their B&B finance application would be successful or not.  It was a pleasure to work with Lee & Elaine and to see their hopes and dreams come to fruition, they are now welcoming guests and starting to build the trade to its max. https://www.blenheimhousetorquay.co.uk/

  • Exeter – The Exeter Townhouse is a lovely boutique B&B is set in a quiet corner of Exeter city centre yet just a few minutes stroll from the Cathedral, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, the Quayside, shopping centres, restaurants, university and train stations.

The Grade II Listed property has been brought up to date with period and contemporary features offering 9 stylishly decorated rooms.  They were awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor in 2016 and 2017 and a 5 star rating from the Food Standards Agency – the highest possible food hygiene rating in the UK.

Guesthouse finance for The Exeter Townhouse was secured through us at Stewart Hindley & Partners. http://www.townhouseexeter.co.uk/

Cornwall

  • Bude - Wyvern House Bed and Breakfast is located in the popular Cornish town of Bude and

is just a few minutes walk from the beach and town centre.  The property has 6 en-suite bedrooms and spread over 3 floors and has proved an ideal location for our clients, Paula & James, to set up their new bed and breakfast.

Paula & James had owned and operated a bed and breakfast business so had plenty of experience on which to build their new venture in Bude.  Having found their perfect property they soon realised the benefits of using a specialist finance broker to source the necessary funds to purchase it.  Having contacted us at Stewart Hindley & Partners we worked with them to secure the best B&B finance deal available to them and took them step by step through each stage.

Paula and James are now welcoming guests to Wyvern House and enjoying life in Cornwall. More info at https://www.wyvernhouse.co.uk/

  • Looe

Penvith Barns has a 4 star rating on Trip Advisor, offering beautiful accommodation just outside Looe with access to lovely walks including the South West Coastal Path to Looe and Seaton Beach.  Guests can come and as they please and relax in the tranquil surroundings with views over superb countryside.  It’s also close to some of Cornwall’s best beaches and makes a great base for exploring Cornwall’s Attractions.

We are proud to have offered the B&B finance to put Penvith Barns on the map.

http://www.penvithbarns.co.uk/

f you are looking to start up, or purchase an existing hospitality business, wherever that may be, then why not contact our friendly team of specialist advisors now for advice and information on the best hospitality finance packages available today.

thoughts-holiday-lettings

12 key things you need to consider before starting your holiday lettings business

The market for UK holiday lets is booming so, if you own additional properties to your home you may well be tempted to go into the holiday lettings business.  Or, perhaps you are looking to buy a property for holiday letting.

As hospitality finance experts, we receive many enquires and have helped a significant number of people to start holiday lettings businesses. Based on our experience, we have come up with a few key things you should consider:

  1. Is the property in a good location? Are you going for a rural retreat cottage offering or a seaside or city location?
  2. How will you furnish the property and have you set a budget aside for this? It has become a very competitive market in recent years and those renting holiday cottages are becoming more discerning so it is best to equip and furnish your cottage to the highest standards.
  3. Can you make broadband available? Again this is increasingly the expectation these days.
  4. Are you going to allow pets or not? Many people specifically choose a self-catering holiday in the UK so that they can take the dogs too.  To maximise your market it is best to allow pets and some people charge extra and/or a deposit to cover increased cleaning and potential damage.
  5. Are you in a position to invest time in gaining accreditations from local tourist boards, green organisations (if applicable) and encouraging online reviews like Trip Advisor?
  6. Who is going to do the cleaning? Hygiene and cleanliness are all important.
  7. Similarly, who would be the emergency contact for guests?
  8. How much are you going to charge? The best way to decide where to pitch your pricing is to look at similar-sized properties in your area and use that as a guide.
  9. Are you aware of the safety rules and regulations covering upholstered furniture and gas and electrical appliances?
  10. Have you factored in insurance? Holiday lettings owners will need public liability insurance as well as building and contents insurance. There are specialist policies available for self-catering properties and insurance brokers can be a real help here.
  11. Do your business plans factor in the fact that tax will be due on profits from holiday lettings and that Council tax for your holiday cottage only applies if it’s just your second home and not rented out commercially. If you make it available for holiday lets for 20 weeks (140 days) or more, then it should be registered for business rates rather than council tax. Small business rate relief and Furnished Holiday Letting (FHL) tax relief may be applicable.
  12. Who is going to the market your property for holiday rental? Are you set up to respond quickly to enquiries and bookings and take deposits and payments?  Or, are you going to employ an agent to do that for you?

