Additional Fee for Food Restrictions?

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I am curious if any of you currently charge for guests with special food requests?   I am getting more and more that can't have this, can't have that...and while that's all fine and good, it costs me money to go out and buy things to accommodate their special dietary needs.  I don't expect to be paid more for the extra work, but money right out of my pocket is a different story.  I am thinking a $5/day up charge, depending on the need. 

 

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I had a Vegan stay a few weeks back, we had a fairly short chat on what I had and it went well. From memory Breakfast Potatoes covered with Veggie Chilli and a fruit selection.

Unusual requirements, well I am 9 miles from the nearest supermarket, if they give me notice and I can I will. Nobody ever has.

 

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I had a Vegan stay a few weeks back, we had a fairly short chat on what I had and it went well. From memory Breakfast Potatoes covered with Veggie Chilli and a fruit selection.

Unusual requirements, well I am 9 miles from the nearest supermarket, if they give me notice and I can I will. Nobody ever has.

 

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I had a Vegan stay a few weeks back, we had a fairly short chat on what I had and it went well. From memory Breakfast Potatoes covered with Veggie Chilli and a fruit selection.

Unusual requirements, well I am 9 miles from the nearest supermarket, if they give me notice and I can I will. Nobody ever has.

 

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More important than the food... Vegan Policy: No proselyting (and we won't either.)

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Toss these in the freezer for when you need vegan.  Of course they will not want cream cheese, but peanut butter and jelly go very well.

Thomas New York Style Bagels
Thomas New York Style Bagels are a popular American brand that has a number of vegan-friendly bagels including their blueberry, cinnamon swirl, everything, plain, cinnamon raisin and plain flavors. All of these bagels are low in fat and contain no trans fats or cholesterol. The brand is a product of the Bimbo Bakeries USA, which also owns the Stroehmann Company, which makes Dutch County soft potato and whole wheat bread---both vegan-friendly, according to PETA.

 

Read mhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/185769-which-brands-of-bread-are-vegan/ore: http://www.livestrong.com/article/185769-which-brands-of-bread-are-vegan...

 

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Banana, how often do you get vegan guests?

Ever see the show "Portlandia"? Those are my guests, and I only get about 3 vegans a year, so for me, it's a little annoying if they don't appreciate it, but I can live with that.

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Haha Smiling  No, I have never seen it, but I'm originally from the NW area and quite familiar with Portland and the interesting people there.  I assume that is what it is regarding? 

I'm on the Gulf Coast of Texas and the closest beach vacation for a lot of large Texas cities, one of which is Austin.  Their motto is "Keep Austin Weird".  And they do. The people are an....interesting challenge for me, the lifestyle differences, and mindsets.  The breakfast table is always lively when I have "Tree Hugging" Austinites and "Drill Baby Drill"Houstonians.   I like the diversity.  I get about one or two vegans a month.

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BananaE29 wrote:

Haha Smiling  No, I have never seen it, but I'm originally from the NW area and quite familiar with Portland and the interesting people there.  I assume that is what it is regarding? 

I'm on the Gulf Coast of Texas and the closest beach vacation for a lot of large Texas cities, one of which is Austin.  Their motto is "Keep Austin Weird".  And they do. The people are an....interesting challenge for me, the lifestyle differences, and mindsets.  The breakfast table is always lively when I have "Tree Hugging" Austinites and "Drill Baby Drill"Houstonians.   I like the diversity.  I get about one or two vegans a month.

if you offered this you may get more! We cannot and should not try to be all things, we need to target our marketing. This may be an area that grows for you. I know of a proper Vegan B & B and I direct guests there and they are thrilled. 

If word got out that this is a special " option" it may be a gold rush. I would eliminate the words, restrictions from all sources however. We use it here on the forum and it has a negative connotation. Vegan is a lifestyle , not a restriction. heart

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I know in the UK I had to pay for more than the complimentary continental, for example £5 more if I wanted the full english breakfast.

Ice
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BananaE29 wrote:

I am curious if any of you currently charge for guests with special food requests?   I am getting more and more that can't have this, can't have that...and while that's all fine and good, it costs me money to go out and buy things to accommodate their special dietary needs.  I don't expect to be paid more for the extra work, but money right out of my pocket is a different story.  I am thinking a $5/day up charge, depending on the need. 

