Running a bed and breakfast? It’s hard on friendships!

What do you call someone who is a chef, concierge, IT technician, plumber, electrician, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, bellboy, procurement agent, sales rep, front desk staff, valet, laundress, cleaning lady, and dishwasher – all at the same time?  A bed and breakfast owner!

People who have not seen bed and breakfast owners in action cannot possibly comprehend what the life is like – the number of hats you have to wear, the amount of work you have to get done and the schedules you need to keep.

Here’s what my daily schedule looked like from June until November:




6:00 – 8:00 a.m.   Prepared breakfast and everything that entailed

8:00 – 10:30 a.m.   Breakfast was cooked to order and served

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.  Guests were checked out, and the breakfast table and kitchen were picked up.

11:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Bedrooms were striped and cleaned, laundry done while answering phone calls, making bookings, etc. (and I had cleaning help)

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.   Administrative tasks such as phone calls and e-mails as well as bookkeeping finishing the laundry, made repairs as required and fitted in personal appointments

3:00 – dark    Welcomed and check in guests and orientated them to property and town.

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Continued with marketing, sales, administration, ironed sheets, pillow cases and duvets, made personal phone calls and sent e-mails.

9:00 p.m.  Fell into bed to be ready and refreshed to start next day.

My experience

Two experiences stick with me that brought home to me how difficult running a bed and breakfast could be on friendships – especially if you run a b and b by yourself, like I did.

One was being late for a dinner invitation as I was waiting for a guest to arrive; while the second was a friend who took offense when I didn’t have time to stop to chat in the midst of a very busy day.

It doesn’t mean that if you are running a bed and breakfast this is what your life will be like:

  • you may have a partner who can help with the various tasks
  • you may hire help – employees or contractors
  • you might not offer a variable menu and seating times for breakfast
  • you may choose to have a smaller bed and breakfast, or
  • perhaps not provide the level of service to your guests that I chose to.

However, it is essential that you are running your bed and breakfast in the way that makes you happy.

As for my friends, one got it as she watched me over several years run my business; the other was a fairly new friend who didn’t have a clue what my life was like.  Like everything else in life, you have to make choices!

So how will you manage your friendships when you own your bed and breakfast?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

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To begin your journey of discovery to see if owning a bed and breakfast is right for you, download “3 Questions Everyone Who Wants to Own a Bed and Breakfast Asks – or Should!”

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