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10 Best Bed and Breakfast Software For 2024

This article emphasizes the importance of selecting the right technology and software partners for B&B owners, to enhance online visibility, increase revenue, streamline operations, and maintain a personal touch with guests, while highlighting the best systems tailored for the unique needs of the B&B industry.

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Jordan Hollander in Operations

Last updated February 26, 2024

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Looking to upgrade your B&B’s technology infrastructure? Or are you opening a new B&B and wondering what tech you need to become profitable? Whether you’re running an intimate bed and breakfast in the countryside or a sleek B&B in the city, you’ll want to choose the right software partners to maximize your visibility online, increase revenue, and streamline your operations. There’s no one “perfect” system to manage your bed and breakfast: different systems have different areas of expertise, and the solution lies in putting the right pieces together. The right combination of systems for your property can enable you to attract new guests, stay in touch with your loyal guests, and even free up time by automating manual tasks – so you can focus on building relationships with the guests staying with you.

Every B&B is unique, and your strategy is going to differ from a hotel, a hostel, and a vacation rental. Because of the specific strengths and challenges in the B&B industry, like small team sizes, more loyal guests, and individually furnished rooms, some software is better suited for B&Bs than others. You need a property management system, a channel manager, and a booking engine that can accurately represent your unique rooms. You need guest messaging software and contactless check-in systems that don’t compromise a personal touch. And your payment processor, revenue management system, and point-of-sale system have to be mobile-friendly and flexible. This article will highlight some of the best systems for B&Bs on the market today which can help you achieve your bed and breakfast’s goals.

What is Bed & Breakfast Software?

Bed and Breakfast Software refers to a comprehensive, integrated software solution designed specifically to meet the unique operational and management needs of Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs), guest houses, and small inns. This type of software is characterized by its ability to automate and streamline various tasks and processes to compensate for the typically lighter staffing model of such establishments, ensuring efficient property management and enhanced guest experiences despite limited personnel.

Key Features and Functions of Bed and Breakfast Software include:

  • Reservation Management: Enables online booking and reservation management, allowing guests to book their stay directly through the B&B’s website or third-party platforms. It automates the reservation process, from booking to check-out, including availability updates, and minimizes the chances of overbooking.

  • Guest Communication Automation: Facilitates automated communication with guests before, during, and after their stay, providing them with all necessary information and personalizing their experience without requiring constant staff intervention.

  • Room and Inventory Management: Helps in managing room availability, categorization, and inventory control, ensuring that the property can maximize occupancy and revenue.

  • Billing and Payment Processing: Integrates billing and payment processing functions to handle invoices, payments, and financial records efficiently, supporting multiple payment methods and currencies.

  • Housekeeping and Maintenance Scheduling: Automates the scheduling of housekeeping and maintenance tasks, ensuring that rooms and facilities are kept in optimal condition for guest comfort and satisfaction.

  • Reporting and Analytics: Provides reporting and analytics tools to track the performance of the B&B, including occupancy rates, revenue, guest feedback, and other key metrics, aiding in informed decision-making.

  • Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Includes tools for marketing campaigns, guest relationship management, and loyalty programs to enhance guest retention and attract new business.

 

The ideal Bed and Breakfast Software is an all-in-one solution, offering a seamless, user-friendly interface that integrates all these functionalities. It is tailored to meet the budgetary constraints and operational requirements of smaller lodging establishments, enabling them to compete effectively in the hospitality market by optimizing their operations, improving guest satisfaction, and ultimately, increasing profitability. This software is crucial for B&B owners who aim to simplify their administrative duties, allocate their resources more effectively, and provide a memorable experience to their guests.

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What are the Unique Needs and Characteristics of Bed & Breakfasts?

Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) operate in a niche within the hospitality industry that requires specialized attention when it comes to software solutions. Their unique needs, compared to larger hotels, arise from several operational and strategic differences, such as lighter staffing models, smaller scale, and budgetary constraints. These differences impact the kind of software solutions B&Bs require for efficient management and exceptional guest service.

