Bed and breakfast owners, either single-handedly or with the help of spouse and family, provide guests with a comfortable, homelike environment.
A bed and breakfast is an inn, or small hotel, of about four to 20 rooms. Bed and breakfast owners either singlehandedly, or with the help of spouse and family, provide guests with a comfortable, home-like environment. These workers, sometimes called innkeepers or abbreviated to B & B owners, clean rooms, assign rooms to guests, keep books and records, and provide some meals. They also actively interact with guests and provide information about tours, museums, restaurants, theaters, and recreational areas. According to a study conducted in 2000 by Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII), there are approximately 19,000 bed and breakfasts in the United States. Though a bed and breakfast may be located in the very heart of a large city, most are located in small towns, the country, and along oceans, lakes, or rivers.
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A bed and breakfast is an inn, or small hotel, of about four to 20 rooms. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII), a professional association for the owners of bed and breakfasts and country inns, classifies the different kinds of bed and breakfasts. A host home is considered a very small business with only a few rooms for rent. Because of its small size, the owner of a host home may not be required by law to license the business or to have government inspections. Without advertising or signs, guests are referred to these homes primarily through reservation service organizations. A bed and breakfast and bed and breakfast inn are classified as having four or more rooms.
They adhere to license, inspection, and zoning requirements and promote their businesses through brochures, print ads, and signs. A country inn is considered a bit larger, with 10 or more rooms, and it may serve one meal in addition to breakfast. There are approximately 20,000 bed and breakfasts in the country. Though a bed and breakfast may be located in the very heart of a large city, most are located in small towns, the country, and along oceans, lakes, or rivers. Most of the bed and breakfasts across the country are housed in historical structures: the Victorian houses of Cape May, New Jersey; Brooklyn brownstones; a house in Illinois designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. And many are furnished with antiques. Imagine yourself living in a beautiful, restored historical house among antiques and vacationers from all around the world. And you don’t have to leave to go to work. Though it sounds like an ideal environment, and it may not seem like you’re at work, bed and breakfast owners must perform many responsibilities to keep their property nice and pleasant.
Their chores are mostly domestic ones, keeping them close to the house with cooking, cleaning, gardening, and laundering. This makes for a very comfortable work environment over which they have a great deal of control. Though bed and breakfast owners work in their own homes, they must sacrifice much of their privacy to operate their business. They must be available to their guests at all times to ensure that their stay is comfortable. However, even the most successful bed and breakfast isn’t always full to capacity, and many are only open on weekends; this may result in a few long workdays, then a few days of downtime. But to keep their business afloat, bed and breakfast owners will need to welcome as many guests as they can handle.
Among all the daily tasks, bed and breakfast owners also actively interact with guests to make sure they’re enjoying their stay and provide information about tours, museums, restaurants, theaters, and recreational areas. It is such close attention to detail that makes a bed and breakfast successful. The guests of bed and breakfasts are looking for more personal attention and warmer hospitality than they’d receive from a large hotel chain.
Bed and breakfast owners handle a variety of business-related concerns such as answering email messages, calling prospective guests, and taking reservations. They must also do accounting work, prepare advertising brochures for the mail, and keep their business’s Web site updated.
Though the owners of bed and breakfasts are giving up much of their privacy by allowing guests to stay in the rooms of their own homes, they do have their houses to themselves from time to time. Some bed and breakfasts are only open during peak tourist season, and some are only open on weekends. And even those open year-round may often be without guests. For some owners, inconsistency in the business is not a problem; many bed and breakfasts are owned by couples and serve as a second income. While one person works at another job, the other tends to the needs of the bed and breakfast.