That whole rules thing

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Madeleine's picture
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Guests who wonder why the odd rules or why they can't check in at 10 AM or why they can't do whatever should understand it's not me/us it's some other member of the traveling public that has caused me to back off on being 100% generous.

Got a call last night for a later check-in, no problem. Along with that was a request for one member of their party to be served an early breakfast while the remaining members would just go along with the usual breakfast time.

We are ok with doing early breakfast EXCEPT when the guest is on a deadline. So, I declined to do early but offered a fruit plate and yogurt, coffee, etc.

Has to eat early guest blew thru the dining room complaining about something at 7:45. Out the door and gone. We didn't even have a chance to offer what we had put together. Because she didn't leave enough time to eat it.

The rest of her party? Rolled out of bed at 10 and went to Dunkin' Donuts.

It's not that we don't want to be accommodating, but this is what happens when we are. So, we get up an hour earlier to pull it all together, guest blows us off. How many times do we do that before we start picking and choosing who gets early breakfast and who doesn't?

Being as I called this one right I'm feeling better about my 'no early breakfast on a deadline' rule.

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Madeleine's picture
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And a new one today... if you are a late check in you MUST come to the desk to sign your paperwork in the morning. This couple has been here 2 days, we haven't seen them and they are still in the room. The shower is running, the door to the room is wide open and they 'need another 30-40 minutes'.

I told them zero minutes. You're already late. Of course, not having actually checked-in they don't know about the late fee.

And, yes, one of them looked around the door at me while telling me they were in the shower.

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Sign on the back of the door...

Check-Out by 10:59AM

You see people see 11AM as 11:59AM, but 10:59AM is different

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Madeleine's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Sign on the back of the door...

Check-Out by 10:59AM

You see people see 11AM as 11:59AM, but 10:59AM is different

'We didn't see ANY signs until you came to the door.' Honking load of bullPotty Mouth (auto filter) that was.

(I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation. So much so that we turned down a guest for another night tonight.)

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Lock the doors, pull the drapes and turn off the lights. Don't be tempted to take anybody. Big sign on door..CLOSED.

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Yes,  indeed.  Rules are there for a Reason!  Good on you.

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Early continental breakfast here was in a "to go" bag put in their fridge the night before at turndown (or handed to them)  - usually yogurt, muffin, banana or orange, (maybe a little bag of granola), small OJ or cranberry juice, plastic spoon, nice paper napkin, hand wipe, and a mint.  We had the 24 hour coffee/tea thing with to-go cups, soooooooo.... No getting up super early here!

If they left their to-go bag, it became MY breakfast.  Eye-wink

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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How often do you get asked for an early breakfast?  We were planning on continental available 8 - 10.  We are thinking vacation hours, but now that I think of it, I bet there are folks who want to get 'an early start.'

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Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

How often do you get asked for an early breakfast?  We were planning on continental available 8 - 10.  We are thinking vacation hours, but now that I think of it, I bet there are folks who want to get 'an early start.'

It really depends on your market. Is check-out at 11? You will have guests showing up at 10 and dawdling and then going back to the room to shower.

Give those hours a try but don't be afraid to change if it's not working. Keep in mind that you have to be around for those 2 hours to make sure everything stays filled.

Also, in your area are there things to do that start at 8 AM? Boats to somewhere? You may get requests for earlier breakfast from folks wanting to get on the boat.

We get asked for early breakfast a couple of times/month. Same as we get pushed for later breakfast by guests showing up exactly at 9:30. Because we have to cook the breakfast, on a day like today it meant being 'done' with breakfast at 10:45 (guests gone from the dining room, tables cleared, coffee dumped, juices put away, kitchen cleaned). WAY after the time we need to be done to get to the rooms to clean them.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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You made me think so I checked the local whale watch boats.  The morning departure is 9 AM.  It wouldn't be too difficult to move breakfast up to 7:30 if someone asked.   (Again, we are generally up by 5:30 or 6 anyway.)

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

You made me think so I checked the local whale watch boats.  The morning departure is 9 AM.  It wouldn't be too difficult to move breakfast up to 7:30 if someone asked.   (Again, we are generally up by 5:30 or 6 anyway.)

Here's a problem...you have told the other guests at check-in that breakfast is from 8-10. Now a guest rolls in and asks to eat early. And you are running breakfast for 2.5 hours. OK, you're new. You have tons more energy than I have at this point, but don't wear yourselves out and don't start off offering the world. It's easier to add than take away.

Have a 'to go' bag if that works for you. A 'whale watch breakfast'. (Ordered in advance so you don't get slammed the morning of.) Get paper bags and ink stamp them with whales and seashells. (You can do a ton of them on a slow day.) Put together something nice and other whale watchers will be asking where that nice breakfast came from...free advertising!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Thanks.  Yes, check out is at 11.  

It's a continental buffet, so not as active as your full breakfast.  I agree we need to keep an eye on the juice and milk, but the breads and fruit will pretty much be a one time offer (I think....though I've been a chamber maid and been in the restaurant biz, I don't know this place well yet.)

