First article I ever wrote, my wife and I had just opened our first B&B and the editor of a local newspaper asked me to give advice to anyone thinking of doing the same. Not sure if this helped a great deal……..
After several years in the tourism business, I now feel I can offer advice to anyone who is thinking about opening up a Bed & Breakfast, and that is, do not do it.
On the other hand, if you insist upon going ahead with it, perhaps I can help a little bit.
The first thing you must decide, is the name of your establishment, now it is very important to find a name that is not already being used, for example, I wanted to call our place The Sydney Opera House, until someone kindly pointed out that there was already an Orthopaedic Shoe shop called The Sydney Opera House.
Anyway, after you have done this, you need to think about the sort of person you wish to invite into your house. To help you with this I have put together a “Guest Profile” which should prove invaluable.
First of all, very young people tend to talk loudly, get lost and wet the bed. Funnily enough this also applies to very old people, so I’m afraid both of these groups are out.
Teenagers are also out, the main reason for this is that they sulk a lot, evidently it as something to do with their hormones, also the vast majority have acne and dress badly.
Now, in the B&B business, it is vital to start the day with a good atmosphere at the breakfast table, this sets the tone for the rest of the day. There is nothing more likely to ruin a guests day, than for them to glance across the breakfast table and see a big sulky face full of acne staring back at them, and this face is attached to someone wearing a lurid t-shirt with a picture of the devil on it, which is tucked into a pair of large underpants, which in turn are tucked into a pair of baggy, tartan pants which seem to fasten just above the knees.
Moving on, people between their late teens and mid forties should be avoided, this is because they have too much energy and tend to stay up late. Once a person reaches their late forties, they get worn out after a hard days sightseeing and go to bed early, this is obviously a good thing as you can turn the lights off and save money.
Extremely sociable people are a definite no-no as they insist on telling you their entire life’s history and you cannot get any work done.
Now,pay particular attention to this, anyone with hair is a big nuisance, most of your day as a B&B owner is spent cleaning up hair – from the shower, the sinks, the settee, the ceiling, the fridge, in fact anywhere a guest walks there seems to be a trail of hair. I personally have removed enough hair from the bathroom sinks to make several wigs.
Without wishing to appear sexist, it is probably better to leave woman off your list as they tend to get make-up on the towels, they also seem to wash their hair more often than men do which uses more hot water and consequently costs more money. Please note! Someone who does not wash at all is a huge bonus and should probably be given a discount.
The height of your guest depends a lot on the design of your B&B ,so I can only give you a general guide here, and that is, if you have any guest over 1.8 metres tall, they will find something to bang their heads on. This brings me to another important point, a good first aid kit is essential, and I do not just mean a couple of plasters and an aspirin. You will need a full first aid kit complete with operating theatre, because if there is anything in the house that a guest can trip over, slip on or bang their head on, they will. You can hide a banana skin underneath an heavy wardrobe at the furthest corner of your attic and somehow, your guest will get lost, find their way into your attic, move your heavy wardrobe and slip over on your banana skin causing some form of injury which will require your full first aid kit.
So, to sum up, your ideal guest will be a forty-eight year old bald man, about 1.6metres tall, who keeps to himself and rarely washes.
A steady stream of this sort of guest will soon give you a thriving business.