Do you need hospitality finance to build your holiday lettings business?

If you need a mortgage for a holiday letting property, you will need a commercial mortgage and our team at Stewart Hindley are in the ideal position to advise you.

If a lender realises that you are trading on a residential mortgage they can call in the loan due to breach of covenant.  Trading on a residential mortgage can have serious consequences.  You could be forced to re-mortgage and in some cases, if your trade income is not enough to cover the amount of debt involved, this may not be possible. The worst case scenario may be that you lose your home.

We strongly recommend that you don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us now for friendly and professional advice based on many years of experience in the hospitality finance sector.

car-charging-points

Electric Vehicle Charge Points for Bed & Breakfast Businesses

It is important that Bed & Breakfast owners continuously look for ways to grow their business. This is a matter we here at Stewart Hindley always stress the importance of. As we are committed to being as supportive as we can to our clients we always highlight opportunities for achieving growth.

One of the strongest such opportunities at this time is the electric vehicle market. The rapid growth in sales of electric charged cars over the last 4 years has been quite remarkable. In this article we will look at the facts and figures of them, and the ways in which your Bed & Breakfast can be made an attractive destination for owners of them.

Electric Vehicles – The Rapid Rise in Popularity

Earlier in this article we mentioned that grown in this market had been rapid. This, if anything, is an understatement. In 2013 there were 3,500 registered electric cars on the roads in the UK. By November 2017 this had risen to 125,000. The universal expectation across industry analysts is that 1,000,000 registered electric vehicles shall be reached as early as 2022.

The main challenge to reaching this figure is the number of charging points. At present there are 14,000 charge points for electric vehicles in the UK. Whilst that figure in itself sounds high, it is considerably short of meeting the growing requirement for them. Despite incredible advances in the technology behind them it remains the case that the average fully charged electric vehicle has a maximum range of some 150 miles.

A high level of support is available for businesses wishing to install electric vehicle charge points. This is something all Bed & Breakfast businesses must give consideration to.

Electric Vehicles – Bed & Breakfast Charge Points

From the above it is clear that offering a charge point at your business is a highly attractive feature. Having an electric vehicle charge point available at your Bed & Breakfast could be the determining factor in guests choosing to use you rather than a competitor.

One of the concerns about this which Bed & Breakfast owners will have is the cost of installation. These can, as you might imagine, be quite high. There is, however, considerable financial support available for businesses looking to install electric vehicle charge points.

The UK Government is highly committed to ensuring electric vehicles are a success. One of the incentives in place to encourage this comes in the form of financing for charge points. Grants, subsides and shared cost initiatives are available from a number of Governmental departments, in particular the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and the recently establish Workplace Charging Scheme.

With support in terms of financing and expertise in place at Stewart Hindley we firmly believe now is the perfect time for Bed & Breakfast owners to explore the business potential offered by installing electric vehicle charge points.

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 for success as we can. Highlighting the potential for success with electric vehicle charge points is just one of the ways we deliver this.

For more information on how we may be of service to you please get in touch. You can call us on 01488 393042, or drop us a message through our website. We’d be delighted to discuss your plans and requirements, exploring the ways we can help you achieve them.

wales

Spotlight on Wales

Wales is a particularly good location to run a hospitality business, according to official tourism statistics* which showed a rise in occupancy figures across all accommodation types this Summer.

Wales – an increasingly popular hospitality business choice

The figures revealed significant growth in the number of people using hotels, hostels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering units between July 2016 and June 2017:

  • At 68% the occupancy rate for hotels rooms was the highest of all, increasing one percentage point when compared with the previous 12 months.
  • Guest houses and Bed and Breakfast occupancy rates stood at 40%, a 2 percentage point increase over the same period.
  • Self-catering units increased by 4 percentage points to 56%, and hostel bed space increased by 3 percentage points to 52%.

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates commented :  “In what is an extremely competitive market place, these latest occupancy statistics show a strong picture for tourism in Wales and continue to reflect the success we have experienced over the last two years.

“We will continue with our campaign work to promote Wales to both domestic and foreign markets to ensure that we make the most of the opportunities to attract overseas visitors and those looking to holiday at home due to the weak pound.”

Hospitality finance for Wales

As specialist hospitality finance experts, we have helped a number of proprietors to take advantage of these trends and establish guest houses in Wales over the last couple of years, including:

Chris and Sandra decided that they wanted to run their own bed and breakfast business and set about looking for a suitable business to buy.  After looking at several properties they eventually came upon Tir-y-Coed in North Wales.

Tir-y-Coed Country House is a beautiful former gentleman’s residence built in the late Victorian era.  The property is located in the village of Rowen inside the very popular Snowdonia National Park.  The property nestles in over an acre of beautiful, mature landscape gardens and provides a peaceful 5* experience for its guests.

The bed and breakfast has 6 en-suite bedrooms all furnished and decorated to a high standard.  The rooms are spacious and light and situated on the first floor.  On the ground floor there is a modern garden room, bar and balcony all enjoying a South facing aspect overlooking the grounds.  Tir-y-Coed is one of the finest country houses in the area, with an established trade, offering guests free WiFi, a fully licensed bar and restaurant.

Our client Kate found a beautiful bed and breakfast in Mid/North Wales located just outside the popular holiday destination of Barmouth and situated right next to the beach.

Morwendon House had been a bed and breakfast for a number of years and the owners had decided it was time to retire, providing the perfect opportunity for Kate to purchase a going concern but one which she could also put her own stamp on and develop the trade going forward.

Kate had never run a bed and breakfast before and sensibly invested in attending a B&B course to learn the ropes.  She also sought the advice of our specialist hospitality finance team at Stewart Hindley & Partners. Although it wasn’t all plain sailing, we were able to negotiate on her behalf with the lender, valuer and vendors and eventually secure a hospitality loan agreement acceptable to all parties so that the purchase could move forward.

Lee Scott found his perfect property in Llandudno, close to the Great Orme Railway and town centre. The business had been trading but, in the past year or so, the owners retired and ceased trading the concern. They did, however, leave the guest house in a state where it could be traded almost straight away bar a few immediate updates.

However, the lack of recent business accounts meant that the hospitality loan application would be mainly premised on projections, which is always a more challenging position from which to apply for a hospitality loan. The fact that the property was located in such a popular holiday destination helped and, with Stewart Hindley & Partners’ experience, we were able to make a successful application on Lee’s behalf.  We supported Lee with his bank meeting and commercial valuation arrangements and made sure he was kept up to date on progress throughout the purchase.

Lee took possession of The Capri Guest House (May 2017) where a warm, friendly welcome awaits those looking for a seaside holiday in North Wales.

If you are looking to start up, or purchase an existing hospitality business, wherever that may be, then why not contact our friendly team of specialist advisors now for advice and information on the best hospitality finance packages available today.

 

*Source: http://gov.wales/newsroom/culture-tourism-sport/2017/170831-overnight-visitor-figures-show-continued-growth-for-welsh-tourism-sector/?lang=en

 

breakfast

Breakfast Do’s And Don’ts If You Want To Impress

First impressions count and nowhere is that more true than for the breakfast you are served at a B&B or hotel.

So, our team at Stewart Hindley & Partners, specialist B&B finance and business advisors have put together a few ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ if you are  B&B or hotel proprietor looking to offer breakfast to impress:

DO

  • Offer a variety of fruit juices and tea and coffee styles
  • Make sure the tea and coffee is served hot and not going stale and cold in a thermos
  • Consider introducing Continental pastries like croissants and tasty pastries and serve them warm.
  • Consider offering a choice of eggs, such as poached, scrambled or fried? Guests will be so impressed that you have gone that extra mile.
  • Consider some more à la carte options – even if they don’t order them, guests will be impressed at a wider choice of more unusual choices that they might not cook at home for themselves. Think Eggs Benedict and Kippers, or an omelette.
  • And why not offer guests the option to take breakfast in bed? This ‘room service’ option represents a nice ‘added value’ touch and all you need is a tray and a system for booking it in advance. Guests looking for that extra bit of privacy will usually happily pay a little extra to enjoy this extra slice of luxury.
  • Train your staff to offer prompt and friendly service. Streamlining the serving and clearing away process can make a real difference to guest satisfaction, particularly if they are in a hurry to get going in the morning.