We are generally early risers, so moving it earlier won't hurt us, but we don't want the yogurt sitting for an hour before people start coming down.  We are following the hours that the current owner uses.

Silverspoon's picture
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How about putting your yogurt in a bowl with these re-usable ice cubes to be sure it stays cold without a wet mess to deal with?  We put a couple in the insulated milk and creamer containers as well....just to be sure the dairy stays cold.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/30-reusable-ice-cubes/1016...

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Madeleine's picture
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Reusable ice cubes. Duh. We have been using real ice and what a mess. Looking that up right now!

Silverspoon's picture
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Yup, and they go right into the dishwasher at the end of breakfast, then back into the freezer.  Buy plenty because they have lots of uses.

Madeleine's picture
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Told DH this yesterday and he was not convinced. Not sure why but I'm going to try it anyway. They are for sale at BB&B for $5 for 30. Will be going next week!

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Get yourself on their mailing list and they send you coupons in email that you can use. And they seem to take them even after they expire at some stores. (I know they also mail them and put them in the newspaper, but I can't get them that way and they won't ship here, even if they have stores in other provinces.)

Madeleine's picture
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My SIL provides me with more of those coupons than I can use in a year. Better still, the BB&B up the road from me hosts an innkeeper evening where everything is 20% off, no coupons needed. I gave one to a guest yesterday who was outfitting her son's dorm room. I guess they don't have coupons like that in Spain because I had to explain how to use it.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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great idea! Thanks!

Highlands John's picture
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Samster wrote:

Early continental breakfast here was in a "to go" bag put in their fridge the night before at turndown (or handed to them)  - usually yogurt, muffin, banana or orange, (maybe a little bag of granola), small OJ or cranberry juice, plastic spoon, nice paper napkin, hand wipe, and a mint.  We had the 24 hour coffee/tea thing with to-go cups, soooooooo.... No getting up super early here!

If they left their to-go bag, it became MY breakfast.  Eye-wink

That's a really nice idea. I'm gonna pinch that if you don't mind.

At the moment for a very early breakfast we leave things out in the dinning room like juice, toaster/bread, cereals and milk, but not too keen on this idea for 2 reasons. 1) The dinning room is just down the hall from our bedroom so 9/10 people wake us. 2) I don't like the idea of leaving things out all night like milk/juice, even though I put them in bowls of ice and they're still cold in the morning, and I cover everything with cling film.

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Pinch away.... Eye-wink

It certainly made my life easier and I never had anyone take someone else's clearly labeled to-go brekkie in the shared fridge in the main house (other 3 rooms had their own fridges). 

People really liked it, too. 

Madeleine's picture
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Friends called last night with the name of a guest who caused a rumpus, trying to make sure they hadn't then traveled to this town. The guests called the innkeepers around 8 PM to say the people in the next room were too loud, could they take care of that? Innkeepers went to room, asked guests to please lower the volume. Not even sure there was a problem as the innkeepers didn't hear anything but mentioned there was a complaint about the noise. Innkeeper gets a text at 2 AM saying the other room was at it again, they couldn't sleep, etc.

Innkeeper didn't charge them for the room.

He showed the text to the offending 'noisy' guests and they said that wasn't true at all. They were sound asleep.

Complainers drove off and yelled at the other guests, 'Thanks! You got us a free stay for being so noisy!'

Innkeeper says he felt completely taken by the couple.

This is another reason we're so hesitant and torn about believing stuff guests tell us.

So, was one room noisy or did the other guests just keep complaining about something that wasn't really happening to get a free stay?

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Madeleine wrote:

Friends called last night with the name of a guest who caused a rumpus, trying to make sure they hadn't then traveled to this town. The guests called the innkeepers around 8 PM to say the people in the next room were too loud, could they take care of that? Innkeepers went to room, asked guests to please lower the volume. Not even sure there was a problem as the innkeepers didn't hear anything but mentioned there was a complaint about the noise. Innkeeper gets a text at 2 AM saying the other room was at it again, they couldn't sleep, etc.

Innkeeper didn't charge them for the room.

He showed the text to the offending 'noisy' guests and they said that wasn't true at all. They were sound asleep.

Complainers drove off and yelled at the other guests, 'Thanks! You got us a free stay for being so noisy!'

Innkeeper says he felt completely taken by the couple.

This is another reason we're so hesitant and torn about believing stuff guests tell us.

So, was one room noisy or did the other guests just keep complaining about something that wasn't really happening to get a free stay?

We can all point to all the open reviews giving more and more people these ideas. 

Given the innkeeper did not hear noise after the first call.  I would have gone to the door of the noisy room at 2am to listen, not to disturb. 

Wonder just how loud they would have to be to create such a disturbance?  They may want to test that.  Once the noise level is loud enough to bother the room next door, leave it and see if they can hear it outside the room door as well.  -  This may not be a bad idea for all of us.  Be prepared for these sleaze ball scamers.

 

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Or, instead of listening outside the door of the aleged noisy folks, knock on the door of the complainers.  Listen from their room.  Call them on their complaint. 

