Don’t get me wrong – the family was pleasant enough. But when booking a group who’s going to reserve the entire inn, the business logistics are a nightmare. First off, all six rooms are going to check in and out on the same day. This means that in order to maximize occupancy, we needed to find six guests who would all be checking out on the group’s check-in day and another six guests who were looking to check in on the group’s check out day. Not only is it highly unlikely that this will happen, but if it does, think of the housekeeping involved. With six guestrooms, we employed one housekeeper who would single-handedly have to flip all six rooms between the hours of check out and check in (a four hour window). At an hour a room, this is mathematically impossible and the end result is an unhappy guest on my doorstep at 3:00 expecting his room to be ready and it’s not. Also, consider breakfast – a group booking typically implies group activities, which means everyone meets up for breakfast at 8:30 before heading off to Nantucket for the day. So, instead of six rooms coming in at staggered times during our breakfast window, we had all six rooms sitting down at once while I frantically raced around fetching drinks and taking orders and James tried to cook 30 flapjacks on a griddle the size of a Monopoly box and refrained from cursing too loudly.
That said, if the group had wanted to book a week in say, March, one of our slowest months, I’d break out a bottle of champagne (a slightly higher end one these days) and celebrate the booking. But in the height of the busy season, when rooms can be filled with individual reservations that are staggered, my advice to all you aspiring innkeepers out there is – go that route.