Bed & Breakfast Management

Study bed & breakfast management online. Learn how to set up and manage a bed & breakfast or guesthouse. This course covers facilities, decor, equipment, customer service, supplying meals, financial management, marketing, and more.

Course CodeBTR203
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn how to get started with your own B&B or guesthouse. In this course, you'll study the practical side of management, customer services, set up, and more.

Working with our industry experts, you'll learn about:

  • facilities management
  • the importance of decoration and style
  • equipment
  • customer service
  • meal supplying and purchasing
  • financial management
  • general marketing

This course is an excellent starting point for people new to hospitality, or for extending into running your own business. 

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Management & Marketing
  2. Facilities and Decor
  3. Customer Service
  4. Equipment
  5. Supplying Meals
  6. Food Purchasing
  7. Records and Financial Management

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify the scope and nature of skills required for successful bed and breakfast or guesthouse management.
  • Discuss the provision and management of facilities and décor in a guesthouse or B & B.
  • Discuss the provision and management of equipment in a guesthouse or B & B.
  • Discuss the provision and management of meals in a guesthouse or B & B.
  • Determine the management of financial and other records in a guesthouse or B & B.
  • Determine the various procedures for seeking competitive prices on specified equipment.

What You Will Do

  • Introduction to Management & Marketing
    • The Basic Principles of Management
    • The Four Main Steps in Management
    • Understanding Policies
    • Marketing
    • Advertising
  • Facilities and Decor
    • The General Layout
    • The Dining Area
    • The Food Production Area
    • Parking
    • Telephones
    • Cleaning
  • Customer Service
    • Personnel and Service
    • General customer service
    • Staff recruitment, training and induction
    • Orders and instruction
    • Procedures for dealing with orders not carried out correctly
    • Bedroom Service
  • Equipment
    • Principles of Design
    • Safety Risk Analysis
    • Safety Audit
    • Using Audit Forms and Checklists
    • Signs for communication danger
    • Toilet and bathrooms facilities
    • Materials Control
    • Maintenance control
  • Supplying Meals
    • Breakfast timings
    • What to serve (continental or full cooked breakfast)
    • Presentation
    • Dealing with special requirements
    • Serving other meals and snacks
    • Dealing with customer complaints
  • Food Purchasing
    • Effective Purchasing
    • Planning ahead
    • The role of the Purchaser
    • Select your supplier or use your own goods
    • Effective bulk buying
    • Know about following regulations (know the legalities and alcohol licensing).
  • Records and Financial Management
    • Management of guesthouse records
    • Reservations procedures
    • Cancellation procedure
    • The control of accounts
    • Methods of payment
    • Safe deposits
    • Liabilities
    • Productivity
    • Financial records management
    • Insurance
    • Taxation
    • Financial Control

A bed and breakfast is generally a private house offering accommodation and breakfast in a package deal.
A guest house is a private house that may be offering paid accommodation only.

These are very general definitions, and could relate to any size of accommodation, and any standard of facility or service.

In Britain, guest houses have become most commonly equated with seaside accommodation. In South Africa guest houses are generally found in tourist areas. In Australia, guesthouses are often larger facilities, and bed and breakfast operations are smaller.

This course is relevant to any form of house or home type accommodation provided primarily for tourists. This is distinctly different to hotel accommodation which is not in a "home style" setting.

Guesthouses and B & B's do not have the hustle & bustle of hotels. They are able to provide a simpler form of accommodation, catering to smaller numbers of guests, and providing a more informal or even personal interaction between guests and staff/owners.
Standards Must Be High
Keeping the establishment clean in all respects is essential, not only because of health regulations, but also because of appearance/presentation.
Outside the Building
The paintwork should look clean and fresh and all maintenance should be complete. There is nothing worse than a newly arriving guest seeing paint flaking off pipes, gutters or window frames. If a gate is fitted at the entry, it should new, painted and in workable condition. Drives and paths at the entry should be clean and free of leaves. Remember if a guest has an accident on a path, the owner is liable. Any lawns should be kept neat, and garden beds should be presentable and weed free.
This is the first area seen inside the building; and as such should be clean and attractive. Vacuum the carpets at least once a day. Keep all counters and fittings free of dust. Give attention to light fittings that have a great attraction for dust.
This is an area that must be kept clean, but cleaning when the guests are not present is important. As most of the visitors to a guest house are on the move and outdoors by 10.00 am; late morning is usually a good time to clean. Carpets and lounge chairs here must be vacuumed, all fittings, tables etc. dusted/wiped over, and left in a presentable state.
It is normal to allow guests until 10.00 am, to have breakfast, and be out of their rooms. After this time cleaning staff may enter the bedrooms, their duties being:
  • Make beds and change bed linen if necessary
  • Empty the waste paper basket
  • Cear away any crockery/dirty dishes left from room service.
  • Vacuum the carpets
  • Dust any fittings and cupboards
  • Check and dust the curtains
  • Check that all lights are functioning.

These should be checked twice per day and the following done:
  • Clean the floor and all toilet fittings
  • Make sure that enough toilet rolls are available
  • Empty all bins (including sanitary)
  • Replenish soap and change towels if necessary  

Vacuum these daily and check all carpets to avoid loose sections that could be the cause of accidents. Also, check to see that all fire extinguishers are in their place and in working condition.
Dining Rooms
These should always be neat when the guests arrive for meals. The floor should be sanitary and the tables should be clean and ready for the guest to proceed with their meal.
The cleaning of kitchens is generally the responsibility of kitchen staff. All cooking equipment must be cleaned immediately after use, and put away in proper positions. This is not only important to hygiene, but also the efficiency of kitchen operations.


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