snacks

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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(Forgive if this is a frequent topic, I couldn't find any threads.)

Do you put out snacks?  What kind?  Do you have afternoon tea or other gatherings?  Are they every day or at your whim?

We have put out a bowl of bananas, apples and Fiber One or Special K bars.  The apples don't go, but the bananas and bars do. Other ideas?

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Madeleine's picture
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Back to the snacks...some days nothing is touched and then there is today. 4 rooms cleared out one coffee cake. I waited until they were gone out for dinner and put out a half a coffee cake. They came back from dinner and had the half for dessert. No other guests got anything.

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I just hate it when some guests think EVERYTHING is about them! Others paid for the same thing but they didn't get it because of them!  I hear this all too often from many folks these days..always out for "what they can get" out of the inn or cabin owners....whatever it might be.

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And then tonight I got someone who sneered at the dessert and said they wouldn't be touching it all. As if I'd put out rat poison. Hey, pal, don't eat it and likewise, don't mouth off about it.

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We serve a bottle of wine, shrimp cocktail, cheese and one or two other delights.  We have been here four years and have seen our business grow by about 10% each year.  Many  guests say they have been going to B&Bs for 30 years and have never experienced such luxury.  People who use B&Bs are not looking for a place to sleep, (they can get that from Motel6)  They are looking for the experience.  Provide that and you will be a success.  Check out our tripadvisor comments 

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Country Girl's picture
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We put out fresh cookies in the afternoon and we also have a basket full of crackers, chips, pretzels and snack mix they can help themselves to whenever they want. We also have a Keurig and a small fridge filled with various beverages. In the bedrooms we leave bottled water, nuts, cookies, and chocolates. 

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Redbirds's picture
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We have homemade cookies waiting for the guests.  Some even leave reviews about the cookies, and say they look forward to returning just for them!

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I had treats waiting in their rooms for them every afternoon - plated with a note - bar cookies, cookies, sometimes fudge or maybe even a seasonal item like caramel apples.  That worked for our situation with two houses.  If I put out a cake in the dining room, sometimes folks would go for it and mostly they would not.  We also had refrigerators in the rooms in our second house and one near all the rooms in our main house which were stocked with sodas and bottled water.  Pitchers of tea or lemonade in the dining room also didn't get consumed. 

I also had whole fresh fruit (apples, oranges, bananas) out in the dining room.

For VIP guests, I also would put several types of savory treats in a basket in their room - individual 100 cal bags of chips, popcorn, crackers, etc.

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We don't leave out a snack bowl.  However, I do bake several varieties of homemade cookies each night.  They are usually all gone by morning.  If not, I get a snack with my coffee.

gillumhouse's picture
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My guests arrive at all hours so I do not do evening anything other than chat if they want. I DO have a basket in each guest room for arrivals with 2 bananas, 4 or more apples, and several "breakfast" bars since I do not remember what the heck they are termed. Sometimes the basket is cleaned out (even with a one-nighter) sometimes untouched. Sometimes just the apples are left.

Re the muffins, get mini-muffin pans. One recipe will make 30 to 36  minis depending on how filled the pans are and the recipe. I often make a half recipe to get a dozen minis (and extra batter to toss) when I only have 2 people. That gives me breakfast AND a "care package" of muffins for the road. Sometimes it is the size of the muffin that puts people off - more than they want. With the minis, they can take a couple and not feel like pigs, get a sugar fix without feeling they are over-indulging, and you are not wasting ingredients.

Then, if you have any left over and someone leaving, you can ask if they would like a "care package" of muffins. That is how I get the extras OUT of the house and the guests? - got something extra for free! I keep the generic zip bags for this - $1 get me 20 qt-size bags.

