When it comes to running a B&B, every decision rests with the proprietor. How much to charge, how many pieces of toast with breakfast, what to have on your website, how much to spend on marketing, the list goes on and on.
When it comes to B&B Supplies of the toiletries nature there is a vast amount of difference in proprietors attitudes to what their guests want, need and expect. Take shampoo and shower gel for example. Some proprietors offer a regular tube that might be purchased at a local supermarket, some offer mini shower gels or shampoo’s and some offer none at all.
Now let’s explore the cost and impact of each of these decisions:
• Supermarket purchased B&B Supplies:
As an average, most supermarket shower gel / shampoo costs approximately 6-7 pence per ml, if you don’t believe me go and check it out at a supermarket’s website. At most specialist B&B Suppliers who offer mini tubes average the price is around 3.5 – 4.5 pence per ml but I have seen it as low as 1.8 pence per ml in the past. And that was not a particularly low quality fluid or low quality packaging.
The impact of using supermarket bought guest amenities is as follows:
Firstly there is a mild perception of bad hygiene. This is because the customer is forced to use the same item in the shower as a previous guest (or guests). Secondly, there is actually the perception that not as much care or attention has been put into the guest as could have been. Thirdly the proprietor has to remember to pick up a new batch every time they run low. Finally there is no control over how much product the customer uses. I know that in my home certain people (who will remain nameless) use about 10 times more shampoo than is actually needed for clean hair, the same applies to shower gel and toothpaste. Add this tendency to overuse to the increased cost per ml and you’re looking at spending around 4-5 times more on guest amenities if they are purchased from a supermarket.
• Miniature Tubes Purchased from a specialist B&B Supplier:
As I mentioned before with regards to cost, the average price of fluids from a specialist B&B supplier is around 3.5 – 4.5 pence per ml with it being available for as low as around 1.8 pence per ml.
The impact of using miniature B&B Supplies is as follows:
It comes in individual tubes which are usually pretty visually appealing, adding to the decor of your establishment. Your guest feels as if they are getting more value for their money plus they feel more hygienic and perceive your bed and breakfast to be more professional. At the same time you get to control the amount of product your guests use, if you get someone who insists on using a lot more then you provided, they can ask for more. Inform them at check in that if they need any extra toiletries, all they need do is ask (you get a few brownie points for good service). Remember also that a specialist B&B Supplier will deliver, saving you time and hassle, it’s one less item for your shopping list.
What to do with the savings:
Well you can either put the money in your pocket, or use it to expand your range of guest amenities. Most specialist B&B Suppliers offer items such as dental kits, shave kits, shower caps, sewing kits, vanity kits and of course mini soaps. By offering these items you add that extra touch of enjoyment to your guests holiday.
To summarise, it may seem easier and more cost effective to purchase your guest amenities from a supermarket but the plain and simple facts says that it isn’t, there are no two ways about it. Ultimately it makes sense to buy from a specialist B&B Supplier as it will save you money and time, plus, you’re dealing with a specialist, they know much more about your needs as a bed and breakfast owner and care more than a supermarket ever will.