The lean staffing model of B&Bs necessitates the automation of various operational tasks, from online booking systems to guest communication and inventory management. Such automation ensures that the property runs efficiently and that guests receive a personalized and consistent experience, all while reducing the workload on the limited staff. Furthermore, the smaller scale of B&Bs often means operating on tighter budgets, especially when it comes to technology investments. This economic reality drives the pursuit of software solutions that offer multiple functionalities at a reasonable cost, without necessitating significant investments in hardware or ongoing IT support. Lastly, the article explores the B&Bs' preference for all-in-one software solutions. Given their operational scale and the desire to keep processes as streamlined as possible, B&B owners favor comprehensive systems that manage everything from reservations to marketing within a single platform, simplifying operations and reducing costs.

Here's a detailed look at these needs:

  • Lighter Staffing Model Requires More Automation:

    • B&Bs typically operate with fewer staff members than larger hotels. This lean staffing model necessitates software solutions that can automate various tasks to reduce the workload on the limited staff and ensure smooth operations. Automation might include online booking systems, guest communication (pre-arrival, during the stay, and post-departure), inventory management, and billing. Automating these tasks not only helps in managing the property efficiently but also ensures that the guest experience is personalized and consistent, despite the smaller staff size.

  • Smaller Scale Typically Means Tighter Budgets:

    • The smaller scale of B&Bs often correlates with tighter budgets, particularly for technology investments. Thus, B&B owners are likely to seek cost-effective software solutions that provide the best value for money. This requirement influences the preference for software that can cover multiple functionalities at a reasonable price, rather than investing in several standalone, high-cost systems. Budget constraints also mean that the software must have low maintenance costs and should not require significant additional investment in hardware or IT support.

  • Need for Streamlined Solutions, Preferring All-in-One Versus Best of Breed Specialty Solutions:

    • Given the smaller operational scale and the desire to keep processes as streamlined as possible, B&Bs often prefer all-in-one software solutions over best-of-breed specialty solutions. An all-in-one system can manage reservations, customer relationships, back-office operations, and sometimes even marketing efforts within a single platform. This preference stems from the need to minimize complexity in managing different software systems, reduce costs associated with multiple subscriptions or purchases, and ensure that staff can easily become proficient in using the software given the lighter staffing model. While larger hotels might opt for best-of-breed solutions to get the most advanced functionality in each area, B&Bs benefit from the simplicity and integrated nature of all-in-one solutions, even if it means compromising slightly on the depth of features in specific areas.

The unique needs of B&Bs for software solutions are driven by their operational realities: lighter staffing models, tighter budgets, and the preference for streamlined, cost-effective solutions. Recognizing these needs is crucial for software developers aiming to serve this market segment effectively, ensuring that their products can help B&B owners manage their properties efficiently, provide excellent guest experiences, and maintain profitability.

10 Best Hotel Software for B&Bs

In the quest to find the perfect software solution for your Bed and Breakfast, the landscape of options can be both vast and overwhelming. Recognizing this, Hotel Tech Report has dedicated ourselves to simplifying your search by providing a comprehensive platform that specializes in hotel management software reviews and recommendations. Our methodology is built upon thorough research, verified user reviews, and detailed vendor specifications, offering a wealth of information on hundreds of hotel technology solutions. This rich dataset allows us to gauge which software systems are the most user-friendly and deliver the most value for various types of hotels across the globe.

At the heart of our evaluation process is the "HT Score," a metric we assign to each software system based on factors such as user satisfaction, the volume and quality of reviews, and detailed information provided by the vendors themselves. This score is a key indicator of the overall quality and reliability of the software, offering a quick glance at its potential fit for your needs. However, for those seeking more in-depth insights, the specific ratings and detailed specifications available on each software’s page provide a deeper dive into what you can expect.

Beyond the HT Score, our platform is enriched by robust descriptions of each vendor’s features and functionalities, complemented by genuine, verified user experiences. This approach ensures you receive an unbiased view of the software’s real-life performance. Importantly, our review platform also gathers data regarding the reviewer’s hotel type, enabling a tailored search experience. You can find reviews from establishments similar to yours, ensuring the insights are relevant and actionable. This specificity is particularly valuable for boutique hotels and B&Bs, as you can filter the reviews to highlight the products most recommended by peers in your niche.

As we navigate through our curated list of the best software for B&Bs, remember that the insights and rankings are rooted in a methodology designed to bring clarity and confidence to your software selection process. Welcome to a guided journey toward finding the software solution that not only meets but exceeds your expectations, powered by the expertise and community of Hotel Tech Report.

