So, the Torcroft Hotel’s Groupon campaign is now over. But last week, I caught up with Neil & Sally Taylor to find out how it was going. When we spoke, they were four days into their great Groupon adventure.
Given these tough economic times, a lot of B&B-ers have been pondering the idea of using Groupon to boost sales. But what factors do you have to consider before signing up with them? We asked Neil and Sally Taylor, who own the Torcroft Hotel in Torquay and have just started a Groupon offer right now.
Every B&B owner has an opinion about Channel 4’s “Three in a Bed” and “Four in a Bed”, whether they’ve participated in them or not. Do these shows help bed and breakfasts by offering the wider public a unique insight into the richness and diversity of the UK’s accommodation sector? Or do they sabotage property owners by misrepresenting them and confirming people’s (often inaccurate) prejudices about B&Bs? Certainly a phrase that often crops up in reviews is “car crash TV” – that special fascination you feel when someone utterly self-deluded reveals their folly in all its gruesome detail. Toe-curling stuff, but you can’t stop watching.
The rise of social media has provided B&Bs with an invaluable new channel through which to reach new customers. But it has also brought independent property owners from around the world together in an unprecedented way. For the first time in history they can share experiences and advice in an open, immediate way. They can recommend services and help one another avoid pitfalls. When things go wrong, they no longer have to suffer in silence or in isolation. Social media is making “BandBers” stronger every day. It’s also allowing important new voices to emerge on the Internet: voices that can draw upon substantial experience in the hospitality business to inform, challenge and encourage all of us to raise our game.