Open seating...please hold my hand

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We have gone to open seating (from 8am to 9am) for breakfast. I have not done this for the last 10+ years, please hold my hand! 

I am already thinking, what the! I have to clean so many more pots and pans in between...I have to be cognizant of people coming and going...more tuned in. Obv less chatty as I am cooking all the time, vs prepping, cooking, serving all at once. I know this is what the guests want, I do, I would want this, but it has been a logistics issue here. So...can I pull it off? I don't know. I may end up being much easier for me in the long run.

This is a new change for 2014, we will see how it goes.

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A little late on this one...

We go from 8-9:30 (but there are 2 of us, so it makes a big difference). The 'curse of Maddie' is that we will do an early breakfast for one room at 7:30 and no one else (the other 6 rooms) will show until 9:15 and then they all come at once. OR, they trickle in every 5 minutes but stand around drinking coffee until 9:15 and then they all sit down.

I try to 'herd the cats' when the crowd is getting close to being beyond the seating capacity by saying, 'It's going to be really busy in here in a few minutes, please have a seat...' and they all tell me they're not in any rush.

Sigh. I have been known to say, 'Yes, but we are.' BIG smile. And we are still cleaning the kitchen at 10:30 and rooms are getting pushed out to 11 or later. And DH gets REALLY stressed.

Tricks for the table...have Trivia cards or other 'ice breakers' out when guests are seating themselves and you are having to run back and forth while they sit. Word games are fun. Things to do lists. Whatever will get people talking to each other if there's a lull.

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just got another five star review on TA.   Hubby must be doing something right!

 

Beautiful relaxing cozy getaway!”

Reviewed yesterday NEW

They are telling the truth when they say every room has a view! We walked through the unoccupied rooms and loved each one. My husband and I spent a private weekend here and were able to completely relax. Before we arrived, we were a little nervous about whether we’d have enough privacy (we’re new to B&Bs), but the hosts were very respectful of our space. Each morning we’d come down to a yummy breakfast prepared for us (with so many fresh strawberries!). Our host would pop out for a second to see if we needed anything, then disappear to give us the alone time we were looking for.
The hosts also gave great advice on walking paths, restaurants, places with a view, etc. The location is great - you can follow a short coastline path directly to the town square.
It snowed during our stay and we looked out the window the next morning to see our host digging out our car! The snow also caused another couple to cancel their reservation and the hosts offered us the now-available room as a free upgrade, despite that we’d already slept in our room. Great service, above and beyond welcoming, relaxing private getaway, highly recommended.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

We have gone to open seating (from 8am to 9am) for breakfast. I have not done this for the last 10+ years, please hold my hand! 

I am already thinking, what the! I have to clean so many more pots and pans in between...I have to be cognizant of people coming and going...more tuned in. Obv less chatty as I am cooking all the time, vs prepping, cooking, serving all at once. I know this is what the guests want, I do, I would want this, but it has been a logistics issue here. So...can I pull it off? I don't know. I may end up being much easier for me in the long run.

This is a new change for 2014, we will see how it goes.

I'm surprised at the timing.  Only 8 - 9?  Half our guests don't even wake up until after 9.  Do you wait for them if they don't make it?

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I'm surprised at the timing.  Only 8 - 9?  Half our guests don't even wake up until after 9.  Do you wait for them if they don't make it?

No.

not at all. never.

I have to clean up from those WHO DO MAKE IT and check out guests and more. All of that leaves little time to interact and enjoy the guests. So the answer is no. never. not at all. That is lunch time.  smiley

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I'm surprised at the timing.  Only 8 - 9?  Half our guests don't even wake up until after 9.  Do you wait for them if they don't make it?

No.

not at all. never.

I have to clean up from those WHO DO MAKE IT and check out guests and more. All of that leaves little time to interact and enjoy the guests. So the answer is no. never. not at all. That is lunch time.  smiley

 

hahahhahaaaa    you sure you don't want to think about your answer first?  Smiling

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

We have gone to open seating (from 8am to 9am) for breakfast. I have not done this for the last 10+ years, please hold my hand! 

