Your Reviews Are Besting Chains, 3 Ways to More Direct Bookings

Inn Reviews are

“Stealing Business From Chain Hotels”

Giant Changes Because of Reviews

“In the hotel business, brand names mean a lot less than they used to.” That is the conclusion of a recent study at UCLA Anderson School of Management. By looking at hotel revenue and reviews, the study found that while chain hotels still have more sales than independent ones, the margin is narrowing considerably.

Revenues Fall Steeply for Chains in Small Markets

In small markets, the revenue edge enjoyed by chains fell to 6.9% from 25%. In medium-size towns and suburban markets, the drop was to 13.7% from 33.4%.

Also if an independent hotel gets 10 reviews on average, this translates to about 1.7% higher revenue, while for a chain it increases revenue only by 0.7%, he says. Website reviews had the greatest impact on properties… in small markets. Hotel Marketing.

3 Ways to Get More Direct Bookings

These days almost every property owner wants more direct bookings and less commission based reservations. Here are 3 ways to make that happen.

  1. Have an unforgettable personality-plus website with incentives and good SEO
  2. Collect emails and use them.
  3. Delight guests even more to increase their loyalty


Millennials Want Authentic

Most innkeepers we know are rooted in authentic – way before all the boutique-y properties trying to be authentic. So you are well positioned for the millennials who seek the real. They check an average of 10 websites before making a purchase.

With all the years of sweat equity you have put into your business, don’t lose it to these new hybrid properties. Just make sure your inn’s website is compelling enough to encourage direct bookings.  Maybe your property is an older building with rich history or maybe it’s a 30-foot-tall beagle-shaped inn. Use amazing photos and good design to convince travelers that they will get a unique, authentic experience.


*Customize Your Website and Highlight Authentic

Seek the Unique is the Wisconsin B&B Assoc. motto. Make your uniquenesss stand out and be sure to have good HTML & WordPress coding in the backend – it makes loading times fast and contributess to good SEO. Get a quote from


Honey Run Innkeeper Speaks Out to Guests About Life and Slowing Down

Rarely addressed – just how precious life is. In the latest Inn at Honey Run newsletter, Innkeeper Jason Nies, writes:

Dear Honey Run Friends,

Are you barreling through life at a million miles per hour? Each day jam-packed with scheduled tasks? Do you choose work over taking some valuable time with loved ones? If you are anything like me, this describes you, too. Then you receive the call. Your loved one has received the diagnoses and has just a few short days remaining on this earth. You drop everything and run to them to share one more conversation, one more hug, one more laugh. Why must we be faced with death to prioritize our time correctly?

Create a Summer Bucket List for Your Town – Savannah’s Has 7

Here’s How Visit Savannah created their list and it includes “It’s officially summer in Savannah! These 7 Savannah summer must-dos will make planning your getaway a breeze.“
“Take the whole family out for a day of splashing and playing in Ellis Square‘s dancing fountain. Located next to City Market, the fountain will make you feel like a kid again.”
Remember to put a number to it – Numbered Lists get more readers.

Vermont’s Weathersfield Inn – Offers Wild Edibles & Foraging Experiences

Boston-based forager David Craft returns to join Executive Chef Michael Ehlenfeldt May 13th. Forage the inn property and learn what wild edibles you can eat! Then return to The Hidden Kitchen where Chef Michael will teach you how to prepare and cook with what we’ve foraged, from quick simple snacks and meals to dinner party food. He will stress the flexibility these plants possess in the kitchen, focusing on treatments and techniques rather than specific recipes.

Foley House Smoked Salmon Hash with Chive Sour Cream

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large red potatoes (about 1-1/2 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
One 4-oz. hot-smoked salmon fillet, skinned and broken into large flakes (about 1 cup)

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, onion, bell pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, 1 Tbs. of the chives, 1/2 Tbs. of the lemon juice, the mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl and stir well; set aside. When the potatoes are tender, gently fold in the salmon and the remaining 1 Tbs. lemon juice and continue cooking until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the hash to plates. Garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. chives and serve with a dollop of the chive sour cream.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a fried or poached egg on top. A fresh spinach salad also makes a good side.