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Buy some smaller mini muffin tins and when you don't need as many, put in the paper cups, spray with oil, put in the muffin batter and freeze. When frozen you can remove them from the pan and put into a plastic container to keep in the freezer. Then when you just new a few, you can bake a few. Keep a few containers like this and you can have different flavours at a moment's notice.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Have done that without the papers. It works nicely. But 12 muffins (minis) is perfect for breakfast and the "care package". It is rare when they say thanks but no thanks to the care package. I do not have room in the freezer for muffins. I just made a score on red raspberries - got 8 of the 6 oz containers for $6.  We go through them berry by berry. Less than 6oz were tossed out. I got 2 bags forthe freezer and DH got 2 days of berries for his breakfast. I still have blackberries & blueberries from previous scores at the porduce shop plud DD from Iowa brought venison & pork & a rye her Dad likes - 10 loaves!

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We put spiced biscotti (homemade) out with the early coffee in the morning - about 90 minutes before the start of breakfast service.

In the afternoon, it's a plate of cookies (sometimes homemade, often from a local small bakery) and a snack basket with individual bags of pretzels, cheese popcorn or pirate's booty, various granola bars (including gluten-free and protein), whole-grain crackers (peanut butter, cheese), peanuts, trail mix and a few local apples.

Some days hardly anything is gone; other days you can tell that someone has opted out of buying dinner and instead made a meal from the snack basket. The apples are always the last things to go. 

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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I stayed at a place once that advertised continental breakfast.   They had coffee, tea and a plate of store bought doughnuts.  I am not kidding.  I was soooo disappointed.   Kind of p!ssed off.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I stayed at a place once that advertised continental breakfast.   They had coffee, tea and a plate of store bought doughnuts.  I am not kidding.  I was soooo disappointed.   Kind of p!ssed off.

I can meet you and up ya one:

a) One cup of Instant coffee, or tea, ONE slice each of thin storebought white toast with a choice or marmalade, or margarine. We paid extra for the continental breakfast through British Airways.  London

b) Then the B&B who had a Mr Coffee (which was empty when we approached it) and a bag of storebought white bread FROM the freezer and still frozen to make your own toast) and a bowl of oranges. I took the oranges. Townsville, Queensland Australia

c) A banana divided up between the innkeeping couple who sat with us and shared the table uninvited, and what we thought, and still do think, was french toast made from a hot dog bun.  She called it stuffed french toast, we called it a hot dog bun. Also flavored coffee that gave us a rotting gut...We had to leave after breakfast and go get breakfast. Bristol Tennessee

c) an Entennman's pack of Danish and a pot of coffee. I actually didn't mind this one, to be honest. It was a take with you and sit outside type thing, so didn't worry me. Palm Springs, CALF

        Wait! Guests told me about the place where the owner came by and put a dozen krispy kreme on the counter and left. I forgot about that, it was also TN. We had a great laugh, and I said "Hm I actually really like Krispy Kreme..."devil

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gillumhouse's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I stayed at a place once that advertised continental breakfast.   They had coffee, tea and a plate of store bought doughnuts.  I am not kidding.  I was soooo disappointed.   Kind of p!ssed off.

I can meet you and up ya one:

a) One cup of Instant coffee, or tea, ONE slice each of thin storebought white toast with a choice or marmalade, or margarine. We paid extra for the continental breakfast through British Airways.  London

b) Then the B&B who had a Mr Coffee (which was empty when we approached it) and a bag of storebought white bread FROM the freezer and still frozen to make your own toast) and a bowl of oranges. I took the oranges. Townsville, Queensland Australia

c) A banana divided up between the innkeeping couple who sat with us and shared the table uninvited, and what we thought, and still do think, was french toast made from a hot dog bun.  She called it stuffed french toast, we called it a hot dog bun. Also flavored coffee that gave us a rotting gut...We had to leave after breakfast and go get breakfast. Bristol Tennessee

c) an Entennman's pack of Danish and a pot of coffee. I actually didn't mind this one, to be honest. It was a take with you and sit outside type thing, so didn't worry me. Palm Springs, CALF

        Wait! Guests told me about the place where the owner came by and put a dozen krispy kreme on the counter and left. I forgot about that, it was also TN. We had a great laugh, and I said "Hm I actually really like Krispy Kreme..."devil

I will see you and raise you one!

