Compendiums are a very important part of our business - providing guests with much needed information to your guests in a simple and efficient way. While nothing can replace the personal touch, compendiums allow guests to read the information at their own leisure. They also may enhance the guest’s perception of the quality and range of services you offer and indicate your commitment to offering these services and facilities to your guests. All members of the BBANZ should ensure they have compendiums in their rooms.
Take a lot of time putting these together as they are the “bible” for your guests. Guests love reading about your life and also about the surrounding district in which they are staying and it gives you both something to talk about. A compendium can be as complex as a tablet with a desk top charger (google search online compendiums for some examples), a hard covered folder with plastic pages or as simple as a ring-binder with good quality paper.
Regardless of whether you decide to have a tablet or a folder of information, compendiums are a great way for you to communicate a variety of information to your guests in a simple and efficient way.
It is advisable to regularly check the contents of the compendium to ensure it is up to date, making sure it is accurate and well presented (no scribble marks, dog eared corners etc). I do mine annually.
Sing your own song; guests generally like to hear about their hosts. Consider telling them about yourselves and the journey to your B&B business. Put copies of interesting information about your achievements which could include all or some of the following: First Aid Certificate, Qualmark rating, B&B Association annual membership certificate, TIA annual membership certificate, copies of any newspaper items where you are mentioned, and any other certificates.
Simon Noble (travel writer) give an interview about writing visitor information - click here for further details.
Tailor the contents of your compendium to suit your individual property; make it personal to you. The information can be displayed in an easy to read format, such as alphabetically listing points under headings. The easier the information is to find, the more likely guests are to use it.
The following is a list of generic heading suggestions for your consideration, to which you could add information particular to your property and area. Not all of these headings will be relevant for you, and likewise there may be additional facilities and services appropriate to your property that you could include.
Front Page: Begin by telling your guests a little bit about you, the hosts
Bed & Breakfast Association NEW ZEALAND
Beds, Blankets and Pillows
Child minding facilities (eg. cot, high chair, baby bath)
Coffee / tea making facilities
Cooking and food preparation
Dentist / Doctor
DVD's / Videos
Electric Blankets (settings 1, 2, 3, safety information)
Emergency Evacuation procedures
History of the region and / or property (you may prefer to put this on the front page)
Internet Services (including instructions, charges and disclaimer)
Iron / Iron Boards
Laundry (including location, hours, laundry powder)
Loss and Damage
Lost and Found Policy
Menus (for in-house and local restaurants)
Parking (including visitor parking)
Payment options (eg. Credit card, Eftpos, traveller’s cheques)
Pick up / Drop off service
Qualmark (insert a copy of your Qualmark Rating logo)
Return of Lost Property
Safe Deposit Facilities
Shoes in the house
Snacks and Beverages
Spa / Sauna
Swimming pool (opening hours, safety information)
Taxi and transport services
Television (including instructions)
Toiletries available / Sewing Kit
Tourist Information (including directions and traveling times to local attractions)
Towels (extra and older for activities)
Wake Up Calls
Any and all facilities and services should be included.
Some suggestions for websites to look at where you can source compendiums: