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Frictionless TIP #2: Offer Multiple Breakfast Options for Guests

Frictionless TIP #2: Offer Multiple Breakfast Options for Guests

The Frictionless Innkeeper TIP series is intended to provide practical strategic or tactical suggestions to innkeepers. Oftentimes these ideas are provided by our guests on the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series.

Serving breakfast has been such an integral part of what innkeepers provide their guests since the earliest inception of the independent lodging genre that it’s literally infused into the name “Bed & Breakfast.” And while no one would logically suggest that innkeepers stop serving breakfast, it is worth reassessing the offering from the perspective of today’s guests.

Here are some questions that seems reasonable if you put yourself in the shoes of the guest: Why serve guests a one-size-fits-all breakfast, knowing that some of them prefer a much smaller version? And if a guest asks for a continental breakfast-sized meal, why should they pay the same amount as another guest who gorges themselves at the breakfast table? Finally, what if I don’t want breakfast at all?

Jim Belote, the owner of The Beall Mansion in the St. Louis region, considered these questions and has adjusted the B&B’s offerings accordingly. “We discovered that many Americans don’t eat full breakfasts,” said Jim. “As such, we developed a variety of packages for breakfast including a discounted continental option that allows guests to help themselves during a three-hour period. It’s all about the guest and providing the right experiences for them.”

It also comes down to the basic principles of choice and being fair. If a guest doesn’t want a big breakfast, then it seems reasonable to offer them other items that are less filling. And if they choose less or none, why not be fair and cut them a break with a discount to their overall stay?

This approach isn’t something that all innkeepers will consider taking but we thought it was an excellent idea worth sharing.

Thanks to Jim Belote of The Beall Mansion for contributing to this Frictionless Innkeeper TIP by sharing insights during a Frictionless Innkeeper podcast.

Frictionless TIP #1: Invite People Who Work at Local Attractions to Have Breakfast with Your Guests

Frictionless TIP #1: Invite People Who Work at Local Attractions to Have Breakfast with Your Guests

In our Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we share the stories behind how property owners became innkeepers, oftentimes discussing their challenges and the strategies they use for achieving long-term success.

Along the way, we sometimes uncover ideas for enhancing the guest experience that we believe are worthy of passing on to other innkeepers, so they can consider using them at their properties. For example, Christine Boeke, the owner of the Westcott House Bed & Breakfast in Hudson, NY, invites people who work at local attractions to have breakfast with her guests, so they can have an intimate conversation about the area.

“I often invite local business owners, such as gallery owners, store owners, antique dealers, and even the President of the Olana Partnership, to come have breakfast with my guests,” said Christine. “This allows our guests to learn more about the history and art in the area, and it gives them a positive feeling about Hudson, so they will hopefully visit us again.”

This seems like a great way of giving guests an opportunity to learn what’s going on in town and get some firsthand stories about some of the local attractions that make the area unique.  Imagine that you are a guest whose passion is art and you get to learn about the local art scene from someone who is intimately familiar with the artists and their work. Can you envision a better way for your guest to get buzzed about your town and want to come back to take in more?

We believe this is a great idea that’s worthy of consideration by all innkeepers.  Think about the places that make your area interesting and unique, and consider inviting someone from those attractions to have breakfast with your guests.  Then watch as your guests soak in the conversation and get buzzed about returning to your town so they can experience more of the great things it has to offer them.

Thanks to Christine Boeke of the Westcott House Bed & Breakfast for sharing her Frictionless Innkeeper TIP with us during her Frictionless Innkeeper podcast.

Photo by Flemming Fuchs on Unsplash