Guests with dietary restrictions and snacks.

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Proud Texan's picture
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I know some of you set cookies and the like out in common areas and some provide snacks within the room itself.   We do the latter.    If you know in advance that a guest has a nut allergy, is lactose or gluten intolerant,  do you just omit the snacks or do you provide any kind of warning that the snacks may contain ingredients to which they may be sensitive? 

We have lactose intolerant one-nighter guests arriving tonight and they are basically S.O.L.  in the snack department.    We normally provide ice cream in the fridge and butter laden baked goods.   How would you handle a one-nighter snack situation?

p.s.  This is one of those "I can feel a PITA coming" in my bones situations.

gillumhouse's picture
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OK, why is anyone concerned about snacks??? BED AND BREAKFAST  - where does it say snacks?

Proud Texan's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

OK, why is anyone concerned about snacks??? BED AND BREAKFAST  - where does it say snacks?

 The original question was for those who provide snacks,  do you provide a warning if the snacks contain nuts, eggs, or dairy etc...

And no one is worried about anything.  It was a simple question of procedure.  Geez.

this is another thread that has gotten off track.

Happy Keeper's picture
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Got it! Here's the on track answer- no we do not provide warnings about the snacks we provide.

 

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Proud Texan wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

OK, why is anyone concerned about snacks??? BED AND BREAKFAST  - where does it say snacks?

 The original question was for those who provide snacks,  do you provide a warning if the snacks contain nuts, eggs, or dairy etc...

And no one is worried about anything.  It was a simple question of procedure.  Geez.

this is another thread that has gotten off track.

Of course it went off track - is that not the norm here? When cookies are out for people to help themselves have you ever seen a warning about contents (other than at the ice cream shop with the may contain peanuts as that is a common death threat allergy). IF people have a particular allergy it is up to them to ASK (and if they really have an allergy they WILL ask) if the offering contains a no-no. Do not sweat it. BUT because WE are trying so hard to please our guests and make their stay as pleasant as possible, we stress and obsess over everything. It is the nature of a great innkeeper.

Madeleine's picture
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I do label the snacks because I am not here 24x7 if there are questions. DH has no idea what's in anything so he could not answer any questions about what's in the cookies or cakes.

So, yes, I look at what allergies are incoming and I try to work around that even for snacks. Mostly I cannot, so I put a notice up telling guests what they're getting into. It's all part of the experience. If it's one room with allergies I don't feel like going out of my way for then there are no snacks out at all.

What I meant by 'towels' was that we obsess about towels. How many times have there been threads here about towels? Plenty. Sure, you have to provide towels but don't we all strive to provide really good towels? Unlike the crap we use in our own bathrooms? Most of us wouldn't go to any store and buy the cheapest, most threadbare, tiniest towel we can find. We look for the good stuff.

Frankly, if I had to cut the budget, snacks would be the first thing to go. All snacks. No more candy, no more granola bars, no more baked goods. I'd save over $200/month, at least.

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Madeleine's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

OK, why is anyone concerned about snacks??? BED AND BREAKFAST  - where does it say snacks?

Because we worry about everything! There's nothing that says 'towels, good coffee, sitting room, outdoor anything' but we all try to provide an inviting environment that includes all of those things and nothing says inviting like the smell of warm cookies from the oven.

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Madeleine wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

OK, why is anyone concerned about snacks??? BED AND BREAKFAST  - where does it say snacks?

Because we worry about everything! There's nothing that says 'towels, good coffee, sitting room, outdoor anything' but we all try to provide an inviting environment that includes all of those things and nothing says inviting like the smell of warm cookies from the oven.

I agree the aroma of baking adds to the experience but it does not linger for hours. Towels are expected at ANY lodging and all the other things mentioned are why someone goes to a B & B rather than a hotel. Snacks should be (IMO) a nice extra but not something to dither over. You have many rooms, are you going to make snacks to cater to every diet inn-house or inn-coming? Planning a breakfast around all of that is enough of a struggle. I put a basket of fruit (2 bananas & 3 or 4 apples) on the dresser or mantle of each room. That is my answer to the snacks. It is not overly expensive and they take it or leave it. IF I have been north to the Russell Stover Store and IF they had the marshmallow hearts, I put a heart on each pillow if it is a couple coming inn.

Happy Keeper's picture
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Well, let's see... single night guest.... means limits to what we can do.... but even with advance notice... we are focused on making their breakfast special and not focused on the snacks we provide. I would say that most of our guests that have a real and significant dietary restriction are very clear and often bring their own snacks.

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If we ask they will tell. Do we need to go in depth to find out? That is where I won't go, I am not their dietition, if they can't eat it then they can leave it on the plate. It took me a few years to grasp this, this is what I do personally. Some stuff, heck I just don't even like. Serve me a mushroom omelet, ? I won't touch it, do I need to inform in advance of every like dislike AND allergy? Nope.  PS I have a severe allergy and when I DO TELL THEM it still arrives on the plate, go figure. 

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Found out at breakfast that this lactose intolerant guest can have butter, cheese and milk IN something, like mixed in.  Just not like cheese on top of omelot or a glass of milk! 

