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Cottages, Hotels and B&Bs in the Lake District Cottages, Hotels and B&Bs in the Lake District

A day in the life of a B&B owner

A light hearted look at setting up and running a B&B or guest house

A day in the life of a B&B owner


Please note the views expressed in this article represent those of the author and in no way reflect the official view of Escape2LakeDistrict.com or Helvellyn Consulting. If you are looking to set up a holiday accommodation business and are in need of guidance, please seek professional assistance.


Why do you want to run a B&B? -  Size IS Important - Location - My House! - Pricing - Breakfasts - Extras - Decor - 2 night stays - Evening meals - Marigolds - Arrivals - Dogs - Plumber/electrician - Advertising - Inspections and Grading - Financials - Health & Safety - Do you still want to run a B&B - A day in the life


So what is the typical daily routine for you as a B&B owner ? Here is a somewhat caustic but hopefully enlightening example:


06:30 Alarm goes – another day in paradise begins!


06:45 – having crept around the bedroom trying not to make too much noise in case you wake the guests/family (in that order) head for the kitchen to do an early breakfast which seemed like a good idea at the time.


07:00 prepare some packed lunches for which you’re getting paid less than they’re costing you.


07:15 check you set the tables correctly the night before in the dining room, put out the butter/cups and anything else you forgot.


07:20 Light up the oven, start preparing sausages, mushrooms, and all the other ingredients of the full monty.


07:45 Get your first guest arriving for breakfast “I’m not too early am I?” “No of course not…”


08:00 -09:00 The bedlam that is breakfast – taking orders, explaining that you can’t cook waffles and hash browns to your  American guests, trying to get fried eggs to stay in once piece during plate transfer, ensuring toast is as un-carcinogenic as possible.#


09:05 – Find yourself on the phone ordering a taxi, enquiring about some attraction, or otherwise offering a service to your guests when all you really want to do is get the washing up done.


09:30 – Dining room and kitchen cleared – waiting for guest to do likewise from their rooms so you can get on with the cleaning.


10:00 – first guests depart, having “forgotten” their pin number  and spent 10 minutes looking for their cheque book


11:00 – politely knock on the door of the other guests asking if they will be leaving soon


12:00 – Finally prise the ones who were at a wedding the night before out of their rooms and close the front door on them


12:15 – Enter the guest rooms with fingers crossed hoping for a nice neat and tidy room


12:16 – Bitter disappointment once again as you realise your guests must have had an all night party with at least 200 other people in the room to create such a mess. Dread entry into the bathroom.


12:30 – Strip beds, rearrange furniture, don biological warfare suit to tackle the bathroom, consider ringing environmental health but realise you will be shut down (is this a bad thing you wonder?!), decide to hold your breath and go for it.


13:30 – One room down, only a few more to go. Get first load of washing in the machine.


14:30 – All rooms done (if you’re lucky) – hoping to grab some quick lunch and sit down for five minutes when


14:31 – Ding Dong – the front door bell goes – it’s your first guests “we’re not early are we..?”, ”no of course not, do come in…”


15:00 – keep the washing going, start the ironing, in between answering the doorbell to more guests.


16:00 – more washing, ironing and in between answering the service bell to sort out your guests “needs” – “Do you have any ice?”, “Do you have WiFi?”, “Is there a bank nearby?”


18:00 – finish the ironing, set the table for the next days breakfast


19:00 – Ring Ring – your last set of guest are ringing (a nice touch you will learn to appreciate!) to say they’ll be late – should arrive “sometime in the next few hours..”


21:00 – Find you have a load of packed lunches to prepare, remember you haven’t eaten yourself since finishing off the cold sausages from breakfast, make a sandwich.


22:00 Ding Dong – last set of guest arrive “Hope we’re not too late?” “Well actually you are, so goodbye”, “No of course not”. “Great – what time’s breakfast , do you have some ice, and can I order a packed lunch?..”


23:00 Pass out ready for another day. Wake up, get up, do invoices for next day departing guests. Pass out again.


23:30 Woken up by guests falling in from the pub – remember to oppose 24 hour licence for local pub in strongest possible terms, then pass out again.


06:30 Alarm goes off….


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Why do you want to run a B&B? -  Size IS Important - Location - My House! - Pricing - Breakfasts - Extras - Decor - 2 night stays - Evening meals - Marigolds - Arrivals - Dogs - Plumber/electrician - Advertising - Inspections and Grading - Financials - Health & Safety - Do you still want to run a B&B - A day in the life

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