 

ThinkReservations - Best for saving time, staying organized, and growing your business

I selected ThinkReservations because it offers a comprehensive property management software solution designed for bed & breakfasts and inns. This platform streamlines operations through features such as a property management system, online booking engine, channel manager, and payment processing. It focuses on increasing direct bookings, eliminating double-bookings, and enabling data-driven business decisions. ThinkReservations aims to reduce administrative burdens, allowing innkeepers to focus more on guest experiences. It provides integration with various third-party tools and emphasizes customer support, including training and 24/7 US-based service.

 

Little Hotelier - Best for small businesses looking to increase revenue and control operations

I selected Little Hotelier because it is a multi-faceted bed and breakfast management software that supports businesses in automating and simplifying their daily operations. Geared towards inns, bed & breakfasts, and other small lodging accommodations, it incorporates an all-in-one front desk feature, a booking engine for collecting direct reservations, and a property management solution for less direct business care. It is well-suited for small accommodations that seek to reduce their students' workload and increase both ability and management. Little Hotelier highlights its effective service with 24/7 customer support and industry-experienced designers who stand with you throughout the day, providing a member of you with some freedom, more time, and a more user-friendly way of engaging with your guests.

 

Cloudbeds - Best for simplifying hotel management with one centralized, synced system

I selected Cloudbeds because it is a comprehensive management and reservation software designed for bed and breakfasts and other small lodging establishments. This platform offers a property management system, channel manager, booking engine, and various other tools to streamline operations, increase reservations, and enhance guest satisfaction. It is tailored to the needs of property owners looking to optimize their business with efficient, user-friendly solutions.

 

RoomRaccoon - Best for boosting direct bookings, managing rates, and distributing availability

I selected RoomRaccoon because it is a bed and breakfast management software designed to optimize operations and increase revenue for B&Bs. It includes features for direct bookings, revenue enhancement through additional services, team productivity, performance tracking, simplified guest arrival and departure processes, and group booking management. The software integrates with multiple platforms and provides a contactless guest experience. RoomRaccoon emphasizes ease of use, security, and scalable technology to support business growth, backed by dedicated training and support.

 

ResNexus - Best for hoteliers looking for a simple, all-in-one management solution

I selected ResNexus because it is a property management system designed for bed and breakfasts, offering features like an all-in-one management system, OTA channel manager, booking engine, and automated email marketing. It focuses on preventing double bookings by syncing reservations from various sources and aims to save time for property owners, allowing them to focus more on guest experiences. ResNexus also emphasizes easy management of group reservations and provides a commission-free direct booking engine to enhance guest booking experiences.

 

InnRoad - Best for independent hoteliers seeking increased revenue and seamless guest experience

I selected innRoad because it provides an all-in-one, cloud-based hotel management software tailored for independent hoteliers. It's designed to increase direct bookings, enhance operational efficiency, and drive reservations through visibility on hundreds of OTA sites. innRoad aims to reduce processing fees and streamline operations across multiple properties, with features like property management, booking engine, channel management, and payment processing.



Eviivo - Best for simplifying operations and increasing profits for independent accommodations

I selected eviivo because it offers a comprehensive suite of management tools designed for bed and breakfasts, aiming to streamline operations, increase bookings, and enhance guest communication. This software provides solutions for managing bookings, financial transactions, and guest relations in an integrated manner, catering to the needs of independently owned B&Bs looking for efficient, scalable technology.

 

Webrezpro - Best for boosting productivity and revenue

I selected WebRezPro because it is a cloud-based property management system (PMS) tailored for inns, bed & breakfasts, and other boutique lodging properties. It simplifies daily operational tasks, allowing owners and managers more time to focus on guest care. The system features an intuitive user interface, automates bookings, guest communications, payments, and invoicing, and supports direct integrations with over 125 other systems, enhancing efficiency and the guest experience. Its design caters specifically to the unique needs of smaller, independent properties, ensuring ease of use and strong customer support.

 

Visual Matrix - Best for optimizing guest experience and saving time

I selected Visual Matrix because it positions itself as a critical hotel PMS software designed to assist understaffed hotels in overcoming operational challenges. The platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools for property management, including features that streamline front desk operations, facilitate housekeeping communication, and support direct guest billing for incidentals. Visual Matrix emphasizes its ease of use, security, and the ability to quickly adapt to hotel operational needs, aiming to save time and reduce the workload on hotel staff.