 

If it is that much more then you would be better off adjusting your prices for all.  Other wise I think it just might be discrimination.

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 I have to disagree.  To me, it's comparable to someone wanting first class versus coach.  If you can't have/don't want/don't like the "norm", then you pay for the additional service/goods.  I don't consider it discrimination if I want to purchase a Coach purse instead of the one I bought at Sam's Club for $20.  I expect to pay more when I want a better grade oil in my car than the normal grade they use when they do an oil change.  These are things I choose. 

A vegan chooses to eat that way.  When the guest makes the choice, the burden/responsibility lies on them.  If all guests pay for the one guest that requires additional attention, where do you draw the line?  The next guest wants truffles with his eggs.  The guest after him really likes to have steak with their eggs.  See my point? 

All should not have to pay for one.  My opinion. 

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I agree with you whole heartily. I am tired of throwing out food . I just don't get enough guest to  keep buying special produces for there fab diet.

I say on my web site: "However if there are unusual or expensive ingredients required for your restricted diet there may be a small surcharge. "

I think this has stopped a lot of requests for special wishes. Oh I get things like Please I donot like any cheese or yoghurt. Ok can deal with that.  Or I don't like green peppers.

 

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My best guess would be in the res fields, set it up with a check box for what you are willing to offer for the added fee. If you do this, then you need to have a vegan repertoire in mind from the get go. You can have an open field to explain, but...to me it seems cut n dry.  "Other" can be the " share adtl info here" 

vegan would need to be cooked to charge the add on fee, or perhaps they are a "raw" diet.

ex: Rez  key has the field for check in times, where you select one. You could do this and make it required.

 

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For me, it's not the additional cost, it's the time it takes to prepare a totally separate breakfast.

I just had a vegan stay and I made vegan cookies...she ate 2 of them over a 2 night stay. She barely touched her fruit, I did a special tofu scramble loaded with veggies and she ate about 1/4 of it. Vegan pumpkin bread...didn't touch it. Second day, a different breakfast, but the same thing...barely touched anything! This woman was not a tiny woman so I know she eats quite a bit...it beats me what she does eat.

It's easy to keep a shelf stable box of tofu, soy milk, etc on the pantry shelf at very little cost. Fry up some potatoes in olive oil and throw in some frozen veggies if you don't have fresh.

In my experience, most vegans are appreciative of the extra effort, but this one really irked me!

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It's all hospitality...we do what we can. If you are going totally out of your way, then I would rethink that, plan a simpler menu? I won't be a slave to the fad diets.

 

ps men never seem to be gluten free...

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Can you not stock a gluten free muffin mix, a sugar free muffin mix for when you need them?

I know we aren't required to be handicapped accessible, but I wonder if charging extra for an alergy might be an issue under ADA.  ???   No idea.  Just chatting.

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Gluten allergies aren't a major hassle - I've found I can do a lot for them without added expense, just extra work.  Allergies aren't what is prompting my thinking of this - it's actually vegans. I know of things they CAN eat, but it usually involves buying extra for them.

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BananaE29 wrote:

Gluten allergies aren't a major hassle - I've found I can do a lot for them without added expense, just extra work.  Allergies aren't what is prompting my thinking of this - it's actually vegans. I know of things they CAN eat, but it usually involves buying extra for them.

Actually a Vegan is not difficult and the supplies are not a big deal to have on hand. Oatmeal, brown sugar, unsweetened applesauce, and keep a bag of frozen berries in the freezer.

Baked oatmeal = substitute water for the milk, substitute 2 tablespoons of water for each egg in the recipe. I always substitute unsweetened applesauce for the butter, oil, shortening in a recipe (cookies is the only thing will not work).

This morning I had one couple that eats anything and a walk-in (no shopping possible) with she = no bread and he is allergic to all grains and anything dairy. Eat anything gets my egg bake and English muffin bread. Can't eat couple get carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower boiled until softened with a couple sprigs of rosemary, then drained and cooled. Eggs beaten with garlic and regular chives from my herb garden, poured over the eggs and baked. Everyone had bacon and the fruit compote (fresh papaya, kiwi berries, white grapes, and red raspberries - had on hand as I had 3 couples booked in for the weekend but I always have fruit), and juices OJ and blueberry-pomegranate blend and Indian Mysore Nuggets coffee. 24 cup pot was DRAINED!!!

