What would you say?

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08/23/2008

Had a corp. guest lastnight meaning he only got the cont. breakfast this morning. (Fruit, yogurt, juice and fresh pastry) Upon check in we always ask our guests if they have any dietary needs or anything they just don't like. It's also made clear that breakfast is chef's choice but we will do our BEST to work around you. Anyway....guest says he is a vegan which is fine. Can only have fruit no yogurt, wheat toast, tea, OJ and soy milk. We don't ever have soy milk and he was unhappy to hear this. This morning he seemed very short and unhappy with the specialy prepared breakfast. Also did not like that the OJ was fresh squeezed and wanted store bought?!? I suppose my question is if a guest comes in with all these special requests do you go to the store and get things or do you make do? I think that if I was so strict on what I ate I'd take things with me to eat that I knew I liked...

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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I am anti soy.

For guests with extreme needs they need to bring their own gear for breakfast.  If they are simple non meat eaters then that is not a big deal.  We haev NO health food store here. Our healthy section at the grocery store all contain whey.

If I was in an area that had many guests with these special/alternative diets then I would gladly meet those diets. 

If I charged $200+ a night, I would gladly meet those diets. 

If they stayed more than one night, then again...meet the diet. I am not going to buy everything for a vegan diet for just one night.  I would be happy to cook up some veggies - potatoes and a fruit platter for them.  Heck I would even make them a bean burrito!  (No cheese of course, or sour cream, never mind, why bother.)

Lastly, vegan's like the food they like, if a non vegan makes it, they typically won't eat much if any at all.  It is like ME going to China and cooking chinese food for the Chinese.  They have their own way to do it, unless you took some vegan cooking classes.  Then go for it, excercise that new skill!

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JBJ said:  "Lastly, vegan's like the food they like, if a non vegan makes it, they typically won't eat much if any at all.  It is like ME going to China and cooking chinese food for the Chinese.  They have their own way to do it, unless you took some vegan cooking classes.  Then go for it, excercise that new skill!"

The vegan guest that we had here for 4 days said just the opposite!  She said that she never made such good breakfasts for herself.  I was very flattered.  She cleaned her plate.  OK, now having said that...she gave me some great pointers on some products to buy (like the Buttery Sticks) and also how to prepare tofu that made it a whole lot easier.  

For just one night, I would do a fruit plate, peanut butter and egg/milk free toast, juice and tea/coffee.  Simple.   

 

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Cathy's picture
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06/18/2008

Question (but please don't shoot me) ...

The cost of the extra groceries  (soy milk, special flours, etc.) all add up for those with special diets.  Do you just "eat" the costs?  Can't really charge extra.  The person coming next February that has a gluten free diet said she was "used" to eating or not eating what was provided.  Don't go to any special trouble for me she said.  I will order special bread flour and use some of the recipes that everyone here provided, but I want her to enjoy her time here and breakfast.

 

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05/22/2008

For us  it was just part of "doing business" especially if they let us know the dietary requirements in advance. If you can't handle it...tell them so. If it is not worth the hassle and grief it may cause you don't take them. Or, make it clear you cannot accommodate their issues and let them make the decision.

But, looking at your rates, which I think I have mentioned before..THEY ARE WAY TOO LOW...so maybe you should just charge them extra.

Morticia's picture
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Of course this is different where you live, but skip some of the more expensive items. Gluten-free guests are not used to eating bread, they avoid it because they just don't know what's really in it. You must have corn-based flours where you are, use those instead. Spicy corn muffins (made with peppers or chilis) are a hit here with the gluten-free. (But they have to be staying a couple of days for me to make those.)

So, corn muffins, scrambled eggs, whatever meat side you would serve, fruit. You're set. If the guest isn't coming until next year, get someone to bring flour with them from this side of the border, if that is allowed. It's pricey here but may be less than where you are. Or, stick with corn.

You could some sort of tortilla as well.

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Cathy's picture
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Thank you for all the suggestions ... we do have corn flour here as they use it to make tortillas.  Will have to find out what else they add to the tortilla dough as I am sure they add some sort of "lard/fat".  I did finally find corn meal so that will be great.

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

i think generally, you just eat the cost.   The bigger cost (for us) was trying severa recipes ahead of time to make sure they werer servable.    For every one that we thought was keeper, we rejected three or more. 

I think we tried 5 loaves of various gluten free bread in a french toast recipe before finding one that worked.  We found a frozen almond bread at the store that held up well in french toast.  All the other varieties turned to paste (bad consistency for French Toast).

Morticia's picture
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swirt wrote:

i think generally, you just eat the cost.   The bigger cost (for us) was trying severa recipes ahead of time to make sure they werer servable.    For every one that we thought was keeper, we rejected three or more. 

I think we tried 5 loaves of various gluten free bread in a french toast recipe before finding one that worked.  We found a frozen almond bread at the store that held up well in french toast.  All the other varieties turned to paste (bad consistency for French Toast).