That way, you haven't disturbed anyone who isn't already disturbed.  And you can hear first hand what the problem is (if any.)

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Or, instead of listening outside the door of the aleged noisy folks, knock on the door of the complainers.  Listen from their room.  Call them on their complaint. 

That way, you haven't disturbed anyone who isn't already disturbed.  And you can hear first hand what the problem is (if any.)

You're going to make a great innkeeper!!

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blush

gillumhouse's picture
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This has been going on for years - before TA even. H I ran a campaign -  just one year I believe - if not satisfied it is free. Had a lot of room complaints to get that free room and a waitress at the one I worked at overheard the Bit**s from Hell (lady? bow lers) discussing how if they complained about their meal, it would be free. The bottom feeders looking for a free ride know how to get it - no matter where or when.

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I would not have given a free night. It is not innkeeper fault there are noisy guests. No hotel ever comp'd me a room when I complained of noise Sad  Maybe give a 10% discount along with a "I'm sorry.....but that would be it.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Oh! How low can people go?? This sounds like the complaining couple were scammers. They've done it before I'm sure! I feel so bad for your innkeeper friends!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Oh! How low can people go?? This sounds like the complaining couple were scammers. They've done it before I'm sure! I feel so bad for your innkeeper friends!

It seems like this becoming quite common, for people to have the gall to do this sort of thing to get free meals at restaurants, and free lodging. What's really bad is that it will callus owners to doubt all complainers, so people with a real problem won't get it attended to.

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Madeleine's picture
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I need a parking lot rule now. Guests with one room have two cars. Right now they are taking up 3 spaces. AND, they ran over the bowling ball to my little kids' game set! Luckily, they did not run over the little kid!

Madeleine's picture
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Just took the 'close the door' sign down. Guests who were leaving it open just left. And, yes, the door was wide open as they walked away.

Highlands John's picture
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"Don't let the door hit you on the way out"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Generic's picture
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What you need is a new sign on the front.

BARN!

Flower's picture
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We start breakie at 800AM . If you want it earlier we love to provide you a take away breakfast. We put it in their fridge , when we do a turn down service. A bag that they can put all into  or eat it all before they leave. We put a muffin in, juice box , granola bar, yoghurt . A piece of fruit, and a go cup for them to make their coffee with a pod left beside the pot. Some times I also would have a big breakfast cookie for later . That seems to work for all.

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Generic's picture
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Early breakfast around here is continental. It's out and ready for 7 AM and we don't sweat it, they usually don't make it because they never plan properly.

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I don't like to nickel and dime people, but if someone made a special request that required me to get out of bed an hour early, I'd charge something for doing that!

And there again, the rule is because others have abused the hospitality.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Those folks who abuse the hospitality of innkeepers ruin it for the rest.

Especially this time of year anyone asking for breakfast early is told no...have a cup of coffee and some biscotti we have out for guests so you don't gnaw off your arm from hunger or get too much acid in your empty stomach because of drinking so much coffee, etc., etc. OR we can put a lovely continental in your refrigerator the night before so you can eat it whenever you'd like.

I know this doesn't sound very flexible or hospitable, but if the innkeeper (me) can't get any sleep or stays in a foul mood, then believe me, NOBODY will be happy!

Oh, and the assumption is that the early breakfast eaters will check out early is WRONG (at least around here)!

By the way, our breakfast times and continental options are clearly spelled out on our website, our policies, and on every room page. There should be no surprises for them!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Oh, and the assumption is that the early breakfast eaters will check out early is WRONG (at least around here)!

Had a couple a few weeks ago, asked for 7.30 because they want to get out blah blah blah.....so I agreed. He came down at 7.30, she didn't appear until 7.50. They had their breakfasts and then the pair of them sat in the dinning room until 8.50 mucking about on their mobile phones.....and I'm stood in the kitchen thinking what the hell did I get out of bed an hour early for. 

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Highlands John wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Oh, and the assumption is that the early breakfast eaters will check out early is WRONG (at least around here)!

Had a couple a few weeks ago, asked for 7.30 because they want to get out blah blah blah.....so I agreed. He came down at 7.30, she didn't appear until 7.50. They had their breakfasts and then the pair of them sat in the dinning room until 8.50 mucking about on their mobile phones.....and I'm stood in the kitchen thinking what the hell did I get out of bed an hour early for. 

EXACTLY!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Highlands John wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Oh, and the assumption is that the early breakfast eaters will check out early is WRONG (at least around here)!

Had a couple a few weeks ago, asked for 7.30 because they want to get out blah blah blah.....so I agreed. He came down at 7.30, she didn't appear until 7.50. They had their breakfasts and then the pair of them sat in the dinning room until 8.50 mucking about on their mobile phones.....and I'm stood in the kitchen thinking what the hell did I get out of bed an hour early for. 

EXACTLY!

I'm the opposite to Madeleine: I don't mind doing early breakfast if there's a specific reason like a flight, train or ferry to catch. It's the ones who "just want to get out early" are those most likely to mess us about.

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