Some may think that running a B&B is about decorating a big old house, baking quiche and cleaning bathrooms, but those activities take second place in importance to dealing with people.
A bed & breakfast is a people business, anticipating and meeting their needs. From taking the reservation, through mailing confirmation letters, setting up the room before guests arrive, anticipating special diets. A warm greeting – first impressions are very important! We show them around to the dining room, to their bedroom, answer questions. Ninety percent of the time it starts with “When was this house built?” Then, “How long have you been here?” (Answers: 1912 and ten years.) Pour more juice, adjust the thermostat, give out extra towels, print their boarding passes, make decaf. And chat. Lots of chat. I usually start with, “What brings you to Pittsboro?” I am genuinely curious. Pittsboro isn’t usually a vacation destination; people come here for a reason.
We’ve been open, as I said, almost ten years, and in that time thousands of nice people have stayed at Rosemary House. And three not-so-nice individuals. (A microscopically small percentage but isn’t it funny how those stick in your head? Without going into details, they were determined to create misery.) I also remember a few very sad people, here to visit relatives in the hospital, or to go to the hospital themselves, or who were grieving. Some lovely very elderly people. Children, teenagers, newlyweds. Family reunions. Girlfriends’ getaways. Business people busy with laptops and phones, middle-aged parents coming for their children’s graduations, then weddings, then grandbabies.
So many people arrive a bit stressed and tired from travel but after a good night’s sleep and a big breakfast they leave relaxed, smiling, recharged to meet the challenges of the day.
So it’s absolutely essential that innkeepers like people. People of all sorts: old, young, clean, grubby, English-speaking and not, NC natives and out-of-state, talkative, shy, happy, stressed. Fortunately, liking people is easy, because they are polite and courteous, grateful for what we do.
And back atcha – we are grateful that they are staying with us. Win-win. What a great business!
PS: If Hurricane Earl misses us –Friday night (September 3): Circle City Rock-A-Billy Rumble Cruise Night and Concert in downtown Pittsboro at the City Tap, 6:30-10. Vintage cars and music.