DON’T

  • Just play safe – Think beyond the old fashioned one ‘trick pony’ of full English breakfast and cereals to create a mouth-watering and varied breakfast menu
  • Don’t forget that, no matter what menu you finally offer, the ingredients you use are of paramount importance.

You might be able to save money by stocking your fridge with your local supermarket’s basic range, but these days, guests will recognise and appreciate quality ingredients.  And it is just this sort of thing which will get you glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat visits.

  • It’s not all about the food, so don’t leave your breakfast restaurant layout to chance.  Make sure that there are small and larger group settings to accommodate all parties; offer a good selection of the latest newspapers and magazines and put jugs of iced water on the table for guests that might need to hydrate after the night before!

Did you find this helpful?

If you are looking at starting a bed and breakfast, or building up an existing guesthouse business; wherever it is, we can help.  At Stewart Hindley and Partners, we understand the hospitality business through and through.

We are long-established specialists in securing bed and breakfast and hotel finance.  Our experienced team will be able to offer you friendly and informative advice to help you get the best rates and business support and hold your hand through the business planning required to secure finance.

Browse our site for case histories and further information, or call us now to speak to our team of experts.

B&B course

Book Yourself onto a Bed & Breakfast Course & Kickstart Your Dream

If you’ve dreamed of owning your own bed and breakfast or guest house for a while, you’ve no doubt read many wonderful books, blogs and guides on how to make it happen.  Why not take that step forward towards your dream of owning your own bed and breakfast and book yourself onto a bed and breakfast course?

A Bed & Breakfast course can encourage you to take that first step and decide whether this is the right decision for you. You’ll be given practical advice by expert B&B owners and given some useful resource materials. It’s the perfect way to focus your attention to making your guest house dream come true!

Also, lenders look favourably on applicants who have attended courses as it shows a commitment to their plans and that they understand what is involved in running a successful B&B!

Here are three of the best courses available for those interested in setting up their own B&B business.

Bed & Breakfast Academy two-day course

The Bed & Breakfast Academy two-day course promises to provide you with “everything you need to set up, run and market a successful B&B”. Run by Karen, the owner of the successful Hopton House, it’s the ideal opportunity to network with both fellow soon-to-be and existing guest house owners, as the size of the course group ranges between just 6 – 12 people.

The cost of the course is £250 per person which includes a workbook containing all the information covered over the weekend, examples of the documents you’ll need to set up and run your business, a light buffet lunch on both days and refreshments throughout.

The Red Townhouse two-day course

Run by the owners of The Red Townhouse, Elaine and Richard, this two-day course is ideal for anyone not entirely sure if running a guest house is for them. It covers everything from what the business involves, to what makes a successful B&B and the most common mistakes to avoid. You’ll also be given course materials and an information pack to take away with you for future reference.

What makes the course at The Red Townhouse different is its personal approach as they tailor each course to their clients requirements. You will be the only clients on the course and therefore able to ask any questions, or raise any concerns, relevant to your potential business.

Accommodation is included in the price of the course – you’ll stay at The Red Townhouse itself, giving you a perfect opportunity to see how a great B&B should be run. The Red Townhouse is located in Cumbria on the edge of the Lake District and North Pennines – a beautiful place to stay!

How to Run a Bed & Breakfast (formerly Pillowtalk Training)

How to Run a Bed and Breakfast is run by Paula and Ken Hartley who gave up operating their very successful B&B to concentrate on helping others achieve their dreams of being self-employed and running a hospitality business. Currently Paula and Ken run training courses in Shropshire and Berkshire but if demand is high enough elsewhere they are happy to run courses across the country.

Pillowtalk Training also offers a consultancy service to B&B/holiday let owners who feel they could improve their current business with a little help from some experts. Making some minor adjustments can make a huge difference to profitability.

By attending a Bed & Breakfast course you are benefiting from the experience of others, this can save you a lot of time and money in the long run and provides you the opportunity to ask questions about your own specific situation. There is no such thing as a silly question, and the likelihood is that someone else has either asked it before or is thinking the same thing as you!

We hope you find the above courses and guides valuable; don’t forget to check out our very own guides and resources on our blog. We’re also happy to answer any questions regarding financing your B&B, so contact us today!

