Bed and Breakfast?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by nicko, Sep 11, 2000.

  1. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I am very curious to hear from chefs who have worked at or own their own bed and breakfasts. It seems that almost all of my friends (chef friends)have at one point thought about opening their own bed and breakfast. All of those friends I only know one who actually did it, and from what they told me it is more work than an actual restaurant. Is this true? I would imagine in many ways yes because you don't have a big staff, it is pretty much you and maybe one or two other people doing everything.

    Thanks to all who reply.
     
  2. isa

    isa

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    Nicko,


    Two of my cousin (they were not chef) each had their B & B one in the countryside and the other in a big city. Both were very happy the day they finnaly closed it.

    The one who lived in the city had 4 rooms and said it was really a lot of work plus it means you give up some of your living space she said she never felt her house was her own. And you can't take a day off during tourist season. You have to get up early every morning to make breakfast.


    Hope this will help you


    Sisi
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Sisi,

    That is what I have heard, it is non-stop work and you rarely get a break. I think if you didn't have to rely on it for your income but could just do it more as a retirement hobbish type think it might work. But if you are relying on the income then I think you will always be working. Anyone else have some thoughts?

    ------------------
    Thanks,

    Nicko
    [email protected]
     
  4. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Isn't there a certain charm in designing the food your guests eat, but the rooms in which they occupy? I have always wanted an "Inn" with a micro-dining room, a few bed rooms and a little courtyard. Sometimes, I think the subtlties of a really good food experience are lost in volume cooking. I would think the same would hold true for accomodations, as well. If you could feed someone a meal and whisk them off to their room that you are sure is comfortable for them, doesn't that make the experience more rewarding?
     
  5. judy

    judy

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    I have an historic inn with a courtyard,small dining room for the guests, we have 5 rooms, and a ballroom for bigger nights when we cater for weddings etc.
    Also a rare and out print bookshop which is used as the small dining room.I have worked the big places and then became a single parent with three boys to bring up. This place came on the market and fitted my skills and needed lifestyle. Yes it is hard work and you never seem to have time alone but for me it has been great. You get a lot more satifaction cooking for people that you see in the morning happy and content.Just recently we have become involved in having a local farmers market in the grounds on Saturdays. Unbelievable as I get all the surplus veg and fruit to jam,pickle or dry. I love my life and my boys grew up well and happy, we are a sandhill away from the ocean and 5k from the greatest surf beach.
     
  6. lynne

    lynne

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    I run a bed and breakfast in San Antonio and would never give it up (atleast, not yet!) My last stint "out there" was contract food service where I turned in my pot washer for a toilet brush!!!

    Yes, the B&B biz is crazy, busy and a lot of work, but it is also rewarding is so many different ways. My B&B is a small 3-4 room establishemnt, on the way to expansion. My work ranges from planning elaborate breakfasts for weekenders and something great but later for my business folks on the go! My job description ranges from pot washer, sales, toilet scrubber, interior decorator and of course, to my love--creating with food.

    The San Antonio season is pretty much non-stop from October through June. The last couple of months have been slower with a chance to recuperate, plan changes, rework web sites, brochures, etc. and to tell you the truth, I miss my constant stream of guests!

    As far as opening a B&B, there are many ways to do it and not loose your sanity. Own it with a partner you can trade off with. Get a great assistant or manager. Make use of a reliable innsitter. Some pplaces operate seasonally--next year I think I'm going to vacate for a month and go travelin'(1 1/2 years is a long time without a break--but my 16, 18 (+) days are for ME! no one else! I am a part of celebrations, anniversarys, weddings and just last night, a wonderful proposal. A perfect setting, a romantic bedroom and a perfect breakfast the next morning...

    Can you tell I'm very in to this?

    I could go on forever, but I won't. If anyone is seriously interested and would like to know how to get started, or how to research this wonderfully insane business, let me know, I'd be happy to share!
     
  7. unichef

    unichef

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    My parents bought a B&B when they "retired" and soon found out it was more work than they thought. It's a 24/7 lifestyle.

    They sold it within 1 1/2 years.
     
  8. lynne

    lynne

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    We started our B&B from a single family home which we had bought. Had to go through zoning, 9 inspections, etc. In 2 yeats (1 1/2 of which we've been open) its been a strong learning curve (sometimes it looked insurmountable) but we've learned what to do or not to do to decrease the burnout factor. Infact we're coming off the slow season and I can't wait to start being non-stop busy again!

    There's a lot of adjusting, but it's worth it! You get to see how every little thing you do helps make someones honeymmonn, romantic getaway just that much better and that much more memorable...talk about instant gratification!

    As one of my fellow innkeepers says Innkeeping, intransigent verb: An 18 hour a day activity which
    enables one to avoid taking a 9 to 5 job.

    lynne