Typical Roles at a Bed and Breakfast

A bed and breakfast’s hiring needs vary depending on its size and offerings. The most important job is the innkeeper, who’s responsible for managing the day to day operations of the bed and breakfast, including staff management, logistics, and guest relations.

Since food is an important part of any bed and breakfast, one of the first roles you may need to fill as your business expands is a cook or chef to help in the kitchen.

Additional roles that may need to be filled are housekeepers, groundskeepers, and maintenance workers. Some of these roles can be part time depending on the size of the business.


The innkeeper (sometimes the owner of the establishment) is in charge of the day-to-day operations and frequently lives on-site.

Typical Salary: $45,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Managing guest relations and service
  • Managing staff
  • Ordering supplies, handling logistics
  • Marketing and promotion of the business

What to look for:

  • Strong multi-tasker with great attention to detail
  • Good customer relations


A chef at a bed and breakfast can have a range of responsibilities. Some chefs may simply prepare recipes as directed, others may run every aspect of the kitchen.

Typical Salary: $40,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Planning, preparing, and serving a variety of dishes
  • Managing the logistics of running a kitchen

What to look for:

  • Prior restaurant experience
  • Good customer service skills
  • Creative
  • Ability to react to customer needs


A housekeeper cleans guest rooms after each stay, as well as maintains the public areas of the bed and breakfast. Duties may include vacuuming, sanitizing, dusting, and making beds.

Typical Salary: $25,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Cleaning and sanitizing guest rooms
  • Maintaining the public spaces of the establishment
  • Respond to specific guest requests

What to look for:

  • Professional cleaning experience
  • Attention to detail and quality
  • Independent worker


A maintenance/groundskeeping worker maintains the appliances, painting, and landscaping around the bed and breakfast. Sometimes this role will be filled by the innkeeper, or contracted out.

Typical Salary: $20,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Maintain plumbing and appliances
  • Maintain landscaping
  • Painting, basic carpentry and HVAC work

What to look for:

  • Facilities maintenance experience
  • Mechanical repair ability
  • Able to lift heavy loads

Bed and Breakfast Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

A bed and breakfast’s atmosphere is very important to its success, and is influenced as much by the location and decor as it is by the personalities of its staff. Look for employees with attitudes and personalities that support the spirit and mood of the bed and breakfast.

If the bed and breakfast is small enough, then most of these roles can be filled by the innkeeper alone (many bed and breakfasts only employ an innkeeper). As the business grows, however, the first outside help most innkeepers bring in is someone to help with cleaning. Another valuable early hire is a chef to manage the kitchen and ensure guests enjoy fantastic breakfasts.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

Innkeepers will usually hire employees gradually as the business grows, and the recruiting strategy is similar to most service-industry jobs. Job postings on websites like Indeed.com or Monster.com work well; however, taking a community approach with flyers posted around town can yield promising local results. There are also several websites dedicated to bed and breakfasts that feature job boards, however these postings are typically for innkeepers and assistant innkeepers only.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is perfectly natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most bed and breakfasts look for employees who are:

  • Trustworthy
  • Dedicated to customer service
  • Detail oriented

 Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • How would you handle a rude guest?
  • Describe a time you’ve had to perform a job while under stress.
  • What does the phrase “good guest service” mean to you?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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