Summer breaks are coming. It’s very easy in the school holidays and the weeks surrounding them to do a roaring trade, and I’m sure some of you are recovering from the bank holiday breaks you’ve been providing in excess for the past couple of weeks – there was some wedding or something on I heard.
But summer breaks are on their way, and you need to be ready for them. Here’s a short checklist of things you ought to have ready in time, before the customers start rolling up the driveway.
> Beds! Do you have broken bases, sagging mattresses, worn sheets, lumpy duvets, etc? There won’t be any time to replace things like these whilst you’re fully booked, so get it done now.
> Temps! If you’ve got offers on certain rooms, lots of functions booked or dinner events planned, it might be wise just to review your staff levels. Pop into the HR Office and run it past somebody there to see if taking on temps is possible and/or wise.
> Stock Levels! Make sure that you’ve got enough food, booze and other important items scheduled to be coming in, and it probably won’t hurt to stock a little extra now if you’ve got the room, just in case there’s a rush on.
Those three things are pretty key to the customer side, but don’t forget the more esoteric aspects – is there some money put aside for emergency breakages or replacements? Are rotas organized? Staff disputes at an all time low? These things can be equally as important as the more practical arrangements.
Have a good summer.
Well, the truth is that sometimes the facts are boring. But they also kinda matter. The National Bed Federation is a good website for helping you get to grips with the techincal side of the bed industry, and they are (I think) that most nationally recognised, even attempting to get bed-industry voices heard in Parliament.
Head on over for all sorts of helpful little articles that will probably help you avoid getting swindled by swanky salesperson – if you know your stuff, the boot is on your foot, rather than theirs!
The problem with buying beds on the internet is that, unless the sizes are specified in a measurement, it’s difficult to know whether the words “king”, “queen”, “super king”, “single” and so on really mean the same things. So, here at the Hospitality Hotspot we’ve created this useful little chart below to help you work your way through the muddles and mix-ups of international bed sizes.
- Small single : 2’6 by 6′ (About 75 cm x 180 cm)
- Standard single :3′ x 6’3″ (About 90 cm by 190 cm)
- Prince (a.k.a. small double or three quarter):4′ by 6’3″ (About 120 cm x 190 cm)
- Standard double: 4’6″ x 6’3″ (About 135 cm by 190 cm)
- King (also sold as Queen in UK): 5′ x 6’6″ (About 150 cm by 200 cm)
- Super King : 6′ x 6’6″ (About 180 cm by 200 cm)
You might be thinking, “So where’s the confusion?” And I’m about to tell you. The confusion is that sometimes bed companies advertise in standard european sizes, or standard north american sizes, rather than UK/IRE Sizes. So, our advice is this: check the that mattress meets the specific size measurements that you need, and don’t just go along with the name given to the size. Sometimes, people sell beds that are “queen size”, which is the american way of saying “king size”. Or they say “king size”, which is the american way of saying “super king size”, in terms of UK Sizes. Note this especially – Ikea (whom we do NOT recommend you purchase a mattress from) trade to standard European sizes, and not to standard UK Sizes, even if you’re buying from one of their UK outlets.
Business owners, beware – you don’t want to have to buy another one because you didn’t check the measurements. Get store retailers or internet salesmen to provide you with the measurements of the bed, not just the name that they give to the size they’re selling you.
You have been warned.
Hotels, letters and guesthousers all need to be aware of this – there’s been a significant shift in the bed market in Britain today. Both Tescos and John Lewis report that this year just past saw – for the first time – double beds be outstripped in the sales by king size beds. Folk in the hospitality industry need to take stock of this – hotels have long provided larger luxury mattresses, but perhaps the tide is turning and it’s time to start making king size the standard size.
John Lewis reported that, “our most popular product in 2008 was the Esprit, a king size bed that we introduced in 2008. That year, we sold 15 percent fewer king size beds than standard doubles. Now, we sell 34 percent more king size beds than doubles.”
Sociologists have speculated that this shift in the British attitude to beds may due both to people perhaps being taller and larger than ever before, and to the increasing shift from the bedroom being a social and not merely functional room.
King size beds are available from all good retailers – if they don’t have any king size beds, they aren’t a good retailer! But an interesting way to go about tackling the King Size Problem is to purchase a zip and link hotel mattress. The reason that we here at the Hospitality Hotspot think that these are such a good idea is that you get both a king size mattress and a versatile room for booking purposes – like two rooms for the price of one! You can market the room as a large double or twin single depending upon what you need – ideal! Note however that this works best with Super King Size (6ft Wide) rather than King Size (5ft Wide) because otherwise the mattresses start to feel a bit too skinny to sleep on. Our advice is that if you have the choice between standard king size and super king size, go for super king size every time.