If you are an innkeeper anywhere other than the West Coast, you should be seeing the first signs of Spring . . . the snow is melting, the birds are returning with their sweet chirping and the smallest buds are starting to appear on shrubs and trees. Longer and brighter days, warmer temperatures and time to get your bed and breakfast inn ready for the next season of guests!
1. Spring Cleaning
Nationally recognized as occurring the fourth week of March, Spring has historically been the time many homeowners and innkeepers do a deep clean. It dates back to more than 3000 years ago and was called "shaking the house." When we owned our inns, our goal was to do Spring cleaning often throughout the year, and this only intensified with COVID. Areas of concentration for Spring Cleaning include cleaning:
2. Spring Painting - Interior & Exterior
If your inn is a historic structure, it may have narrow hallways and stairwells, which can be challenging for guests and luggage. Touch up all marks on stair risers, banisters, walls, doors, etc. Paint is relatively inexpensive and a little bit makes a big impact.
3. Linen Refreshing
If you aren't already regularly washing your pillow shams, comforters, quilts, blankets, pillow protectors and mattress pads - now is the time! As a matter of routine when we owned our inns we would strip our beds down to the mattress each time a guest checked out to ensure that everything was freshly laundered for every guest. Now is a great time to check pillows for stains that may have seeped through the pillow protectors and sanitize, wash or replace them as needed.
If you don't regularly manage your linen and towel inventory, take the time now to determine what needs replacing or is showing signs of wear.
4. Refrigerator & Freezer Clean Out & Clean Up
Use this time to remove all items from your inn's refrigerators and freezers, and give them a deep clean. Check expiration dates on all items including those in your pantry as well.
5. Systems Ready To Go
If you are not on a regular maintenance plan you may want to have your cooling systems serviced and be sure you are up to date on all fire extinguisher and water suppression system inspections.
6. Organize and Reorganize
During a busy season it is easy for things to end up out of place. Organize housekeeping areas, pantry, food storage and basement areas that are often overlooked during the year.
7. Inventory the Inventory
We found that it could take up to 3 months for shipments of mugs, coasters and other personalized items from our vendors. Inventory your retail items and place orders for the upcoming season.
8. Review Bar Offerings
If you have a full liquor license or a beer and wine license - take the time to review the beverages you offer and decide if it's time for a change.
9. Breakfast Menu Ideas
If March coincides with your inn's quieter season, you may want to take the time to review and consider new breakfast menu items.
10. Curb Appeal
The above list is not all inclusive but designed to give you a starting point for making sure your inn is at it's very best for your guests.
When we owned our inns we believed that curb appeal was critical. Being located in a village setting, travelers would walk past our inn on their way to town. Often they would stop and point to our gardens or flowering window boxes and I would invite them in for a look. We were fortunate to gain several new guests that way. We even developed a Special around that - but that's for another blog.)
Following curb appeal is first impressions. In a matter of minutes most guests decide whether they made the right choice or are slightly disappointed with their inn selection. Having the area by your front door graced by colorful flowers, followed by a warm greeting and tour of a pristine property, you are well on your way to having not just a happy guest but a returning one!
Need more ideas on getting your bed and breakfast inn ready for Spring? Reach out, we would love to work with you.