Madeleine's picture
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Mtatoc wrote:

Found out at breakfast that this lactose intolerant guest can have butter, cheese and milk IN something, like mixed in.  Just not like cheese on top of omelot or a glass of milk! 

Exactly. Everyone thinks we know what they mean when they say one word. Same thing with 'diabetic'. We try to offer that person eggs? Oh no, they want the sweet dish and will adjust their meds to suit. Then why bother telling us if you're just going to do what you want?

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Along with the others, my go-to baked treat for special diets was the gluten free peanut butter cookies.  I also did things like chocolate dipped strawberries or caramel apples. 

I have a lactose intolerance, but unfortunately butter doesn't bother me. 

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Madeleine's picture
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Samster wrote:

I have a lactose intolerance, but unfortunately butter doesn't bother me. 

Not to sidetrack, but this is why dietary issues are so difficult. We get something like this in the reservation 'lactose,' and then we're left wondering how bad, is it everything? When they arrive we explain we can use olive oil or whatever for the cooking and we hear, 'Oh no, I just can't drink milk, I can have butter and cream cooked into anything.'

And that's why those peanut butter cookies work on so many levels!

gillumhouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Samster wrote:

I have a lactose intolerance, but unfortunately butter doesn't bother me. 

Not to sidetrack, but this is why dietary issues are so difficult. We get something like this in the reservation 'lactose,' and then we're left wondering how bad, is it everything? When they arrive we explain we can use olive oil or whatever for the cooking and we hear, 'Oh no, I just can't drink milk, I can have butter and cream cooked into anything.'

And that's why those peanut butter cookies work on so many levels!

That is one advantage to me calling for the cc#. I can ask if it is also an allergy to it used in cooking. I recently had a guest who told me should could not have eggs in any form. My first thought was the pancakes that I am fairly certain she gets everywhere (in fact I said that is easy - pancakes) but ended up giving her the baked oatmeal. They loved it.

Use 2 tablespoons of water for each egg in the recipe.

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I never mention my lactose thing in a reservation.  I just deal with it....

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I'm probably too late here, but wouldn't it be just as easy to put a pint of sorbet in the fridge as a pint of ice cream? Just a thought.

Dairy is easy to avoid...except for cookies. I haven't found a dairy free cookie I'm happy about yet (IMO, margarine just doesn't cut it with cookies).

Gluten....vegan...I confess, I haven't really given much thought to these in terms of snacks. Mainly, if I can put my standard cookie in the rooms (dairy/chocolate/wheat), I will put in a jar of pretty, hard candies. Most people with food allergies can handle sugar (that's pretty much all that's in them). Won't help the diabetic guests, though.

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Red Handed Jill wrote:

Dairy is easy to avoid...except for cookies. I haven't found a dairy free cookie I'm happy about yet (IMO, margarine just doesn't cut it with cookies).

I don't bake with margarine either so when I need to make dairy-free cookies I choose recipes that don't call for butter, such as:

- a flourless peanut butter cookie similar to the one on this site (gluten free, dairy free)

- almond or almond-macaroon cookies (gluten free, dairy free)

- chocolate mint cookies -- omit the peppermint extract if you want plain; or add espresso powder dissolved in a bit of warm water for mocha-- (dairy free, nut free). Recipe here. I've made these for a regular dairy-free guest and she loves them. Best served on the same day they're made; and don't over-bake.

I also have some eggless cookie recipes to go to for when one of my regular guests is here who's allergic to eggs and nuts.

Since I'm the one making homemade room treats, I figure I might as well make ones everyone can eat and enjoy.

Proud Texan's picture
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Red Handed Jill wrote:

I'm probably too late here, but wouldn't it be just as easy to put a pint of sorbet in the fridge as a pint of ice cream? Just a thought.

We don't do pints.  We do individual serving cups.   So, no.   It would cost more and mean an extra trip to the store.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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It depends on my mood. For a 1 nighter I might not do anything, but if I'm in the mood to do a little baking, I'll make them a GF cookie, etc.  Often, I will already have something in the freezer I've already baked. They really do appreciate the attention when you do it special for them, but they also don't know the difference if you decide you're not in the mood.

EmptyNest's picture
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 IF we had gluten free, we served the Peanut butter cookie recipes to everyone. Find it in the recipe section. Yummy.

gillumhouse's picture
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I put a fruit basket in the rooms instead of baking stuff (apples & bananas) and I have been putting marshmalloww/caramel hearts on the pillows. My Monday guessts had specified no chocolate - so I put nothing out.

Madeleine's picture
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If I put snacks in the rooms I would not put a snack in the room that the guest could not eat. I put snacks in the common area with a notice stating what the snack is and possible 'red flags' (gluten, peanuts, eggs, dairy).

You can make the peanut butter cookie recipe that's in the recipe list here, if you want to. No flour, no milk, no butter. Just peanut butter, egg, sugar and baking powder.

Sometimes if it's a one-nighter and only one room I won't bother putting anything out unless I can just defrost something. We have enough other stuff out that a snack is sometimes overkill.

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don't put anything out. they probably indulged over T'giving anyway...

I have a barrel of red licorice out in the dining room, should they want a snack they can have that. LOL (speaking of my one nighter today) Smiling

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