Question of the Week: Do you partner with local businesses?

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  • To be honest I tried doing this and then gave up as the local culture is the following:

    - everyone for themselves

    - do not let anyone earn money off you

    - we are forgetful or don't care to follow up

    - we are not interested

    I've been chasing a neighboring fine dining restaurant for over 4 months now and still haven't gotten a reply to when we can set up a meeting so that I can give them some business by sending my guests to them. Therefore I send my guests elsewhere if they are reluctant to help themselves a little.

    Businesses here are very hardly open to any partnership. Well, that's Romania and their insecurity issues.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    fluff

    Yes we do, with various types of businesses. Usually for a small commission, this works both ways, as is the culture here.

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    Katerinka12

    "I've been chasing a neighboring fine dining restaurant for over 4 months now and still haven't gotten a reply to when we can set up a meeting so that I can give them some business by sending my guests to them."

    Wow. That restaurant should be blacklisted. Though they will find a good explanation, normally it is: hello, I am not the owner. I do not care. But I do not forget to get my salary and ask for benefits.

    As for me, charging a small commission (referral) is also a culture here, though many people would just not pay. Even being a general, a person with 100 diplomas and certificates, a national hero, etc. I am just lucky that my units are located in super prime area, that definitely do not require any partnership with local businesses.

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    Zoinks

    This can be a double edged sword. I tried partnering with a restaurant very recently but when I saw their unprofessionalism - starting with the way I was treated with suspicion - I decided that I'd better not risk recommending restaurants to guests. This is because if guests have a bad experience in an establishment they will unconsciously link it with me. The only partnership I have is with a taxi company. They are tried and tested and consistently excel. If I tell them to pick up a guest at 4.00 in the morning they will be there 5 minutes earlier and send an SMS to the guest saying they have arrived. I would use them without any incentive but recently they started offering me something like a free ride for every 10 booked. 

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    Katerinka12

    Good chef - - > good restaurant.. After 3 months bad chef - - - > well, how can you cope with them?

    In my case, extreme traffic will not allow any taxi company to run well. "If I tell them to pick up a guest at 4.00 in the morning they will be there 5 minutes earlier" such situation is just a dream in Philippines. Unless you pay for VIP service and it costs a lot. And even huge money is not a guarantee that the car will be on time.

    That's why we just do our best to improve ourselves as hosts and do not rely on anyone.

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Laura  I do not see it as a way to increase revenue directly. Let's take an example - if I go to all the trouble of partnering with a restaurant so that they give me 5% commission off any meal eaten there by my guests (they could just give me a few business cards signed on the back and with let's say a free starter or a 5% discount for my guests). What is the amount of money that I am going to make? Is it worth the trouble? The only attractive thing about such a system in an ideal world would be not that I get any commission but that my guests get extra benefits by staying at my place. But as I said earlier I don't think it is worth the trouble to try and sell something which is not yours. I use the taxi company because I had used it myself and I was impressed by them and the first few times I booked them to collect guests at weird hours I was there, ready with my car, just in case they did not turn up. But they always do turn up on time. 

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    fluff

    It's not directly a money thing for us, we count it as local networking. We find it boosts direct sales by referrals and works in both directions. We only have this arrangement with businesses we have used and trust.

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    Anthea

    At The Pool House in Barbados, I have partnered with a hire company.  This company gives my guests up to 30% discount if the guests are staying at our property.  My commission is included in the discount as I would rather pass on the savings to my guests.  I also use another company who gives my guests a discount and me a commission if I recommend their car hire business.  I have tried other services such as sailing and dining out, but have not formed partnerships with these companies.  If the service or experience has been good, I promote them in my guests.

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    Sara Jarvis

    As a Football Club minutes from my house have just been promoted to the Premier League I noticed a lot of fans , staff, and players families want to stay close, my recent guest attended a conference there and she was the only person who could leave home literally minutes before it started from my place, so I’m letting the Club know I’m available.

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    Zoinks

    I'm sorry to be a wet blanket, once again. I often go to a local pub for a beer and sometimes I invite my guests to join me. I really enjoy it when they do and so do they. The owner has got used to me and he likes the added business so he treats us with free ' tapas' which are small plates with nibbles. It is very enjoyable as we get to know each other and usually it also helps to get good reviews as I find that the human touch between host and guest is essential in the type of establishment I run. However some time ago this slightly drunk or let's say ' buzzed' man in his late 50s or early sixties saw me with these two young English ladies in their late 20s and he just sat at our table and bought us all drinks. Let's just say that he was a little too forward and from the looks my guests and I exchanged - I confirmed that they were not enjoying the ' attention'. So I said that I needed to go home and that they did not have a key (they did have a key) and they snatched the opportunity to escape. 

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    Judy Gathiru

    I like the idea of partnering with local businesses especially where we are guests need  reliable mode of transport so i have two cab drivers who offer the guests good service and in turn we both make profit. we are working together the idea that only one party to prosper is not good.

    Restaurants, we have not done it but it is a good idea i will try.

     

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    M Adamopoulou

    Laura thanks for the idea. I will give it a try.

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    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    Ofcourse we are working with local business to create a win - win business together.

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    Jessie & Jay (B&B in Canada)

    Our guests often ask us for recommendations.  We only recommend where we have been and enjoyed whether it be a restaurant or a local attraction.  After a guest returns, I always ask them how they liked it to get the feedback that I need to continue recommending a place or activity. You cannot guarantee that everyone will have a great experience. However, I think it is better to recommend what you know rather than to not be helpful when they ask.

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    Mcdanielhugh

    We have an excellent partnership with our local pub / restaurant, we are a BnB and cannot and do not want to cook dinners for guests.  We book the tables for our guests and the pub landlady always make a fuss of them, introduces them to local customers to make them feel welcome.  She has developed a range of home made pies which have become very popular and which are unique to the pub and by extension to our BnB.   It's a symbiotic relationship which suits us both, and most importantly gives the guests a full rural / village experience.  It drives business for both of us!. 

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    Weigelt

    Lots of B&B's do -- partner with car rental companies, diving excursions, etc.  They take a cut.  We don't do that.  If you're going to partner, please make sure your guests know that you receive a "cut" for the business you send.  Otherwise it feels rather dishonest.

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    Anthea

    I most certainly agree with Weigelt.

     

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    Anthea

    I really like your suggestion Mcdanielhugh.  If I were running a bed and breakfast, I think that I would operate it along the same lines or employ a cook. 

    Anthea

  • yes, I think it is important. 

    I just connected with someone having a coffee shop in a nearby village, and a new young couple starting a cafe/restaurant are open to working together. 

    As soon as their visitors' card is ready I will add this info to my guestbook, and hopefully, they will refer some travellers to our farm stay. 

    I have tasted both the coffee of the coffee shop and the food of the restaurant and they were very friendly and helpful, so that is another bonus. At least I know them personally. 

     

     

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