For episode #27 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Jim Meade, the owner and operator of Bear Lodges, and author of the book “No Cooked Breakfast,” who discusses his non-traditional approach to innkeeping.

Editorial Note: This podcast was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can also listen to this podcast at our Libsyn Directory.

In the innkeeping world, it’s often assumed that things need to be done in a certain way. From serving breakfast to continually socializing with guests, these are all great things to do – though this may not be the ideal path for all property owners.

For Jim Meade, the owner and operator of Bear Lodges, which is comprised of Bear Mountain Lodge, Bear Meadows Lodge, and 131 Main Street – three non-traditional B&Bs in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania – he chose to do things his own way.

He is also the author of “No Cooked Breakfast,” a book that offers a practical guide infused with a personal narrative about his life before, during, and after opening his B&Bs. The book also offers guest feedback from their in-room journals – and it shares his philosophy about why he does not offer a cooked breakfast. The book also discusses how following your own passion can lead to success as an innkeeper.

Following are highlights from our interview:

  • About Jim’s background as a fisheries research biologist, and how he transitioned into being an innkeeper. (1:30)
  • About the Bear Lodges portfolio of properties. (4:03)
  • What drew Jim to innkeeping, and how his non-traditional approach to running his properties came about. (8:12)
  • What Jim offers to guests instead of providing a sit-down, cooked breakfast. (11:20)
  • About Jim’s book “No Cooked Breakfast.” (16:40)
  • Jim’s tips for aspiring innkeepers, and why following your own passion is important for achieving long-term success. (25:04)
  • How Jim defines the guest experience, and what strategies he has used to improve it. (31:40)
  • The most important questions he would ask a leading expert/consultant in the B&B industry. (34:36)
  • Age demographics for guests who stay at his properties and how they are trending. (35:30)

We are very thankful to Jim for sharing his insights with us!  You can learn more about Bear Lodges by visiting their website.