Breaking the mold

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Okay so today I have two very different couples for breakfast. I listen to y'all on this forum so the first time in (now our 9th year)  have set the place settings at opposite ends of our table. I had to think about it, as couples alone typically prefer to sit across, couples together sit side by side. But this is NOT the norm. Many times I have couples sit across when there are others at the table (older married couples mostly, younger sit side by side no matter what).

So this is my "Death to Doilies" move for today and for the new year. It still feels odd to me, but it is a pattern and a habit to seat them all together. I will report back later if they move closer to each other to talk...

 

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06/24/2008

Interesting that you brought this up JB, we are trying our own experiment with table seating.  Our previous set up was one long table which could seat 10 and when we were at our max, we split the tables to provide elbow room. 

Starting a few weeks ago we decided to try more individual seating.  We now have 2 two tops, that can expand to seat 4 or up to 6.  And a 4 top that also can seat 6.  (more than our max)  We set up each table for their base seating unless needed. 

What was interesting is that we did this on a weekend with 3 of the 5 rooms staying over.  The day before (Sat AM) the same 3 couples sat at one table (along with 2 other couples) and those same 3 sat well after breakfast was over chatting and enjoying the others company. 

The set up for Sun morning was 1 two top and 2 four tops.  The next morning one of the stay over couples was 1st down, they sat at the 2 top.  A new check in came down next and parked themselves at a 4 top sitting across from each other, the 3rd couple (stay overs) made their way to the last open table.  The 4th couple (also stay overs) chose to sit with the couple they knew instead of fresh meat.  By the time the last ones showed up everyone else was gone. 

We have found that since starting this, most will choose one of the two tops over having extra seating at their table.  And even if they have chatted with others in the hall or seating areas during the course of their stay, they do not chat between tables - even though they are close enough to do so comfortably. 

DH like the new arrangement as he is the server and says it is easier to do so.  A couple of repeats have mentioned the change not giving their opinion either way.  Hopefully our repeats will express their opinions so we can gage which most prefer. 

Silverspoon's picture
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 We have a table for 6.  If we have 6 guests DH just requests that, "where ever you sit, please consider that the other couple will want to sit together." That works great...have never had a problem.  If we have 2 couples we set the place settings across the table from each other and DH requests that  "where ever you sit, please consider that the other couple will want to sit together."  Additionally, I place flowers at one end where there is no place setting and move bowls and cereal to the other end so it is obvious that there is, and will be no place setting at either end.  

End of story....works great for us.

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05/30/2008

Interesting, JB.  I found that young couples liked to sit next to each other as well.  DH and I like to sit across from each other because it's easier to talk to each other to plan the day.  Maybe we've been married too long to do the hand holding during breakfast?  lol!  We are also the kind of people that don't sit in the same place twice...probably the exception to the rule for most guests.  I think there's an element of comfort in sitting in the same spot every day. 

It will be interesting to hear how your "experiment" with this continues to go. 

Sometimes I think it's as simple as people are not awake and just plop themselves down where ever.  They're oblivious...

 

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Samster wrote:
Sometimes I think it's as simple as people are not awake and just plop themselves down where ever.  They're oblivious...

I think that's the case a lot.  I personally would be much more embarrassed to make a host (be it innkeeper or otherwise) switch a place setting over to where I sat by mistake rather than just switching my seat.  I'd rather not be so much trouble, but some people only seem to be happy if they're causing a fuss.

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We have a table for 6, when I have two couples that don't know each other, I seat them in diagonal pairs at the corners, so that there is a seat between each pair. I've done that because sometimes if I have set them as four in a row, so PITA will sit at the two in the middle leaving the other couple to sit like king and queen at either end of the table.

I ask them to sit anywhere at the table that is set. I specifically add the "is set" part because some people just don't bleeping look!

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Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

I will never understand why guests tend to sit at spot at the table that is not set. I wonder if I set the table and then remove the chairs from the vacant spots, if they will move the chairs and still move to the empty spots. Do they not think that the place setting is for them? Or maybe they want to eat with their hands. I always wondered if others innkeepers had this same problem........On a side note. This has been a fun read. Im not sure what happend. Joey, I thought it was a good post. How did it go to the Bad Place? I feal like I need to buy a ticket to a fight. DING, DING, DING!

