Posts Tagged ‘Reservations’
Hot off the press – or more accurately, just in my email in-box – is the announcement that Webervations has been purchased by ELG Hospitality, which also owns BedandBreakfast.com and RezOvation. Despite lengthy messages on the PAII Forum from the buyer, Eric Goldreyer, and the seller, David Swain, innkeepers’ concerns and doubts are plenty. Many innkeepers are asking what I think about the recent announcement.
I’m a relatively fresh face to the innkeeping industry, having been on the job at PAII for a mere 17 months. My perspective is one that is pretty unbiased, since I use neither RezOvation nor Webervations. What I see are two companies that have been major players in this industry for a while, so obviously they are good, reliable products. Webervations seems to be a system that has met the basic needs of innkeepers at a very low cost (Swain admits he might have spoiled his customers with such a low price over the years). Evidence of its incredible value has been the thousands of innkeepers who have used the product for years, and the many who are now concerned about the future of the product. RezOvation is a leading full-feature reservation system, which provides a track to the Global Distribution System and is also tied at the hip to the largest online B&B directory, BedandBreakfast.com. Innkeepers are worried about their $80 per year Webervations accounts. They get a lot of functionality for $6.67 per month.
My advice to the Webervations customers? Like with any business decisions you make, you should evaluate as you go. Goldreyer is promising to make no fundamental changes to the Webervations system, recognizing there’s good reason so many innkeepers like it just the way it is. Goldreyer and his staff have a history of being risk takers and progressive business people, so some changes must be in store. Innkeepers appreciate Webervations because it is straightforward and simple. To me, this is a little like Outback Steakhouse buying McDonald’s, and people fearing hamburgers will now be $2.79 instead of $.79, or that the McDonald’s menu will change drastically. McDonald’s has great value and reaches millions of customers every day because people know exactly what they’re going to get (minimalist food that hits the spot), and they get it cheap. Webervations “hits the spot” for many innkeepers, and it’s been cheap.
Tags: Reservations, RezOvation, Webervations
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Day one is over. For all those innkeepers who wanted to see me wiped out – mission accomplished. My day started with a 4:30 a.m. EST departure from my house in Haddon Heights, NJ. Grabbed some early breakfast a local diner, so I could review all of the training materials, checklists and polices Joyce Schulte (owner/innkeeper of the Chambered Nautilus) sent me. Caught a 7:40 a.m. flight out of Philly…short layover in Chicago and touched down in Seattle around 12:30 p.m. PST. Grabbed a cab for the 20 mile ride to the B&B. This is my first visit to Seattle, and I have a feeling I will not be seeing much of the city.Joyce greeted me with a hug, and we b-lined for my temporary living quarters. On the bed, I encountered a couple of the CN’s signature teddy bears awaiting my arrival. The note reads “Welcome to the CN — where only the bears sit around all day drinking coffee!!” My dark blue apron fit naturally over my head, and from my formative years working in a family restaurant, my hands instinctively tied the straps behind my back. Something about putting an apron on that makes you feel that it’s time to go to work and get your hands dirty.
I’m a bit tired right now (still on East coast time), so forgive me if I leave out some details of my afternoon and evening. I met two of the housekeepers – a couple of young ladies who seemed to really enjoy what they do and being in the inn, Kristin and Rhea. I think that’s a testament to Joyce’s virtues as a boss and co-worker. Joyce gave me a quick tour of the place and gave me a stream-of-consciousness, on-site training. When I arrived, she was expecting a fairly full house. In less than an hour, more reservations came in and the house was to be full this evening. Sixteen people for breakfast. One dog and one five-month old little girl to get ready for.
Joyce and I thoroughly reviewed her daily check list of duties, check-in/check-out lists, responded to reservation requests via Webervation emails, discussed rationale behind her policies and procedures, planned the next day’s housekeeping responsibilities (in which I will take part), emptied the dishwasher, interacted with guests as they came in and out of the inn, straightened up the living room, set the dining room table for tomorrow morning, chatted about the guests past and present, and got down to some quick ironing when we realized the linen napkins had not been pressed. See below for the awesome machine I was able to use. I had no idea what this was when I first saw it.
Tags: Ironing, Reservations, Seattle
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