Source: https://www.stewarthindley.co.uk/the-best-bb-courses-available-for-prospective-owners/

hotel-finace-expectations

Expectations for Hotel Financing In 2018

In broad terms the most honest and accurate way to describe the British economic outlook is “uncertain”. We take no pleasure in saying this, but there is no hiding from it. There are several well documented factors contributing to this, ranging from ‘Brexit’ through to global concerns.

An easy assumption to make when faced with this is that an “uncertain” economic outlook is defined as “doom and gloom”. This is not the case. Whilst no sector is completely insulated from the impact of current events, not all are adversely affected. In order to best illustrate this we’d like to take a look at the expectations for hotel financing in 2018 and beyond.

Our specialist financial experts rely on knowledge and information in order to provide the best service possible for hotel financing. A key example of this is reading, understanding and implementing the economic studies and forecasts for the hospitality sector. The most recent of these to be published is the PwC UK Hotels Forecast 2018. It makes fascinating and informative reading.

The report notes that the overall UK GDP growth for 2018 is anticipated to be 1.4%, a slight drop on the 2017 figure. For hotels, however, the RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth figure is expected to be 2.3%. This is based on a hotel room occupancy rate of 76%, a figure which is highly likely to be achieved.

What we believe this represents is a confidence in the strength of the UK hospitality sector. It also means that hotel financing in 2018 will remain available, despite the uncertain economic outlook in a general sense.

In order to understand how the RevPAR growth is expected to outpace GDP growth we must consider the consequences of the current uncertainty. The weaker Pound Sterling is the factor which has, as strange as it may sound, been of the most benefit to the sector.

2017 has shown that a weaker Pound Sterling can deliver benefits to the hospitality sector. This comes via two streams. Firstly, a weaker currency exchanges sees a far higher number of UK citizens opt for a “staycation” holiday, as it provides better value. Secondly, from the other side of the exchange rate the UK becomes a far more attractive holiday destination for overseas visitors.

At Stewart Hindley we are moving ahead with confidence about hotel financing in 2018. The factors which make the UK hospitality industry successful remain in place, despite any general economic uncertainty.

There are many lenders who will see hotel financing in 2018 as a primary investment goal. Gaining access to this finance relies on you getting the best people possible involved on your behalf. At Stewart Hindley we have a proud track record for being the best people. We are here to help you secure financing for your hotel or hospitality business. Please contact us on 01488 684834. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

filmset-locations

The UK’s Top 5 filmset location places to stay

Is your guesthouse, hotel or self catering accommodation located in a region famous for being the scene of films or television dramas?

Many UK holidaymakers love to see these places in the flesh and it’s even more of a bonus if they can stay in a property which featured on the film sets. Here is The National Trust’s Top 5 filmset cottages:

  1. POLDARK

Lacombe Cottage, Port Isaac

A former fisherman’s cottage with bags of Cornish charm and just a few paces to Port Quin’s beach, Lacombe was used as Captain Blamey’s house in the most recent TV series of Poldark.  Its low ceilings, original open beams and a solid-fuel stove all add to the charm and character of this exceptionally pretty former fisherman’s cottage.

  1. HARRY POTTER

The High Street, Lacock

A number of magical scenes from the Harry Potter series were filmed in Lacock Abbey and Village in Wiltshire, including parts of The Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Chamber of Secrets (2002) and The Half Blood Prince (2009).  National Trust holiday guests can stay in their Lacock timber-frame cottage, 2 High Street, which was also used to house Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton for the filming of costume drama Cranford.

  1. SWALLOWS & AMAZONS

Rose Castle Cottage, Coniston

This cute stone cottage initially inspired Arthur Ransome when writing Swallows and Amazons and provided the backdrop for the lake scenes. It’s a two-bedroom cottage which will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside with its pretty 19th-century charm and cosy interiors. The two-bedroom stone cottage sits alone in the landscape just above beauty spot Tarn Hows, with no neighbours in sight.

Free of modern technology and carefully restored to retain its original character, it’s the perfect retreat to escape the trappings of modern day life. It’s the simplest things, like warming against the log-burner after a long day hiking, or waking up to views of green fields and mountains that make this cottage so special.

  1. GAME OF THRONES

The Potters Cottage, Strangford, Downpatrick, County Down

Go behind the scenes of Game of Thrones and step into a medieval fantasy when you stay in this two-bedroom stone cottage. It sits on the historic farmyard of Castle Ward, which provided the backdrop for Winterfell in the first series.

