As guests at a BC Bed & Breakfast, do you know your innkeepers? Of course they introduce themselves when you arrive, but have you ever wondered how they came to be B&B Innkeepers and operate a Bed & Breakfast? A Bed & Breakfast or Bed & Breakfast Inn provides accommodation in a private residence, so the accommodation style and hospitality very much reflect the personalities of the innkeepers.
Innkeeping is very often a second career for your hosts, maybe something they have always dreamed about doing, or have arrived at after a major change in career or lifestyle. Maybe they’ve always wanted to be their own boss, or maybe they’ve wanted to leave the city behind and move to a quieter location. Often innkeepers have a particular skill set that they want to use in a more meaningful and satisfying way. Innkeepers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and not all include hospitality as a component of that previous life. There are innkeepers who were teachers, IT professionals, historians, flight attendants, architects, professors, management professionals, chefs, advertising experts, lawyers, photographers, shopkeepers and the list goes on and on. Yet all seem to discover a passion for sharing their homes and their lives to enhance the lives of those who stay with them as guests.
Innkeepers are of course self-employed and work mostly on their own, especially at small two or three room B&Bs, so it’s particularly important to belong to their provincial and/or professional association. This is where they network with their colleagues, the way most people network at their place of work, exchange ideas, products and practices that work for them and could be helpful to others in the business, or new innkeepers just starting out. Annual conferences or regional meetings provide these networking opportunities as well as a focus on continuing education. As marketers of their own businesses, innkeepers need to stay current on the continuing changes in the online world of websites and social media for example, and their professional association can provide these opportunities.
So the next time you enjoy the hospitality of the innkeepers at a great B&B, whether you are there on a golfing holiday, a weekend get-away, a culinary or wine-tasting trip, or any other reason you’ve chosen a BC Bed & Breakfast, get to know your innkeeper a little bit!