Yikes. We don't practice. The guest is the guinea pig. 'Let us know how that works for you.' We've gotten some good suggestions doing it that way. The best being to use yogurt when making gluten-free pancakes from a mix.

Cathy's picture
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I too am going to try out a few recipes before she arrives.  Our friend comes from Canada for a visit and will bring some supplies ... then I will try the recipes.  When our friend comes back for a visit before the gluten free guest arrives, I will ask her to bring "more" if I used the supplies up trying different things.  Smiling 

Thanks for posting the gluten free website.  Every one is very helpful here. 

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08/16/2008

This throws me because I havent been here long enough. My assistant is really good at solving htese problems but I need to figure some of this out myself. Things are confused here because I came on such short notice because of a family emergency and i'm not sure how long I will be here so I don't want to upset the running of the inn by making changes even though I can see there is room to do so.

Proud Texan's picture
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If you advertise "chef's choice" then it's his problem.   Let him find a B&B that caters to vegans.  His breakfast choices are the same as any other guests' ...Take It or Leave It!

If you made an effort to accomodate him and he turned his nose up at it the %#@ him!  He's just being plain rude.  Just say to "Bless your heart"  and be done with him.

 

Glossary Term:

Bless Your Heart - what an innkeeper says to a guest to feign caring and politeness when he really means to tell the guest go take a flying leap.  Sometimes used in place of strangling.

 

YellowSocks's picture
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Proud Texan wrote:

If you advertise "chef's choice" then it's his problem.   Let him find a B&B that caters to vegans.  His breakfast choices are the same as any other guests' ...Take It or Leave It!

If you made an effort to accomodate him and he turned his nose up at it the %#@ him!  He's just being plain rude.  Just say to "Bless your heart"  and be done with him.

Glossary Term:
 

Bless Your Heart - what an innkeeper says to a guest to feign caring and politeness when he really means to tell the guest go take a flying leap.  Sometimes used in place of strangling.

The term you're looking for might be "How nice!" As in:

Mabel and Wilma were sitting on the porch having tea one afternoon.  Mabel says, (southern drawl) "My husband got me a fur coat for my birthday." 

Wilma says, "How nice!" 

Mabel says, "And he bought me this new diamond encrusted ring for our anniversary." 

Wilma says, "How nice!" 

Mabel says, "And he bought me a new Rolls Royce for Chistmas and took me on a cruise for New Years." 

Wilma says, "How nice!"  

Mabel says, "What did your husband get for you?" 

Wilma says, "Etiquette lessons." 

"Etiquette lessons!  Whyever for?" 

"So I can say, 'How nice!' instead of Potty Mouth (auto filter) you!"

=)
Kk.

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08/04/2008

I have a recipe for Pumpkin Pie oatmeal. It's a nice change of pace.

YellowSocks's picture
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I've got a vegan coming in a week or two.  I've told her there will be fruit, and I know I can get soy milk, but I haven't even begun to investigate what else I'm feeding her.  Dh once had a book out from the library full of vegan recipes, so there are recipes out there and I'm sure I'll find something.

=)
Kk.

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You can use the firm tofu (drain & crumble) and put it in a scramble with fresh veggies and tofu cheese.  See if you can find "Buttery Sticks" a vegan margarine/butter substitute that tastes good & acts more like butter.  I found a vegan French Toast recipe & it was pretty good too which used mashed banana as the thickener & soy milk.  Just search online & you'll find some things that are pretty simple to make and tasty. 

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

I have made my regular French toast recipe with almond milk and soy margarine - served it to everyone.  Scrambled tofu is good.  If it is cold, old-fashioned oatmeal or steel-cut oats made with apple cider and grated apple, with raisins and brown sugar on top, is also good.

I have someone coming next week who is allergic to eggs, dairy and sugar.  I have a lot of dishes that don't have two of those items but not many that avoid all three.

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There are no rules, just follow your heart. ~ Robin Williams

 

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05/30/2008

Those suggestions do sound good! 

Wow, with those allergies it is tough.  No sugar...waaaah!

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05/22/2008

SOMETIMES..it just gets to the point where you just ask...what do you want for breakfast?  If you can accommodate that..fine..if not..tell them so. If they want to stay with you, many times they just bring what they can eat with them. Promise to try, but no guarantees. That is all you can do.

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

That is exactly what I asked this woman.  Glad I did - she doesn't like oatmeal but does like tofu.  So I have one breakfast, and she may get the same thing two days in a row!

On the other hand, I don't find it a problem to keep rice bread in the freezer, gluten-free baking mix in the pantry, and the shelf-stable boxes of tofu, soy milk and rice milk on hand for just such a case.  These things are even relatively easy to find - maybe not within the town limits but certainly within ten miles of me.

gillumhouse's picture
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I once cooked brown rice with raisins and grated carrots and then pressed it into a flower cupcake (Wilton) pan (I also have a maple leaf pan) and unmolded onto a plate. Then surrounded the "flower" with small broccoli "trees" and mushroom caps. Attractive, colorful, vegan, and EASY!

