What is a Bed & Breakfast?

A bed and breakfast (often referred to as a B&B) is a type of boarding house typically operated out of a large single family residence. Guests can be accommodated at night in private bedrooms (which may or may not have private baths) and where breakfast is served in the morning.

The business may be operated either as a primary occupation or as a secondary source of income. The staff often consists of the house’s owners and members of their family who live there.

Typical Owner of a Bed & Breakfast

The Bed and Breakfast business is run by many Baby Boomers, who are professionals wanting to live in a beautiful home while running their own hospitality business.

Guests can stay  for more than one night, but in some cases they will be expected to be away from the house during the main part of the day. This arrangement however is generally found to be convenient, for many of the more popular B&B’s that are located in beach, mountain and historic areas,  where daytime recreation and tourism activities are popular.

Advantages of Staying at a Bed & Breakfast

One advantage of staying at a B&B is readier access to popular locations “off the beaten path” which may not be convenient to the city center. Because most B&B’s are small, rarely with room for more than about 10-15 guests, it is advisable for anyone wanting to stay at a bed and breakfast to make reservations well in advance of their travel date.

Consultation with a qualified travel agent knowledgeable in this type of accommodation is recommended; many B&B’s belong to associations, have a web presence, and are described in various books and travel guides.

The B&B arrangement is actually a very old one; before the 20th century, it was quite normal for country travellers to spend the night at a private house rather than an inn, and the custom persists in many parts of the world.

Snap Shot Of a Bed & Breakfast Business

Modern B&B’s often consciously seek to recall earlier days; they are frequently established in attractive older houses that have been renovated and filled with antique furniture. Most B&B’s serve a traditional breakfast as a point of pride.  The owners often publish their breakfast menus on their website.

The term “bed and breakfast” is also used to refer to breakfast being the only meal provided, commonly in package holidays, in a major hotel that may provide other meals to only some customers.

As they are often run by amateurs, with little lodge management experience, strict laws govern the operation of bed and breakfasts, which vary in each jurisdiction.  The Bed and Breakfast is inspected every year by a By-Law officer, health inspector, and fire department. These yearly inspections can vary from province to province, state to state and country to country.

The most common regulations B&B’s must follow pertain to safety. They are required to have fire resistance, a sufficient fire escape plan in place, and smoke detectors in each guest room.  If the Bed and Breakfast has a kitchen, then the health inspector will inspect the kitchen. The By-Law Officer will inspect for parking and the general over all state of the Bed and Breakfast dwelling.

Kitchens and equipment used to serve meals must also be monitored for sanitation. Most B&B’s are generally compliant with their jurisdiction’s laws.

Email me or leave a comment below if you have any additional questions about being a Bed & Breakfast Owner.

Maria Rekrut

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