In Vermont - Paid in advance for 4 people - 2 rooms. We are told the night of arrival that she is busy with the kennels in the morning so the refrigerator is stocked, just fix what we want and she cleans up. OK.

next morning we find a small amount of cream, instant coffee, OJ, and 1 (yes, that is ONE) egg for the 4 of us.

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One of our first B & B stays way back in 1983 in a Toronto Victorian..I don't think operates any longer.  Greeted at 4 PM by an innkeeper in a bathrobe who looks like she just got up! 2 towels for the whole week, never made the room up. First day down...Cornflakes in a bowl with a cup of coffee sitting out. That was it!!!  When asked is this breakfast? She said...that's all I can do. If you want something...make it yourself...just help yourself to anything!!!

OMG!!!  So I spent the week, showing her how to use her new kitchen equipment and teaching her how to do some basic cooking. Did we get a discount?  NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!

The only redeeming feature of the stay was that she owned the beautiful white "FANCY FEAST"  cat...at that time..Padma. She made the trip worthwhile Smiling

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Oh, that sound better than the individually package donuts, dingdongs and twinkies that I've seen as "continental" breakfast. I'm sorry, but since the continent we are talking about is Europe and I've never seen a packaged dingdong or twinkie in Europe... that's not a continental breakfast!

Reminds me of some of the discount hotel chains. A microwaved breakfast sandwich doesn't make it "full breakfast". 

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I stayed at a place once that advertised continental breakfast.   They had coffee, tea and a plate of store bought doughnuts.  I am not kidding.  I was soooo disappointed.   Kind of p!ssed off.

We stayed at a place where the owners had outside employment. On Sunday we had a nice breakfast. On Monday we found 2 boxes of cereal on the table and a couple of pints of milk.

I think traveling is good for innkeepers. It lets us see either how well we're doing things or how we can improve. (That also applies to amenities, hospitality and cleaning!)

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Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I stayed at a place once that advertised continental breakfast.   They had coffee, tea and a plate of store bought doughnuts.  I am not kidding.  I was soooo disappointed.   Kind of p!ssed off.

We stayed at a place where the owners had outside employment. On Sunday we had a nice breakfast. On Monday we found 2 boxes of cereal on the table and a couple of pints of milk.

I think traveling is good for innkeepers. It lets us see either how well we're doing things or how we can improve. (That also applies to amenities, hospitality and cleaning!)

 

I was kind of planning on making Sunday breakfast sort of special.  Not sure how, yet.   But that doesn't mean making Sunday 'nice' and the rest of the week inadequate.  LOL

Some thoughts - parfait bar.   fruit salad. 

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I stayed at a place once that advertised continental breakfast.   They had coffee, tea and a plate of store bought doughnuts.  I am not kidding.  I was soooo disappointed.   Kind of p!ssed off.

We stayed at a place where the owners had outside employment. On Sunday we had a nice breakfast. On Monday we found 2 boxes of cereal on the table and a couple of pints of milk.

I think traveling is good for innkeepers. It lets us see either how well we're doing things or how we can improve. (That also applies to amenities, hospitality and cleaning!)

 

I was kind of planning on making Sunday breakfast sort of special.  Not sure how, yet.   But that doesn't mean making Sunday 'nice' and the rest of the week inadequate.  LOL

Some thoughts - parfait bar.   fruit salad. 

Ha, not you! It's just what we all find out while traveling.

Like the (now boring to everyone else) story of the innkeepers who left us with a burned breakfast casserole and told us to serve ourselves, 'Just cut around the burned parts, there's still plenty there for the 6 of you.' And off the innkeeper went. Probably to see if there was any annoying thing left in the bag of tricks to try out on us. (No heat, 10 watt lightbulbs, no drinking on the property, THEIR clothes in the dressers & closets, non-stop telling of their tale of woe concerning the high cost of everything.)

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Quote:

Ha, not you! It's just what we all find out while traveling.