I am already thinking, what the! I have to clean so many more pots and pans in between...I have to be cognizant of people coming and going...more tuned in. Obv less chatty as I am cooking all the time, vs prepping, cooking, serving all at once. I know this is what the guests want, I do, I would want this, but it has been a logistics issue here. So...can I pull it off? I don't know. I may end up being much easier for me in the long run.

This is a new change for 2014, we will see how it goes.

I'm surprised at the timing.  Only 8 - 9?  Half our guests don't even wake up until after 9.  Do you wait for them if they don't make it?

Really? Our guests are wanting 7-8 more than 8-9! But then life is not a beach where we are. Although at the beach I am up earlier than normal to catch the sunrise. Here is one from a week and a half ago.

I can't wait for more of your photos Beachie. Maybe you can have run a guest photo contest over the summer. I would! 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Really? Our guests are wanting 7-8 more than 8-9! But then life is not a beach where we are. Although at the beach I am up earlier than normal to catch the sunrise. Here is one from a week and a half ago.

I can't wait for more of your photos Beachie. Maybe you can have run a guest photo contest over the summer. I would! 

 

Beautiful!   Check out our web site for picutres.  Or facebook.   I am tech-challenged and can't quite post anything here.   Yeah, our guests come here to sleep in. 

We also have the luxury of the continental breakfast.  We put it out and forget it.  Which makes it possible to do check outs and breakfast at the same time.

I stroll through the dining room every once in awhile to check the water in the coffee machine and make sure there is milk for the cereal and coffee.  And clean the dishes.  But it's mostly help-yourself buffet. 

Guests even clean up after themselves. We have a pair of plastic baskets with a small sign saying, "Dirty Dishes" and they use them.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

 

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Really? Our guests are wanting 7-8 more than 8-9! But then life is not a beach where we are. Although at the beach I am up earlier than normal to catch the sunrise. Here is one from a week and a half ago.

I can't wait for more of your photos Beachie. Maybe you can have run a guest photo contest over the summer. I would! 

 

Beautiful!   Check out our web site for picutres.  Or facebook.   I am tech-challenged and can't quite post anything here.   Yeah, our guests come here to sleep in. 

We also have the luxury of the continental breakfast.  We put it out and forget it.  Which makes it possible to do check outs and breakfast at the same time.

I stroll through the dining room every once in awhile to check the water in the coffee machine and make sure there is milk for the cereal and coffee.  And clean the dishes.  But it's mostly help-yourself buffet. 

Guests even clean up after themselves. We have a pair of plastic baskets with a small sign saying, "Dirty Dishes" and they use them.

That is so funny! Great guests!

We had a guest on the weekend when I said to them in the parlor "Y'all can come on through" and he walked into the kitchen. Then laughed, and said "You made it sound so nice like we were eating with you..."

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We do this, but we ask what time they would like their breakfast served.  We can have up to 10 people and each room/group pick their time.  It works well for us unless they are on manana time, but that is just where we live.  I like it, and it is the only way it would work in this culture.  

Smiling  

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Cathy wrote:

We do this, but we ask what time they would like their breakfast served.  We can have up to 10 people and each room/group pick their time.  It works well for us unless they are on manana time, but that is just where we live.  I like it, and it is the only way it would work in this culture.  

Smiling  

Then that is not an open seating.

Open seating meaning show up any time, it's open. I will keep on and see how it goes for the next month. Can't hurt, right? Smiling We have missed you Cathy, hope you are doing well! 

Congrats on the TA Award! You have both worked hard for that, well done. yesyes

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Aahhh that is true.  Sorry didn't "understand" open seating.  ooops.

Thank you, we are doing well, and the good news is that we are working.  I am going to try and return more often, I have thought about you all often.  Smiling  

(Do I know you outside of here?  Thanks for knowing about our award.)

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Are you having them sign up for a time when they select their breakfast?  If so, hopefully it will go pretty well for you.  I found that it really wasn't a problem except for the early birds.  wink

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Samster wrote:

Are you having them sign up for a time when they select their breakfast?  If so, hopefully it will go pretty well for you.  I found that it really wasn't a problem except for the early birds.  wink

Nope. That is what we me were getting away from, having it scheduled, and making guests feel like they had a set time. Trying to get away from...

