Bed and breakfast operator

A bed and breakfast operator


Bed and breakfast operators manage the daily operations of a bed and breakfast establishment. They ensure the guests’ needs are met.

A bed and breakfast operator typically does the following:

  • oversees reservation, reception and housekeeping activities
  • plans, directs and co-ordinates the organisation, its administration and the operation of the establishment
  • oversees accounting and purchasing activities
  • ensures compliance with occupational health and safety regulations
  • may provide guests with local tourism information, and arrange tours and transportation
  • keeps appropriate records
  • exercises public relations and marketing responsibilities
  • assesses and reviews customer satisfaction and handles guest complaints.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to bed and breakfast operator:

bed and breakfast proprietor
b&b proprietor
guest house owner
bed and breakfast owner
private hotel proprietor
b&b operator
guest house proprietor
b&b owner
guest house operator
b&b manager
private hotel owner
bed and breakfast manager

Working conditions

Bed and breakfast operators run small hotels, usually out of their own homes. They allow one or more guests to rent rooms for a night or longer, and cater to guests’ need more attentively than traditional hotels.

Bed ad breakfast operators may manage a website, purchase ads in travel magazines, or stock informational brochures at tourist bureaus. They also handle all booking, billing, and collection activities, ensuring the profitability of the bed and breakfast.

Most bed and breakfast operators are self-employed, so they can keep whatever hours they choose. If they want to work only in the summer, they can offer rooms seasonally. If they only want to work weekends, they can offer reservations on weekends only. When they do have guests, they may have tasks to attend to during the full stay, at any time during the paid-for 24 hours or more.

Minimum qualifications

Most bed and breakfast operators are self-employed and manage their own bed and breakfast establishments. A few may be employed to manage or operate bed and breakfasts owned by other individuals who do not have the time or ability to operate the establishments themselves.

Because most of them are self-employed, no formal education or experience is required to operate a B&B. However, college coursework or a degree in business, hospitality management, or marketing can be hugely helpful in running a profitable business. Additionally, experience working in hotels or inns is also beneficial

In general, the basic requirement for running a bed and breakfast is owning a house that is large enough to rent rooms out to guests. Becoming familiar with legal rules and regulations is also critical before opening a business. Parking restrictions, liquor licenses, demands to upgrade appliances or pools, or other local or national regulations may be required to operate legally.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Bed and breakfast operator is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Bed and breakfast operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to bed and breakfast operator.

hotel butler
night auditor
hospitality establishment receptionist
camping ground operative
hotel concierge

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of bed and breakfast operator. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of bed and breakfast operator with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

accommodation manager
rooms division manager
camping ground manager
betting manager
travel agency manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of bed and breakfast operator.

  • Customer service: Processes and principles related to the customer, client, service user and to personal services; these may include procedures to evaluate customer’s or service user’s satisfaction.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of bed and breakfast operator.

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
  • Greet guests: Welcome guests in a friendly manner in a certain place.
  • Handle customer complaints: Administer complaints and negative feedback from customers in order to address concerns and where applicable provide a quick service recovery.
  • Monitor financial accounts: Handle financial administration of your department, keep the costs down to only necessary expenses and maximise the revenues of your organisation.
  • Manage the customer experience: Monitor, create and oversee customer experience and perception of brand and service. Ensure pleasant customer experience, treat customers in a cordial and courteous manner.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
  • Forecast occupancy demand: Predict the number of hotel rooms that will be booked, schedule occupancies and estimate demand forecast.
  • Measure customer feedback: Evaluate customer’s comments in order to find out whether customers feel satisfied or dissatisfied with the product or service.
  • Manage hospitality revenue: Oversee a hospitality revenue by understanding, monitoring, predicting and reacting to consumer behaviour, in order to maximise revenue or profits, maintain budgeted gross profit and minimise expenditures.
  • Maintain customer records: Keep and store structured data and records about customers in accordance with customer data protection and privacy regulations.
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bed and breakfast operator. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Local area tourism industry: The characteristics of local sights and events, accommodation, bars and restaurants and leisure activities.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bed and breakfast operator. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Deal with arrivals in accommodation: Handle arrivals, guest’s luggage, check-in clients in line with company standards and local legislation ensuring high levels of customer service.
  • Clean household linens: Wash linens such as sheets, towels and table cloths with water and soap or detergent. Clean linens by hand or by the use of a washing machine.
  • Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
  • Tend to guests with special needs: Ensure that disabled guests have access to the venue.
  • Service rooms: Offer room service and, where appropriate, service public areas, including cleaning surfaces, bathrooms, replacing linen and towels and restocking guest items.
  • Handle chemical cleaning agents: Ensure proper handling, storage and disposal of cleaning chemicals in accordance with regulations.
  • Maintain linen operation: Keep daily operations of a linen stock, including its distribution, maintenance, rotation and storage.
  • Handle linen in stock: Manage laundered items and store them in safe and hygienic conditions.
  • Design customer experiences: Create customer experiences to maximise client’s satisfaction and profitability.
  • Ensure price competitiveness: Guarantee price competitiveness by setting the highest achievable revenue of your product or service while observing prices of competitors and studying market strategies, conditions and evolutions.
  • Take room service orders: Accept room service orders and redirect them to the responsible employees.
  • Develop strategies for accessibility: Create strategies for a business to enable optimum accessibility for all clients.
  • Handle guest luggage: Manage, pack, unpack and store guest luggage on request.

ISCO group and title

5152 – Domestic housekeepers

  1. Bed and breakfast operator – ESCO
  2. Bed and Breakfast Operator | Your Career
  3. Bed and Breakfast Inkeeper – Salary, Job Description, How to Become and Best Schools – OnlineDegree
  4. Featured image: By Chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 3.0
Last updated on November 10, 2022

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