We’re working with Karen Thorne from the Bed and Breakfast Academy to bring you helpful ideas and advice for your B&B. In her latest blog, Karen writes about the top Out of Eden products she recommends when it comes to running a successful B&B.
As a course lecturer for hospitality providers, Karen has been recommending Out of Eden to her course attendees for years. Her recommendation follows from her years of experience as Karen ran a successful B&B, Hopton House, for almost 2 decades and regularly bought supplies from Out of Eden. As a small business owner, Karen benefited from Out of Edens’ commitment to a range of niche hospitality products, excellent customer service, sustainability, not to mention small pack sizes, Karen writes: "One of the aspects I appreciate most about the company is their flexibility in allowing purchases in small quantities. When I first explored toiletries and other hospitality suppliers, most of the companies I contacted had high minimum order requirements (often over £200)."
Gleaning from her years of experience in the hospitality trade, Karen shares her Top Five Products from Out of Eden that will help you run a successful B&B.
Choosing the right toiletries for your B&B can be time consuming. Often, hospitality providers look for something that matches their style and budget. After trying a number of toiletries at Hopton House, Karen finally settled on Cole & Lewis, an exclusive range to Out of Eden: "I began with the miniature sizes and later switched to the 300ml bottles, offering the complete range, including conditioner and body lotion. Their sleek, minimalist design adds a stylish touch and guests enjoyed using them so much, they often asked about buying them to take home."
Karen has some additional advice when customers want to take the toiletries home, "Placing bottles for sale in a prominent place in reception, with a price tag, will hopefully put off guests from, accidentally or otherwise, walking off with them!"
A great selection of toiletries can also match your brand values, too. Cole & Lewis toiletries are made in the UK, free from SLS and parabens, and made using vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. The range also offers convenient 5L refills.
When the bathroom experience is an important aspect of a guest stay, only luxury towels will do.
Karen writes: "I must admit that one of my pet peeves while travelling is not having a decent-sized towel to wrap my hair in after washing it. So at Hopton House, I provided guests with 2 bath sheets, 2 bath towels ( for the hair wrapping ), 2 face cloths, and a hand towel from the luxurious Out of Eden range. These towels wash well and last for years. We’re still using some of the original towels we bought today."
Karen recommends combating stubborn stains on towels by soaking them in Napisan "…it works wonders".
Guests will love the added value of being able to slip into a comfortable bathrobe with a pair of slippers to match. For Hopton House, Karen’s favourite were the Washable Slippers and the Classic Waffle Bathrobe: "The Out of Eden Classic Waffle Bathrobes were always a hit at my B&B. They maintain their appearance for years and are quick to wash and dry. My preferred slippers were the washable ones, which held up nicely after washing and looked elegant."
Karen's Tip: "If you offer non-washable slippers, leave a note encouraging guests to take them as a souvenir to reduce waste. With washable slippers, do the opposite, and make sure guests don't slip them into their suitcase. I placed mine in a cloth bag, hung it next to the bathrobes on the bathroom door, and included a laminated note explaining that we laundered them for the next guests, offering to sell a pair to them if they wanted to take them home."
One of the best ways to make a positive first impression is to offer a comprehensive selection of refreshments on your welcome tray. According to Karen, you can never offer too much: "There were some course attendees who questioned whether I put too much on the tea tray. However, to be honest, it didn't cost me a lot; the items were individually wrapped, so they could be left for future guests, and it enhanced the guests' experience. Yes, there was always the risk that someone could empty the entire tray into their suitcase, but that only happened to me once. One of the things that bugs me when we go away is having only one of each herbal tea in the room. What if we both wanted peppermint tea (we actually bring our own peppermint tea when we travel for that very reason!)?"
As the founder of Bed and Breakfast Academy, Karen has been providing training and ongoing support to both aspiring and existing B&B owners since 2006. Her training covers everything from starting up and managing, to marketing a successful bed and breakfast. Karen ran her own B&B, Hopton House, a successful bed and breakfast in Shropshire, for 17 years. To contact Karen and to find out more about Bed and Breakfast Academy, check out Karen’s website (www.bandbacademy.co.uk), podcast and blog.