Except for "fad" diets, it really is not all that difficult to do most of the special diets. Keep Splenda and stevia on hand for the diabetics. Non-dairy creamer for the lactose and vegans. Another vegan breakfast isthe crock pot cereal on the recipes here. I keep a package of 5-grains and/or 7-frans on hand - mainly because I bought it when I found it.

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So..oatmeal and fruit.  I really like to cook/serve things that people don't normally eat at home, but I can fancy up some oatmeal. What do I do the other days they are here?  Vegetables need some type of....egg to go with them, in my opinion.  I can do a french toast, but with special bread (more $), almond milk (more $), and maybe egg substitute (but I think these actually have some of the egg in them).  Special cereal (more $) and almond milk (more $).  These aren't things I keep on hand.  This is the South - people eat fatty things that aren't good for them.   I don't keep "healthy" things on hand, because that's not my "normal" guest. 

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Why do you need special bread? Most basic breads are vegan by nature, just avoid any yellow breads (potato, challah, hamburger buns) and honey breads (although a lot of those don't have any actual honey in them).

Remember, too, that vegans are not expecting steak and eggs since, you know, they don't eat those things. Potatoes, vegan baked goods (there are lots of recipes that taste as good or better than the originals), roasted veggies, stuffed tomatoes or peppers and vegan meat products like morningstar that you can keep in the freezer. Energ is a good powdered egg replacer you can use for baking and it will keep in the cupboard.

That said, I am a vegetarian and I would absolutely pay an extra fee if it meant I was getting a meal made just for me.

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BananaE29 wrote:

So..oatmeal and fruit.  I really like to cook/serve things that people don't normally eat at home, but I can fancy up some oatmeal. What do I do the other days they are here?  Vegetables need some type of....egg to go with them, in my opinion.  I can do a french toast, but with special bread (more $), almond milk (more $), and maybe egg substitute (but I think these actually have some of the egg in them).  Special cereal (more $) and almond milk (more $).  These aren't things I keep on hand.  This is the South - people eat fatty things that aren't good for them.   I don't keep "healthy" things on hand, because that's not my "normal" guest. 

We are not talking your Granny's oatmeal. The berries go in the bottom of the loaf pan and the oatmeal mixture goes on top (see recipes in here). I usually put dates or chopped fruit IN the oatmeal mix - Sunday I chopped some peaches I had to use for IN the oatmeal -  it is then flipped onto the platter like upside down cake so berries on top. For normal people i serve vanilla yogurt on the side to slather on the oatmeal. It gets whacked off the loaf with a knife or spatula to serve. I fix this for regular people and they rave about it.

West Virginia is not exactly up-north in culinary circles. We usually rate #1 or #2 on the unhealthy eating list. I always fix things people would not have at home for breakfast. I rarely serve pancakes. The English muffin bread recipe (see recipes) does not use milk or fat.so it will work for bread pudding (serve with maple syrup instead of yogurt) using the 2 tablespoons of water = 1 egg. I have fixed breakfast for 2 guests at different times (not together not a couple) who did not eat anything cooked. RAW FOOD only. I rarely buy special stuff. I do (or did when i could find it) buy soy yogurt IF I had a chance to get to the store. Last time I tried, could not find it - not even in the university town! I have 3 rooms in Podunk, not a tourist area so I am not likely to spend extra $ on much of anything if I can help it. I look at the reservations and look at what is on sale in fruit. I get lets get rid of berries when they produce store has them and we go through them berry by berry and freeze only the best - DH gets the OK, and the compost gets the losers. I knew I was going to have guests last week and this week had a couple nights on the books so each week bought a papaya so was all set for the extra bookings I got at the last minute each weekend. I keep a can of sliced peaches on havd for the out-of-the blue no notice and the store is closed walk-ins.

