Once a mainstay of the local business landscape, the bed and breakfast inn went into decline with the rise in popularity of chain hotels but has since made a comeback as a niche industry catering to travelers who want a more personal touch to their food and lodgings. Some bed and breakfasts, in their effort to increasingly distinguish themselves from the big chains, have strengthened their niche advantage by serving organic items on their breakfast menus. There are a couple of reasons why you might want to join this trend and serve organic food to your bed and breakfast guests.
B&B customers, by nature, are people who are looking for something out of the norm. Industry surveys typically show that guests opt for the B&B experience because they want to avoid the cookie-cutter hotel experience. In other words, they tend to see themselves as avoiding what “the masses” do.
This attitude isn’t exclusive to their choice in lodging, but also extends to many of their other purchasing habits. They are more likely to purchase custom items and are willing to pay higher prices for better quality products, for example. And when it comes to their food choices, they are more likely to choose foods that are organic.
Serving organic foods can quickly become a noticeable selling point for your bed and breakfast among the type of customers who are already inclined to patronize your business.
The main concern, of course, is cost. Organic foods are a good bit more expensive, due to the costlier farming methods used in their production, and they also spoil somewhat sooner than conventionally grown foods, making them a hefty investment for any business owner. Since switching to organic foods is not a surefire way to increase your business, it should be carefully considered.
Another consideration lies in exactly what dishes you’re serving. Organic ingredients may help sell food, but they won’t improve the taste or nutritional content, so making sure your cooks are up to the task of transforming organic food into a good healthy meal is as essential to your business as it ever was.
There are many websites devoted to organic recipes and food preparation, which can help you craft your menu. And adding some items is as easy as simply ordering them online. For your organic coffee, one great online store we’ve found is Java Planet. Not only is their organic coffee roasted and packaged in the US, but it is also Fair Trade certified, which is another positive selling feature for your typical demographic. For a helpful list of other food items that can be ordered online, check out this page at simplyorganic.com: http://www.simplyorganic.com/store.php?Screen=recipes&collection=breakfast&dsp=collection It includes recipes with prep time, cook time and all the items you need can be ordered on their site. These resources can help you get up and running with an organic menu immediately.
If you feel your business is on stable enough ground that you can afford to sell a more upscale product, switching to organic foods can be a huge boon for your B&B. It can be the unique selling point that distinguishes you from the competition. Of course, the key is to make sure you let it be known that you serve organic food on your inn’s menu. Be sure to mention it on your website and also on your online profiles, such as Trip Advisor. When advertising your menu where travelers might see it, the mere mention of organic food can be a deciding factor for most of a bed and breakfast’s customer base, and should be prominently mentioned in your list of amenities. When it comes to offering organic foods, helping your guests stay healthy can also keep your business healthy, and that’s the type of win-win that is likely to be worth the cost and effort.