Willowpondgj's picture
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Show off!

gillumhouse's picture
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Whenever I can - which is not often.

seashanty's picture
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you do the best you can, that's all you can do. maybe your guest just isn't a 'morning person' ...

one person's idea of vegetarian can be totally different from another's.  some are practically vegan ... others i've had here eat everything except bacon! 

i keep forgetting to have a carton of almond breeze or something on hand for a no milk person. 

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05/22/2008

Soy milk is something you can keep on hand and not even need refrigerated until you actually need to use it. I think this would be something you should have on hand. But given the fact that he did let you know ahead of time, I would have purchased it. It is available just about everywhere now. This is not an unusual request given some of the things we have dealt with.

I am not sure about that fresh squeezed juice, but maybe the pulp was the thing. I mean something like that is a bit over the top uNLESS, he specifically asked for it IN ADVANCE.  I mean you can't be a mind reader...

We do our best and if that still doesn't please them...sorry...they pay, they stay, they go away as we are reminded so often.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Probably did not like the pulp, rather than the fresh-squeezed idea. Some people can't stand the texture.

Like Stephanie said, you can get some 'juice box' size soy or rice milks to have on hand. I drink soy milk so it's no biggie to have it on hand for vegans or lactose intolerant guests. But only if we know that before they arrive. All of our shopping is done before check-in time.

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08/07/2008

Did you ask for dietary restrictions in advance, or just at check-in?

Not to be insensitive, but if I chose to follow a strict diet (and I have travelled with friends who do) I'd expect to have to compromise pretty often, especially when travelling outside of the big cities. And who doesn't like fresh oj??

I noticed on your website, though, that you have a restaurant. Do you come across vegans or lactose-intolerant customers often there, because soy milk might be something you'd want to have on hand. You can get individual-serving cartons that last practically forever.

Morticia's picture
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stephanie wrote:

 

Not to be insensitive, but if I chose to follow a strict diet (and I have travelled with friends who do) I'd expect to have to compromise pretty often, especially when travelling outside of the big cities. And who doesn't like fresh oj??

 

I am amazed! Do your friends compromise? It seems the trend is to be more demanding when told that we may not be able to accommodate a particular diet.

gillumhouse's picture
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DH pretty much sticks to the "if it tastes good spit it out" diet. I think that is why he is in a nasty mood so often. When we travel anywhere - we take his breakfast with us, ready to eat.

I do ask when taking a reservation about diet needs and they still forget to mention things, mainly (imo) because they are so used to not having it that they forget others really use things like cinnamon, bananas, etc (Dad finally remembered to mentiion no gluten but forgot until they were here to say no bananas and no eggs).

I have had 2 guests (years apart thank goodness) who ate noting that was cooked. I plumped the raisins by soaking them - not cooking - and she did not touch the raisins.

I do not keep soy milk on hand. My daughter drinks Silk a soy milk I think that I can get at my grocery and she did not even touch it while she was here! And to my knowledge, I will not NEED it until October! It will not keep that long. Oh well....

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Granted, we were outside the US, where "vegan" isn't even a recognized word. We went to nice restaurants in touristy areas where they said the fried potatoes were vegan and they had little pieces of bacon sitting on top!

I'd think vegetarians can expect to be accommodated pretty much anywhere nowadays, but I'd have thought most vegans or those with severe food allergies would try to make that known BEFORE check-in, especially at a small lodging establishment. I don't think you should be expected to run out and buy something that night.

There are some things I don't eat or drink by choice and things that I'm allergic to. When they're put in front of me, I politely turn them down. I don't ask for a substitute. Especially in someone's home, but even in a restaurant. But I know what you mean, some people just want to test you by asserting their rights.

That being said, better to keep the common non-perishables like soy milk on hand. Raises the bar for B&Bs, I would think, to a level where hotels are already expected to be.

Again, I'm still an aspiring, so I'm speaking from a guest's point of view, and a hypothetical innkeeper's. But I definitely appreciate ALL the stories, and am taking notes! Soy milk has been added to the future shopping list!

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08/07/2008

Hm... guess I can't think of one either! All the better for those of you that do, then!

Just goes to show this guy probably would have made a fit just about anywhere, and if it wasn't the soy milk, it'd be the soy yogurt.

Morticia's picture
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stephanie wrote:

That being said, better to keep the common non-perishables like soy milk on hand. Raises the bar for B&Bs, I would think, to a level where hotels are already expected to be.

 

I have never been to a hotel that offered soy anything. Maybe if they had a regular restaurant attached, but not the ones that have a continental breakfast only.

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05/22/2008

That's why a B & B is better...we provide what they can't get at a hotelSmiling  Our service is tops!

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