For the first few weeks as the innkeeper at Buffalo Tavern, I greeted my guests and took them through the parts of the house that they could visit, including, of course, my “new” Americana Dining Room. I'd tell them about coffee, tea, and morning treats in the living room at 7:45 each morning and show them the small refrigerator with the water and soft drinks that were available for them. We laughed about the iron that is in the closet No one, it seems, comes to a Bed and Breakfast to iron clothes! I had some crackers in a basket in the closet and games, cards, and even umbrellas to borrow for bad weather.
When we went into the dining room, I’d tell them about the pictures and we’d marvel at the old wooden floors that were so beautiful and had been covered up with carpet by the former owner. I told them that when the fireplace was lit in this room it really threw out the heat. We also saw an indentation in the stone around the fireplace on the floor where it had been worn away—we’d like to think by some of those folks in the late 1800s and early 1900s, who would sit there with their feet getting warm each evening and, over time, the stone was ground away. If it was or not, the story sounds plausible!
I had to pinch myself after the first few months to remind me that, after all, this WAS a business and business runs on money taken in. Ah…. I had to collect money??!!
During the first few months, I waited until Sunday after breakfast (for those here for the weekend) to ask my guests,“Did you want to keep this on your charge card?” All the while feeling guilty! Because, you see, after having known my guests for two days, serving them breakfasts and snacks, giving them directions and suggestions for dinner, and touring, cleaning their room, and attending to their needs, I now had “friends.”
It’s hard to ask your “friends” for money. So now, I ask them for their payment before I even show them the room. Let the “friendship” begin!
It's a good strategy! Doc