Ezee - Best for simplifying hotel operations, improving guest experience, and increasing revenue

 

I selected eZee because it offers a comprehensive bed and breakfast management software designed to cater to all types of B&Bs. This platform aims to streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and improve revenue management. It provides tools for online booking, front office, housekeeping, and guest relationship management, tailored to the specific needs of B&Bs.

 

Other Types of Software You'll Need to Run a B&B

Property Management System

The most important system for B&B operations is the property management system, which is like the digital brain of your property. Your PMS houses your calendar, your rates, and your reservations, and it can also hold your database of guest profiles. Most PMSs on the market are designed for hotels, so you have to look closely to find a PMS with features that matter most to B&B operators. For instance, you want a PMS that supports robust guest profiles, so you can log preferences and personal notes to deliver the most personalized experience possible. And since you’re not sitting at a desk all day, you want a PMS with a good mobile experience so you can manage reservations on the go. Some great options for B&Bs include ThinkReservations, Cloudbeds, and InnRoad.

Channel Manager

A channel manager connects your B&B’s rates and inventory to third-party channels like Expedia and Booking.com. Many PMSs have integrated channel management functionality, but some B&B operators opt for a separate channel manager which might offer connections with a wider variety of third-party platforms, such as SiteMinder. The channel manager distributes your available and rates to the third-party sites, then, when you receive a reservation, the reservation details pass back through the channel manager into your PMS. When shopping for channel management software, you’ll want to look for a system that supports connections with the third-party channels that are most important to your property, like Airbnb and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Website & Booking Engine

In addition to third-party channels, your B&B should be able to accept reservations on your own website. In order for guests to have a seamless booking experience, your website should employ a modern booking engine that is designed for B&B reservation. Booking engine software displays rates, availability, and information on your website, then, when a guest books a reservation, the details are passed back to your PMS. For a B&B with especially unique rooms, you’ll want to use a booking engine that displays plenty of room-level content during the booking process. This way, guests can know exactly which room they’re booking and what amenities and features to expect. 

Guest Messaging Software

The experience at your B&B begins right after a guest books a stay. With guest messaging software, you can make pre-stay, on-stay, and post-stay communication effortless – and this software is one of the best opportunities to leverage technology to take manual work off your plate. You can automate all of your email and text messages, freeing up time and eliminating the risk of human error, while still making your communication personal with dynamic fields like the guest’s name, stay dates, room name or number, and more. A system like Whistle can send transaction messages, like emails with check-in instructions and receipts, as well as loyalty-building messages like newsletters and promotions. You can even use guest details, like birth date, to send automated birthday messages!

Revenue Management Systems

The goal of revenue management is to sell the right room at the right time – at the right price. A revenue management system helps you price your rooms competitively by leveraging historical data and market trends. What features make revenue management software stand out for B&B operators? First, the software should be simple and intuitive, since you have little time to manage rates among all the other responsibilities around your property. Your revenue management system should also make it easy to manage different rate strategies for each of your rooms so you can maximize the value of each one. In addition, you’ll want a system that allows for restrictions like minimum lengths of stay or closed to arrival or departure so you can optimize stay patterns over holiday periods or events.

Mobile Key & Contactless Check-in

After the pandemic, an increasing number of guests prefer contactless check-in options for their safety and convenience. A contactless check-in experience for your guests might include completing a verification process online, uploading identification documents, providing a digital method of payment, and receiving a mobile “key” for their room. Mobile or digital keys allow guests to unlock doors using Bluetooth technology on their smartphones. This technology works with smart locks that you can easily install on your guestroom doors, and mobile keys are an exciting upgrade to physical keys, through a vendor like OpenKey. Smart lock technology and contactless check-in software work together to provide a seamless and secure entry experience for your guests, which could mean you no longer need to wait up for late arrivals.

Payment Processor & Accounting Software

How do guests pay for their reservations at your B&B? Without a payment processor, you cannot collect payments from your guests. And while payment processing technology might not be the first thing you or your guests think about in a good B&B experience, it’s a critical part of your technology stack. A modern payment processor should accept multiple methods of payments, like credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, mobile payments (like ApplePay and Google Pay), and perhaps even payment plans or buy now, pay later options. When you can accept more payment methods, you can better serve guests who have a preferred way to pay. Accepting mobile payments, for example, is a great way to boost conversion on your website because it eliminates friction during the booking process. Find a payment processor that integrates with your PMS for optimal accounting operations.