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BananaE29 wrote:

Gluten allergies aren't a major hassle - I've found I can do a lot for them without added expense, just extra work.  Allergies aren't what is prompting my thinking of this - it's actually vegans. I know of things they CAN eat, but it usually involves buying extra for them.

so then you can say --all vegan breakfast is $5 addl?  If I were vegan I would appreciate it. So like everything, don't make it a penalty make it an option! 

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There's a good idea.  Now to figure out where to put that on the website.  Don't really want to put it on the breakfast page, but don't really want to add to my "policies" either, because then it will have to go on the reservation confirmation policies also.  Hmmmm....

 

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BananaE29 wrote:

There's a good idea.  Now to figure out where to put that on the website.  Don't really want to put it on the breakfast page, but don't really want to add to my "policies" either, because then it will have to go on the reservation confirmation policies also.  Hmmmm....

 

Do you have online reservations where they can SELECT this as a special add on?  Seriously if I had an extreme diet and you were willing to do this for me, I would be pleased as punch! It would not offend me at all.

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That's an even better idea.  Yes, I have Rez Key, so could add that in.  It wouldn't offend me either, but that might be because I don't require any special attention. Maybe people that do need extra done for them, would?  What do others think of this idea? 

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Ya know..I don't know why someone hasn't come up with that idea before now.  It sounds like a great one. Have it on your reservation form...special dietary needs: $5.00 per day extra. Maybe that would stop some of these "I don't eat that!" comments.  I know breakfast is supposed to be considered complimentary..but I think you go to so much trouble doing all this stuff you should be paid for the extra supplies and your time involved.

Come on everyone..let's start a movement here. Add it on and see how many takers you get. Otherwise, they eat what you serve.

Oh and it has to be allergy/health issue...not just I don't eat it.

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The only problem with it as an add on (am now seriously thinking this through) is that I'm going to play 20 questions with people about what I normally serve.  And well...that depends on what's on sale, and what's in the fridge, and what restrictions other people have.

Also, once they check that box, will they add in what the restriction is?  I'd like to know prior to their arrival, but I know from other package selections that people won't fill in the note section the additional information I need.  For instance, I offer a wine & cheese package and ask that they specify red or white. They never do.  I offer breakfast delivered to the room on the weekends for an additional fee.  It specifies to indicate which morning you want it delivered - they never do.  I'm trying to get away from having to call people after I receive their reservation, and this may be another obstacle to doing that. 
 

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Can't you make the question  REQUIRED in RES KEY? I think so. That way they can't make a reservation until they answer.

They don't need to know what you make for breakfast. If they have say celiac disease and want gluten free breakfast, that is what they say. The rest is up to you. You are not a restaurant and do not take orders.

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Not on the "Items For Sale" page.  I see no required fields.  You can indicate in the description field that the guest specify their needs in the notes section. 

I may just try this.  Let me think on it.  I think having it as an option is a great idea.  Then it is totally up to them, and the burden of cost doesn't fall to me.  I do a lot for my guests - just as all of you do.  But when one guest costs me more in product and my time (and energy!), then I honestly feel I should be compensated.  Asking for special food is like asking for special hygiene amenities.  Bring your own if you don't like/can't have what's offered.

 

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Set up in the Description for Special Needs and just say if this option is chose, a $5 per day fee will apply.  Then figure a way to include...I would have to look at ResKey to see if possible. You could ask John. He may have an idea on how to do it. Maybe even incorporate it some way for added value to the program.

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If your location is one where it is hard to get to the store or to make different food then I would do a trial run of the upcharge. But, if I were the guest paying more I would expect a really super breakfast.

Some people don't care. I think we worry ourselves to no end over charging realistically for what things actually cost. Guests who want what they want will pay for it.

(Saying this as a friend sent me a link to an inn that charges $715/night for a bunk bed.)

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Madeleine wrote:

(Saying this as a friend sent me a link to an inn that charges $715/night for a bunk bed.)

But I'm sure it's a really nice bunk bed Eye-wink

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

(Saying this as a friend sent me a link to an inn that charges $715/night for a bunk bed.)

But I'm sure it's a really nice bunk bed Eye-wink

Oh it is. It looks just like a ship's bunk. But it's a stinkin' BUNK bed, for TWO people! Eye-wink

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