How much is too much?

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10/07/2008

This is such a person to person issue. Does a person book your inn because you use the term "private" and "romantic" often in your marketing and website, only to find they must endure your endless conversation over breakfast? Or do they book your inn and expect the song dance and magic tricks at breakfast only to find they are left alone with the other guests to hold their own conversation?

It is such a fine line. There is no one formula that fits all guests, not even close. Is it up to us to mind read and put all this effort into satisfying guest expections? Or should we just roll with the punches, do what we do naturally?

I personally have had extremes from never seeing the innkeeper to those who sat down at our very rare anniversary getaway and talked about themselves the entire breakfast, without us ever asking, nor even interacting in a way that led them to believe we gave a rip!

GET A CLUE! 

I guess that is the term we can use for what we do, and how we do it. We certainly cannot be all things to all people. Some do not have a sense of humor in the least, some are boring and only want to tell YOU everything they think YOU should know (yesterday I had this).

So do what we do, smile and make their stay pleasant, that is my advice. Serve them coffee with a smile, and let the pieces fall where they may. I think helo-hovering innkeepers make everyone nervous. They call it "service" but it is often too much.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We just had a couple who we chatted with for 3 hours. Didn't even start breakfast until breakfast time was long over. They checked out an hour late. We had a great time. But we can't do this when we're slammed in the summer. It's nice now, tho, to have the time to make the connections.

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Proud Texan's picture
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05/30/2008

 We had a couple spending their wedding night last night and all they wanted to do was talk.   We try to find a lull in the conversation and slip out,  but usually guests ask "aren't you joining us?"

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

DH had that last week with the guest who came while I was in Vegas. He had to nudge her out to get to the second class of why she was here. She said she was not really interested in the first class - he said she wanted to TALK and talk.

The guest yesterday was here to get his painting and he just wanted to talk the old days of motorcycle racing with DH - DH talking and he was drinking it all in and taking notes. Friday it was all he could do to stay awake and they were still talking. When DH would stop, another question was asked. They were so late talking he moved breakfast from 7 to 8 and it was almost 10 when he headed out.

YellowSocks's picture
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05/22/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:
Is it up to us to mind read and put all this effort into satisfying guest expections? Or should we just roll with the punches, do what we do naturally?

Yes.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

There sure is a fine line between privacy, thoughtful interaction and over involvement. You definitely can't be everything to everybody, so when creating a website it needs to emphasize the type of b&b your vision is and hopefully most of your guests paid attention to the website and choose your place because it's the style they want.

Ours is the private/romantic which is emphasized throughout our website, yet we get folks who definitely want more interaction.

This weekend we had 2 rooms that gave me cues that they would like interaction, so I became an innkeeper that was more traditional. I made myself more visible, interacted with them more. These two couples interacted with each other quite a bit also and that rarely happens here. They even showed each other their rooms. Most of the time our couples never see each other and rarely interact.

Mind reading, taking subtle cues (sometimes not so subtle) is quite a challenge sometimes. The guests are all gone now and DH and I were chuckling about what an unusual bunch we had this weekend. It kept me on my toes all weekend!

 

 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Is it up to us to mind read...

I know it's a rhetorical question, but I'd say yes, an innkeeper should mind read. But that's not a problem because women are mind readers to the point of being spooky.

Innkeepers should let the guest make the first move, and play off of your feelings of what they want. You should be able to read if they are wanting a conversation with you, or want to be left alone. If they keep the conversation going, I'd read it as them liking the talk. If they are just polite and don't have much to say, I'd take that as a clue that they'd rather be left to themselves.

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10/07/2008

Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Is it up to us to mind read...

Innkeepers should let the guest make the first move, and play off of your feelings of what they want. You should be able to read if they are wanting a conversation with you, or want to be left alone. If they keep the conversation going, I'd read it as them liking the talk. If they are just polite and don't have much to say, I'd take that as a clue that they'd rather be left to themselves.

Not always. That is what you WOULD think would be the case. We all have stories where we had guests who never spoke a word, and expected to be "entertained"

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Joey Bloggs wrote:

...we had guests who never spoke a word, and expected to be "entertained"

I'll bet these people get disappointed regularly.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Because of our layout, we are always on display. We are available to talk or we can ignore the guests but still be visible if they need us.

Also because of our layout, I feel awkward standing 10 feet away from the guests, in the kitchen, ignoring them! I feel I should at least be asking how the breakfast is, clearing plates, asking what they're going to do, etc. I feel that when I am in the kitchen, just hanging out there, that I'm missing some essential part of the breakfast 'deal' that the guests paid for.

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