Point of Sale System

Do guests have the option to purchase items at your B&B? Maybe you sell drinks, snacks, or souvenirs; how do you ring up the bill? A point-of-sale system, or POS, is designed to handle in-person transactions like these. Some PMSs have integrated point-of-sale functionality, while some B&Bs might choose to use a standalone POS that integrates with the PMS. Either way, you’ll want the ability to post charges to a guest’s folio or to track purchases for analytical purposes. A good POS will be easy to use and accept contactless mobile payments. This software can help you generate incremental revenue and save time on billing.

 

 

While these are the most essential types of software for bed and breakfasts, there’s plenty more technology that can further enhance your guest experience, drive revenue, and decrease costs. Take your B&B to the next level with tech like a smart climate control system, smart lighting, a reputation management system, a customer relationship management system, and more. While it can be easy to want all the tech that’s on the market, it’s important to do thorough research and pick strategic software partners that will help you meet your goals. 

 

B&Bs Can't Afford to Be Behind the Curve on Tech

Investing in the latest technology is critical for bed and breakfast (B&B) owners for several reasons, all aimed at enhancing efficiency, guest experience, and ultimately, profitability. Here's why:

Enhanced Guest Experience: From the moment a guest considers booking a stay, technology such as a user-friendly online booking engine and bed and breakfast software with robust functionality can simplify the booking process. Mobile apps and cloud-based property management systems (PMS) allow for easy check-ins, reducing wait times at the front desk and improving the overall guest experience. Automated confirmations, direct bookings through the B&B's website, and seamless online payments contribute to a smooth and enjoyable guest journey.

Operational Efficiency: Implementing a cloud-based hotel management system or bed and breakfast management software can significantly automate daily operations. Features like drag and drop functionality for reservation management, integrated payment gateways for processing credit card payments, and point of sale (POS) systems for managing add-ons and services streamline the operational aspect. A channel manager can prevent double bookings by updating occupancy in real-time across multiple platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and OTA (Online Travel Agencies), ensuring accurate availability is always displayed.

Revenue Management and Growth: By utilizing pricing management software and advanced reservation systems, B&B owners can optimize their pricing strategy based on occupancy levels, seasonality, and demand, potentially increasing revenue. Commission-free direct bookings reduce the cost per acquisition by bypassing the commissions charged by OTAs. Furthermore, integrating with travel agencies and leveraging platforms like TripAdvisor can broaden the property's visibility and attract a wider audience.

Management and Reporting: Property management software offers comprehensive tools for small hotels and independent properties to monitor performance metrics, analyze booking trends, and manage customer support. This enables hoteliers to make informed decisions, improve their service offerings, and enhance operational effectiveness.

Competitive Advantage: By adopting the latest B&B software and technologies such as online booking engines, reservation system templates, and hotel management software, B&Bs can offer functionalities that match or surpass those of larger hotels. This technology-driven approach can be a significant differentiator, especially in a market where travelers increasingly value convenience, efficiency, and the ability to manage their stays via mobile devices.

Cost Savings and Increased Bookings: Automating various aspects of bed and breakfast management, from online reservations and front desk operations to guest services and billing, reduces the manual workload and associated costs. A seamless integration of a property management system with booking software and online payment systems can capture more direct, commission-free bookings, enhancing profitability.

Investing in the latest technology equips B&B owners with the tools to improve guest experience, operational efficiency, and revenue management while staying competitive in the fast-evolving hospitality industry. Technology solutions like property management software, online booking engines, and channel managers are no longer just optional; they are essential for sustainable growth and success in the hospitality sector.

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Jordan Hollander
Jordan is the co-founder of Hotel Tech Report, the hotel industry's app store where millions of professionals discover tech tools to transform their businesses. He was previously on the Global Partnerships team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his work with SPG, Jordan was Director of Business Development at MWT Hospitality and an equity analyst at Wells Capital Management. Jordan received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he was a Zell Global Entrepreneurship Scholar and a Pritzker Group Venture Fellow.