Ch  1 Hospitality
Ch  2 Basics
Ch  3 Theme
Ch  4 Better Old
Ch  5 Legal
Ch  6 Front Desk
Ch  7 Remodeling
Ch  8 Finance
Ch  9 Schedule
Ch 10 Labor
Ch 11 Marketing
Ch 12 Accounting
Ch 13 Now What
Ch 14 Forms

Planning a Daily Schedule


    No matter how you got this far, you still have one big reality to face. The planning is over, the construction all finished, and the rooms all cleaned and ready. Now you must become a host or hostess. It sort of reminds me when our first child was born and I was in the hospital room holding my beautiful child, and the nurse said, “Please get you car and drive it up to the front so we can send you folk home.” I was never so afraid in my life. We would now be responsible 24/7. And believe me the 24/7 had still not fully sunk in.

    You have spent a great deal of time researching and planning, filling out forms, fixing up and moving in stuff, so now it is all on the line. It is up to you to make this thing into the best Inn possible or face imminent bankruptcy and disgrace. I did not mean to make is sound quite that ominous but the true is that there is very little middle ground.

    Your first task will be getting and taking reservations. Even if you have a reservation agency or website with reservation software, you will be talking to a lot of customers on the phone. It is important to get the details right. Make sure what month they are really talking about and what day they are actually arriving. Not the date they are leaving, or day of the month from the wrong years calendar, or when they think they might be arriving, but the actual agreed on understood day they wish to arrive at your door.

    Always answer the phone in a friendly voice no matter what your mood is really like or how tired you may be. Be patient and try to hear any questions or concerns that you customer is trying to ask. Many quests may not even sound like questions and many customers are still trying to decide what to do.

    You will need to decide what type of payment or deposit you will accept and if the customer is not willing to give his credit card over the phone you can have them mail you a check.

    You will also have to decide on your house rules. Will you accept children or pets? When are check-in and check-out times. Will you charge for a role-away-bed, how about breakfast, is it free?

    Your customer should agree to your rules before you confirm their reservation. If this is a very small Inn then a reservation ledger may work, but most will need software for reservations so that they do not overbook a room. See Links for software suggestions. If you do find that you are full and one more guest suddenly arrives, then have a nearby business that has agree to take your overflow, you and get theirs overflow in return.

    When your guests arrive be sure to preauthorize their credit card or accept an advanced payment so that they do not accidentally leave at 5am without paying. Again, go over the rules and ask them if they agree, before handing them the keys. Also it is a very good idea to ask them how they found out about your Inn, so that you know what advertising is working and what is not.

    If they offer information such as anniversaries, birthdays, or other special occasions, then be sure to write it down so that you can invite them back next year. Always keep any conversation with your guest on a friendly level, letting them know that you really enjoy having them and hope they will have a wonderful time.

    Then there is breakfast. Be sure that you always have enough fresh food on hand and that you do not over sleep and make them wait.

    They may want you to direct them to all the great attractions nearby and you should have a binder or some leaflets so that any details like costs, or times, or closed days can be readily verified.

    If you have an afternoon tea or wind tasting, then remind them at breakfast or before they leave for the day if you can. You could also put a flying in their room showing times of breakfast, and tea, or other events at the Inn.

    So they have eaten and are off to the lake for some summer fun. Some Inns clean the rooms every day and some only every couple of days but one thing is for sure, there are always rooms to clean. Here is a short list of your probable cleaning activities.

  • Strip the bed(s).

  • Remove all towels left on the floor. Most Inns say towels on racks are still clean.

  • Empty wastebaskets and clean toilets, shower, tub, and sink.

  • Mop the bathroom floor and vacuum the rug.

  • Clean mirrors and dust everything.

  • Change flowers if fresh and restock bathroom.

  • Make bed(s).

  • Replace any fresh fruit or chocolate treats.

    Be a good host by your presents. Do not disappear into you apartment hours on end, leave you office door open or have a nice chair behind the front desk. Work in the garden, work on a painting by the porch, whatever it takes to be accessible for questions or even a casual conversation.

    Be careful not to go overboard in telling your life story. They may want to be friendly and ask questions but also your guests want privacy and the freedom to come and go without long engaging conversations.