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Aha...you're attempting the true open seating depending on their whim in the morning!!  Good luck!

I felt like all I could manage on my own was offering for them to select any time between a pretty wide range.  wink

Weekends were looser still.

I think for the most part guests were happy with that here as a large majority of my guests had to be somewhere in the morning during the week.

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We have a max of 6 people, and a table for 6 so we serve a hot entree at a set time.  Guests can seat them selves and help themselves to everything else from 8:00-9:30 but the hot entree comes out in a timely fashion for those who seat themselves at 8:30.  It is served once, fresh and hot from the oven.  The dining room is closed at 9:30 for clean up.  We get a few grumbles every season but stick to the method that works best for most folks and us.  

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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We have open seating.  It never occurred to me to seat people.  

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I can have up to 15 people and only 8 regular seats. I need seating.

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 I had open seating from 8 to 10. I worked alone, eight rooms.  If we were full to capacity with extra beds in place that's 21 people. Usually it was 14.  You CAN totally do this.

 The trick for me was to learn (finally) that people were content to sit and read the paper and look out the windows at the harbor and drink coffee and wait.

 I always felt like they were waiting forever and I was trying to hurry ... until they started saying - so quick!  They could see I was alone and I would tell them I was working alone - it usually went along just fine. 

MOST of the meal was ready to serve and all cooked when they started coming into the kitchen - quiche, sausage, bacon (cooked slow in the oven and kept warm)  I had two waffle makers for waffle day, the whipped cream was whipped and in the fridge, the fruit was ready, etc. I had a really big electric griddle for the pancakes.  If it was eggs - fried or scrambled, I could do those up without much effort. But I did the more individualized breakfasts on days when I had fewer guests. Except waffles were so popular and sought after! 

I had two toasters set out for egg day - they were to make their own toast which they quite enjoyed.

They helped themselves to coffee and tea.

There was the occasional snafu or drama caused by a complainer or a diva, but mostly it was okay. 

I will say this ... Cleanup was a b*@^#h and I'm not kidding.  But you all know that!

(hugz)

 

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The curse of Maddie...

So people come eat, and sit and when the next couple comes in, they sit and chat, and so on and so on...

Here I thought they would eat and get up and leave. Smiling As long as they are having a good time, that is all that counts, and they are. 

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we had this especially badly this morning despite while stood next to them - I said to incoming guests "I am sorry but all the tables are full could you wait in the lounge and I will come and get you as soon as a table comes free" they still sat, really I should have said to them please can you move up to the lounge as others are sat waiting

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I'm not so sure it's the right thing unless you have a little help from your 'assistants'. Try it for awhile and if you're just completely exhausted after breakfast, then wait to implement it until you get a little more help.

You're right, guests like the flexibility. But don't wear yourself out!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I'm not so sure it's the right thing unless you have a little help from your 'assistants'. Try it for awhile and if you're just completely exhausted after breakfast, then wait to implement it until you get a little more help.

You're right, guests like the flexibility. But don't wear yourself out!

Thanks, I will see how it goes...I cannot guarantee any assistants. This is why I am actually trying it, thinking it may be less stressful if they come two by two vs a whole tableful. We shall see!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I'm not so sure it's the right thing unless you have a little help from your 'assistants'. Try it for awhile and if you're just completely exhausted after breakfast, then wait to implement it until you get a little more help.

You're right, guests like the flexibility. But don't wear yourself out!

Thanks, I will see how it goes...I cannot guarantee any assistants. This is why I am actually trying it, thinking it may be less stressful if they come two by two vs a whole tableful. We shall see!

HA! You know the rule of innkeeping! All at once, or nothing!  LOL

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but but...I aint got no rhythm. cool

gillumhouse's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

but but...I aint got no rhythm. cool

Like hell................ In the words of another most favorite person, "Are you kiddin' me?"

Ice
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[/quote]

Like hell................ In the words of another most favorite person, "Are you kiddin' me?"

[/quote]

 

yes

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Joey, YOU can do anything! Within a week or less it will be a rhythm and will just happen. I have no doubt that you will pull it off totally successfully. 

Consider yourself "hand-held".

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