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09/29/2011

I'm not sure why guests sit at tables with no place settings, either. What I've heard when I've gone to the other table to get the place settings is, 'Oh! I didn't even see the table was set!' Fair enough.

Some guests don't like sitting in the sun, some don't like sitting in the shade, some don't like sitting across the 'aisle' from another couple, some don't like sitting with their backs to another couple.

I also don't know why a singleton will sit at a table set for 4 when there is a table set for 2. Nor why a couple will sit at a table set for 3 when there is a table set for 2 other than all of the reasons above.

So, like saying, 'Please sit where the table is set,' I now have to say, 'Please sit at a table set for (number of guests),' so I'm not stuck with the parents + child trying to sit at the 2 top, while the singleton takes up space for 4.

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10/18/2008

Sorry if you can't hear the truth - why is it that people take offense if they have posted a public comment.

Rather than saying HMM I never thought of that or gee maybe I made the guest feel put out.

THEN people wonder why they have negative reviews on TA

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agoodman wrote:

Sorry if you can't hear the truth - why is it that people take offense if they have posted a public comment.

Rather than saying HMM I never thought of that or gee maybe I made the guest feel put out.

THEN people wonder why they have negative reviews on TA

You are not sorry.

You are here to aggravate and nothing more.  As always, from day one. I am sharing this for INNKEEPERS on this forum. For those who have mentioned spacing guests at the table. 

I actually did get the setting to move it and he said that was okay he would sit across. I guess I should have posted every single word verbatim for you to pick apart.   

I have guests at my table.  Worry about your own reviews and table.

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I have one table of 4 in each half of the breakfast room but we set them for 2 if there is only 2's however one morning we only had 2 lots of 2 people in so didn't set them up (2 workmen in a twin and 1 couple) one workman went and sat by himself on the table for 4 with no crockery  on in that instance made him move as it means dirtying 2 table cloths for 1 person plus another 1 for the other chap. I got some free reserved signs from Amex so we are going to try that next time.

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10/18/2008

 had to mention the setting was across from her.....

Wow, I don't consider the breakfast table to be grade school, if a guest sits in a vacant place with no place setting I move the place setting.  Not the guest.

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agoodman wrote:

 had to mention the setting was across from her.....

Wow, I don't consider the breakfast table to be grade school, if a guest sits in a vacant place with no place setting I move the place setting.  Not the guest.

and this is why I have you on ignore again. Rack off. 

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 UPDATE:

Two across from each other at one end of the table

Two across from each other at the other end

First couple came down and she sat down and he sat next to her where there was no setting. I had to mention the setting was across from her.

I let them in on the guinea pig thing today, which they got a kick out of...then second couple came down.  I let them in on it as well and asked what they prefer and they said normally we sit across from the other couple, even at a B&B if we don't know them.

Okay so my first go had a rough start. They are in talking and enjoying their meal, but the couples have to turn side ways all the time to chat...which they are doing, so they feel they need to look to the side more.  

I am no done, I will give it another go. My insticts go against this, but I am trying to allow the guests a nice breakfast experience. What would I prefer (separate tables) which is not an option, as I have mentioned.  If one guest talks too much will the other couple be forced to turn sideways the whole time.

Other issue, dude at this end has his chair pulled out way way too far to angle it toward the other couple to talk. I had to crawl over him practically to deliver the food.

gillumhouse's picture
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Two couples                    One couple                      Three couples

  O__O                         __O__                                  OOO

l            l                       l           l                                 l        l

  O__O                        __O__                                  OOO

 

No one sits as King & Queen. The table is long - has both extra leaves in it all the time - so no one is ever "cheek-to-jowl". And many times I have had guests sit where there is no place setting. Sometimes I move the dishes and sometimes they notice (or the other person points it out) and they move. Just depends on timing. Severyone seems to be OK with it. It ihas been rare that a table for 6 has had a couple sit side-by-side.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

How about this...put all the place settings out and let them choose.

We had 2 couples the other day. I set 3 of the tables. You KNOW that one of those couples sat at the only table without place settings. So, the next day I set all of the tables even tho I knew the couples would sit at the same tables on Sunday as they had on Sat.

And, yes, guests will slue the chairs out so I can't get around them. I ask the guy (always a guy) to pull in as my diet plan hasn't kicked in yet so I can't quite squeeze thru. Even that doesn't get some of them to move and those are the pervs. The guys who want you to have to brush up against them to get by.

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