Key scenes from the drama will unfold right from your doorstep; from the Whispering Wood to the clock tower just next to the cottage. There’s even a replica of the Winterfell Archery Range in the courtyard.

Escape the world of dragons and battling kingdoms when you close the front door of this cosy little nook

  1. JANE EYRE

White Edge Lodge, Near Sheffield

White Edge Lodge in Derbyshire made a star turn in the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell. The lodge featured as the home of the Rivers family who take in a troubled Jane after she flees from Mr Rochester.

Standing alone on a vast expanse of heather moorland with all-encompassing views of the Peak District, White Edge Lodge is sure to excite. Formerly a gamekeeper’s cottage, much of its original features remain inside, such as exposed brick walls, wooden beams and most intriguing of all, the former game cellar, which now hosts the kitchen. Its highlight though, is most definitely the upstairs roll-top bath which looks out over 20-miles of stunning views.

What is your ideal hotel location?

If you are considering starting up self catering cottages, a bed and breakfast or a hotel you will no doubt be comparing a number of possible property locations and identifying their unique attractions, as part of a business plan.

Our experienced team can offer you friendly and informative advice to help you start up or build and improve your business.

Stewart Hindley Partners have many years of experience in the hospitality sector and can offer specialist finance including bed and breakfast funding and hotel mortgages.

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.

Source: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/film-set-cottages

B-and-B-1

How To Deal With Complaints – Dos And Don’ts

Guest house and hotel owners will inevitably be required to respond to the occasional case when guests feel they have had a slightly less-than-perfect stay.  So, what is the best way to handle complaints?

Leading hospitality finance experts Stewart Hindley & Partners have put together a few handy list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts in these situations:

DO

  • Focus on providing a great customer experience with attention to detail and set realistic expectations before guests arrive. That way, you can ensure that you don’t give customers a reason to complain in the first place.
  • Be ready for those few complaints that you might get. This means being sure you know your establishment inside out. You want to be ready for almost any question, or tackle any issue, that your guests could possibly think up.  You should also decide what your stance will be when a customer confronts you, what your policy is on compensation and how you will validate a complaint.
  • Anticipate – have an outcome ready for as many complaints as you could think of, so try to bring the topic on to this, so as not to draw out the length of the discussion.
  • Stay calm, even if the guests are worked up themselves. When a guest does decide to make a complaint, it’s important to think about your tone of voice, staying polite at all times and choosing your words carefully – especially if the complaining guest is quite animated.
  • Be sure to also take the nature of the complaint on board, and look to improve whatever it is that went wrong for the guest. For example, look into upgrading a bed if guests complain it is uncomfortable.
  • Endeavour to bring about a speedy conclusion to all complaints. Delaying will only escalate the issue.

DON’T

  • Misrepresent or over-promise clients with your promotion. For example, make sure that any promotional images you use are a realistic representation of your establishment. Use a good photographer to capture all of your ‘best sides’, but don’t mislead with images of views which do not apply to your rooms.
  • Don’t feel you necessarily have to agree with everything that the complaining customer is saying – especially if you feel that some or all of what they’re saying is unfair. A better way to ‘diffuse the bomb’ is to acknowledge what the customer is complaining about, and try to shift the conversation on to the resolution.
  • Don’t dwell on the complaint because, more often than not, a negative can be turned on its head to become a positive. Look upon it as an opportunity to impress with how responsive you are to complaints and to ‘practise’ your customer service skills.
  • Don’t forget to treat the experience as a learning curve – to get even better at handling these situations in the future. Use it to hone your customer service skills, taking on board the criticism and using it to give your guests better experiences every time they come and stay with you.

Need a helping hand?

If you are looking to start or grow a  bed and breakfast or hotel business, the chances are that, at some point, you will be seeking out bed and breakfast funding or hotel mortgages.

At Stewart Hindley and Partners, we are in an ideal position to help you as we understand the hospitality business through and through. We are long-established specialists in securing hospitality finance. Our experienced team will be able to offer you friendly and informative advice to help you build and improve your business. Browse our site for case histories and more information about the process involved, or call us now to speak to our team of experts.

Source:
https://eviivo.com/trade-secrets/customer-service/customer-always-right-deal-difficult-guests/