Saturday, July 21, 2012

No more "one night stands"

We give up!  As a 2-person, full-time working, no staff B&B, we can't continue accepting reservations for only one night.  We've given it nearly 3 months, and it's just too hard.  I feel strongly that, being in the hospitality business, we should offer accommodations to everyone subject only to availability.  But to go through the routine of changing, washing, and ironing sheets; thoroughly cleaning the bathroom; dusting and vacuuming the bedroom, for just one night, well, I'm sorry but it's simply not worth it.  To do it several days in a row is exhausting.

A quick analysis showed that 65% of our reservations are for only one night, so we will clearly be giving up a lot of business with this policy.  I'm not saying we won't rethink it.  I'm not saying we won't try to find other solutions, like help.  But as a stop-gap measure to give us some breathing room, the 2-night minimum policy is now in place.

We've still got plenty of one-night stands already on the books, but I'm breathing easier already.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To AC or not to AC

We've lost two guests - 3 nights total - due to the lack of functioning air conditioning.  The question is, should we use our AC for the comfort of our guests even though we (read "I") don't like it?  We are in the hospitality business, after all.  On the other hand, it's our home and we live here.

I really don't like AC.  I mean, I like being cool, of course, and these 98 degree days are kicking my butt.  But I prefer to have the windows open to the breeze and the outside noises.  I hate the sound of the AC.  I'm not sure how effectively we could cool this house anyway, with all its doors and windows, but to even try would mean running around closing them all, then opening them again once it cooled down.  Too much work.

And what's the big deal in being hot once in awhile.  Ok, it's uncomfortable, I don't deny it.  But so what?  You appreciate the cooler days that much more.

We're going to invest in ceiling fans and that will help a lot.  But - sorry, folks - we're not going to AC at The Buckeye and the Frog.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

B&B Do's and Don't's

A bed & breakfast is not a hotel.  It requires a different etiquette from a hotel.  Basically, you have to remember that you are in someone's home (unless, like 5 Corners, you're not; but to me that's not a B&B, that's a hotel that includes breakfast).  Therefore:

  1. DO let your hosts know if you're going to arrive significantly later than planned.
  2. DO knock or ring at the front door unless there's a sign specifically inviting you to walk in.
  3. DO compliment the hosts on the room you're shown.
  4. DON'T wander around the house looking at things or opening closed doors.
  5. DON'T change rooms in the middle of a visit unless you have a very good reason.
  6. DON'T use linens to clean up spills.
  7. DO make special requirements, e.g., dietary restrictions, known in advance or as soon as possible upon arrival.
  8. DON'T invite guests over without clearing it with the hosts first, especially for meals, and DO expect an additional charge for extra meals.
  9. DO treat the home, its furnishings, and anyone living or staying in it with courtesy and respect.
These are the ones that occur to me off the top of my head.  I'm sure I'll be adding to them, and invite contributions from B&B owners and patrons.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mini Zucchini Quiche Recipe

I was on my own for breakfast this morning with six people to feed (including Jessie and me) and a load of zucchini.  I decided to make zucchini mini quiches and they turned out so well I thought I'd better get the recipe down before I forgot it.

6 Mini Zucchini Quiches
Make one batch of double pie crust from the Joy of Cooking.  Roll out 6 pieces and cut a circle to fit into each mini quiche plate.  Prick each crust 3-4 times with a fork.  Bake 17 min. at 370 degrees.  (That's Dom's timing and temp; I suspect 20 min. at 350 degrees would work just as well.)  Let the crusts cool.

Grate one zucchini.  Beat 3 eggs and 1 cup of milk together.  Cut up some basil leaves.  Add zucchini and a couple tablespoons of basil, plus salt and pepper.  Fill each crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 min. (maybe longer).  Once the middle is set, add a couple tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese and put back in the oven until it melts.  Remove from oven and add a little paprika to look pretty.

I should have taken a picture but I was working pretty fast since my guests ate at two different times.  Anyway, they were great.  Obviously this recipe will work for a lot of other vegetables as well.