According to data gathered by insurance provider Direct Line for Business, the UK’s Bed & Breakfasts (B&Bs) go above and beyond for their guests; 71% of owners have had to fulfil highly-personalised requests from guests in the last five years.
The majority of these centre on particular food requirements for breakfast, such as a stack of pancakes instead of a full English, a simple hardboiled egg and cheese or the addition of broccoli spears. B&Bs are also often asked to provide prosecco, chocolates or fresh flowers in bedrooms.
Accommodation providers have faced a number of more unusual requests, however. They have been asked to wash and iron clothes, pick people up from the station without prior warning and even drive a bride to her wedding.
Guests have also requested to bring pets with them and not just dogs either; one B&B owner reported a guest bringing two parrots with them.
The evolution of owners
Over the last five years, B&B owners have adapted to the needs of guests.
B&Bs seem to be branching out from pure accommodation and taking on more of a ‘concierge’ style role for their guests. 57% have started making bookings for local attractions or restaurants for their guests, while 20% are even providing a customised itinerary of activities.
There is also a need for B&Bs to be increasingly flexible. 48% have started extending check in or check out times and 36% have extended meal times. 25% have even lifted a curfew time for entry to the property, allowing guests to come and go as they please in more of a hotel-style format.
“They need to expand their offering”
David Weston, chairman of the Bed & Breakfast Association, said: “While the full English breakfast is still a staple in most B&Bs, business owners recognise that they need to expand their offering to suit their customer base as dietary preferences and requirements change.”
With 14% now offering room service and 5% providing babysitting services — it seems guests are expecting more from B&Bs now than ever before.