Like the (now boring to everyone else) story of the innkeepers who left us with a burned breakfast casserole and told us to serve ourselves, 'Just cut around the burned parts, there's still plenty there for the 6 of you.' And off the innkeeper went. Probably to see if there was any annoying thing left in the bag of tricks to try out on us. (No heat, 10 watt lightbulbs, no drinking on the property, THEIR clothes in the dressers & closets, non-stop telling of their tale of woe concerning the high cost of everything.)

 

Ok, now I can live with sharing the dresser, bad conversations, low light, more sweaters......but no drinking??? That's a deal breaker.  I'm outa' here!

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

......but no drinking??? That's a deal breaker.  I'm outa' here!

yesyes

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We have our special cookies available for them any time in a cookie jar. We also have an endless supply of individually wrapped biscotti and red vines out all the time by the beverage area. The biscotti are great for those guests used to getting up early and are hungry. They can have a cup of coffee and a biscotti or two to hold them over until breakfast.

We don't do any social hour type thing because I'm tied enough to this place. Sometimes I will bake some brownies, or other goodies and put it out on a pedestal cake plate with dome and they can take if they'd like. That only happens when I'm in the mood (which isn't very often). It does happen more during holidays.

Madeleine's picture
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We do cookies, coffee cakes, stuff like that. It's out from around 3 PM until morning. We have a covered cake stand. It really and truly depends on who is here. The coffee cake goes almost every time. The cookies are iffy. And yet some people will see coffee cake and say, 'You didn't make...?' so who knows.

Guests can eat the stuff or not. If the pound cake is leftover it shows up as a breakfast item with berries on top.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Those look very very easy!  Thanks.

My kid suggested that the muffins I made were too sugary - not healthy and that we need more healthy food.  I replied that (from what I see here) people expect breakfast pastries and muffins and aren't here for granola.

Any comments on that?  I've seen people go straight for the coffee cake.  The yogurts are not going nearly as quickly.  And no one seems interested in the less sugary cereals.

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Any muffins are simple to make and you can freeze them too. Me...I was and am a baker. So I had some sort of cookies / brownies / cake, tarts etc out every day for the guests as evening dessert.

Put them in their room. They knew they were coming...so where ever they ate, the restaurant knew better to ask if they wanted dessert if they told them they were staying at our place. -) People always seemed to appreciate the extra goodies. But...you will have some who will really help themselves to anything and everything. That is why I switched to putting things in their room rather than just leaving things out for the "hogs.' Eye-wink

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Here the welcome snacks are in the room when they arrive.

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Any special b'day or anniversary goodies are also waiting in the room.

Arks's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

...people expect breakfast pastries and muffins and aren't here for granola.

Any comments on that? 

I don't get out of town a lot. When I do travel, I'm not on my diet! Give me the good stuff, not necessarily the healthy stuff!

Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Those look very very easy!  Thanks.

My kid suggested that the muffins I made were too sugary - not healthy and that we need more healthy food.  I replied that (from what I see here) people expect breakfast pastries and muffins and aren't here for granola.

Any comments on that?  I've seen people go straight for the coffee cake.  The yogurts are not going nearly as quickly.  And no one seems interested in the less sugary cereals.

Don't beat yourself over the head. You'll get guests who will be happy to tell you exactly the opposite of what you put out. Healthy? They want sugar. Sweet? They'll complain there was no 'protein'. So, do what you've been doing. Yogurts, sweets, fruit, cereals. As long as they know in advance no one should complain. (HA, I am ROFLMAO.)

Arks's picture
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Very easy: bake some muffins for people to enjoy throughout the day. Here's an easy, delicious recipe (you can do a half recipe in a mini-muffin pan if you don't need a lot):

 

http://www.innspiring.com/recipe/breakfast/pecan-pie-muffins

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Quote:
Very easy: bake some muffins for people to enjoy throughout the day. Here's an easy, delicious recipe (you can do a half recipe in a mini-muffin pan if you don't need a lot):

http://www.innspiring.com/recipe/breakfast/pecan-pie-muffins

Those are best right out of the oven.  By day's end, they're so hard, you could chip a tooth.

 

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