how to start a b&b or a guest house in south africa

A bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes, and  The maximum number of guest bedrooms in a B&B is three. (Any application received by the authorities for a B&B establishment with more than three bedrooms is automatically treated as a Guest House.)

A Guest House is a commercial accommodation establishment offering between 4-16 bedrooms, which has as its primary source of business the supply of tourist accommodation. Breakfast and dinner are made available to guests, particularly where dinner is not readily available in the vicinity of the establishment.

Location of your b&b or guest house:

Location is vitally important when running a b&b or a guest house – if you’re not in an area that appeals to holiday-makers or business people, you’re going to struggle to attract regular guests. You must also make sure that there is enough parking in the surrounds to accommodate your guests, and can they park safely and conveniently.

What you need to know 

The hospitality industry is notoriously seasonal, and unless you are lucky enough to attract regular business clientele, you may well need to weather periods of few to no guests and, therefore, no income.

In terms of gross income, a guesthouse with four double rooms, charging R600 per person sharing could generate over R86 000 per month at an occupancy rate of 60%.

  • Is your site quiet enough for people to sleep undisturbed?

    Are the street surrounds neat, well kept and regularly maintained?

Health: Health Regulations must be adhered to. Have you contacted your local council for health regulations and requirements related to eating and catering establishments?

Target market for b&b or guest houses

  • Tourists. The quintessential vacationers, these are the people who are out for a good time.  If you’re close to any sort of natural or man-made attraction that brings people in, you’ve got a great market.
  • Business travelers
  • Romance. Everyone loves a romantic getaway, and the B&B is its epitome.
  • Locals’ extra bedroom. You might think people who already live in your town wouldn’t be interested in your B&B. But you can develop a tidy additional market by promoting yourself to locals as “your extra bedrooms.” Somebody is always having a wedding, family reunion or other event for which they invite lots of out-of-town visitors, and then have nowhere to put them up.