There’s never a dull moment when you own/operate a Bed and Breakfast. Trust me on this. Last night I prepped a large baking dish of french toast souffle, (it has to refrigerate overnight) only to discover this morning that two of our guests left early.
I did appreciate the note they left, but would have appreciated it even more so had they notified me last night – so as to not waste food – but better yet so that we are not tempted to eat it in order not to waste it. To expand on that, Abi and I do not eat the breakfast we serve to our guests. We might nibble a bite here and there – and quite frankly I cannot resist bacon no matter how hard I try – but we never sit down and eat a full plate of breakfast.
Since taking over the inn 3 years ago, the Abigail diet, as I refer to it, has been instrumental in both of us losing a significant amount of weight and we have no intention of regaining what we’ve lost.
Tuesdays & Thursdays
The first season we were here, we were still figuring things out as far as what works and what doesn’t. For example, it only took one time for both of us to book personal appointments on the same day, thus leaving the inn unattended, to figure out that can’t happen.
As a result of that goof, I book all of my appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Abi has Monday, Wednesday, Friday. He gets an extra day because he is involved with a couple of hospitality/civic organizations. I keep this white board on the freezer so we can both easily see each others appointments.
It also only took one time of us leaving the kitchen door open, while going out to run some errands, to realize what a mistake that was and that it would never happen again, which it has not.
Bed and Breakfast, Not a Hostel
There are, on occasion, guests who do not quite understand the difference between a Bed and Breakfast Inn and a hostel. While a hostel stay includes kitchen privileges, a Bed and Breakfast does not. (This could depend on state and/or country regulations) We came home on that day to discover a guest washing dishes in the B&B’s commercial kitchen. Um, hello?
It turns out that while we were gone, she and her husband went out to get deli food and then helped themselves to dishes and utensils for their take-out lunch. By the time we returned she was washing her dishes. Now, you may think, “Well, that was appropriate of her,” and I agree, it was, but here’s the thing…. according to our county health department mandates, guests are not allowed in our kitchen. And along with that, even though we have plenty of insurance, all it would take would be for said guest to cut herself with a knife or break a glass and …. well, you get the idea.
Sometimes, fortunately not too often, there are guests who don’t recognize boundaries. And sometimes, they find themselves in areas where they know they should not be, and we will have to politely, yet firmly, escort them out. Such as the woman who if she had taken 1 more step she would have been in our private apartment. Curiosity is one thing, just plain nosy is another.
Every Single Day
A hostel manager may ask guests to strip the beds, gather up used towels and empty the garbage, we’re not going to ask guests to do any of that. We tidy each guest room each day of the stay, unless they ask us not to (which always makes me a bit curious) and the standard is that we change sheets on the 4th day of a stay.
If a guest stays 5 nights, for example, we will change the sheets after the 3rd night. The average guest stay is 3 nights. When we tidy, we will make the bed, empty the garbage and replace used towels if we find them on the floor. We have little reminder signs in each bathroom asking guests to help us be environmentally friendly by reusing towels, but there are those who will use every. single. towel. every. single. day. of their stay.
Mascara is a Killer
I do every bit of laundry. Every bit. And when we are busy, the washing machine and dryer can easily run up to 8 – 10 hours per day. I learned the hard way that I cannot let it slide for a day, because it just makes it that much worse the next day. My housekeeper’s time is better spent cleaning (so I don’t have to) and if I do all of the laundry, I can spot stains, or see what needs to be pulled out of use. Mascara is a killer on my pillow cases. And while I refuse to iron sheets, because my day is long enough as it is, I do iron pillow cases.
And this is the result of our efforts. Each guest room is named after a lovely Abigail in history.
A Cosmetic Overhaul
Although the bones of our 110-year-old house/inn are solid, when we bought the property it was in dire need of a cosmetic overhaul, so every inch of paint, wallpaper, bedding, linen, carpet, window covering, etc., etc., etc., is our handy work. Yes, we did hire help, but the creation is all ours. After being known as the Hersey House Bed and Breakfast for 27 years, we changed the name to Abigail’s Bed and Breakfast Inn, because it was long overdue. And because, well, it’s a better name!
And this is our vacation cottage, but that’s another story for another day.
When you travel, do you stay in B&B’s? Hostels?