There's No Sense To It

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Highlands John's picture
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We serve breakfast between 8.30 and 9.30, that suits us and most people. 

It says in the room information that if you want an earlier breakfast just ask the night before. There! All bases covered and everyone's happy........................errr No!

A couple who left this morning and were here for 1 night only put on the feedback form that they would prefer breakfast from 8.00-9.30!!!

1. If they wanted an earlier breakfast why not just ask?

2. They didn't come down till 9am, so why on earth do they want us up half an hour earlier and then standing around waiting for an hour.

3. They ran a B&B for years, so you thought they'd have a bit more common sense.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Yup, I think it's because they were former innkeepers and their way was the best way! Don't worry about it.

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We do breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 as well.  However, we have lots of people who are heading for a train ride or in the winter hitting the slopes and need to leave early.  So this is what I say at checkin:

"We serve breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 and you can come at any time.  If you want to sleep in and come right at 9:30 that's fine.  Also, do have any early plans and need to leave before that?"  This spells it all out and if they are leaving early for the train or skiing or an early flight I know it right then.  If they say yes, then I tell them that I will leave a bag on the buffet with their names on it containing some scones and to go cups for the Keurig.

I always have frozen scones that I thaw out the night before.  This is great for me too because we serve a two course breakfast and if I find out they are going early, I don't waste food on them.

 

Highlands John's picture
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I tell people at check-in that "breakfast is served between 8.30 and 9.30, come down any time between the two" so you would have thought that's clear enough. Surely if if I'm telling someone they can come down at 9.25 they don't think I'm expecting them to eat up and be out by 9.30!!!

Kay Nein's picture
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How about wording it, "The Kitchen is open from 8:30-9:30".  That lets them know that they can get food from the kitchen by 9:30, not necessarily that they have to vacate their seats by 9:30.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Kay Nein wrote:

How about wording it, "The Kitchen is open from 8:30-9:30".  That lets them know that they can get food from the kitchen by 9:30, not necessarily that they have to vacate their seats by 9:30.

 

Or, we serve breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 and close the dining room at 10:30.

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happykeeper's picture
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Here is standard line, "We serve breakfast between 7 and 9. You can choose anytime between then. Just let us know before you retire, what time would work best for you and we'll look for you around then. If you want coffee sooner, feel free to come down earlier and poke your head through the kitchen curtain. One of us can bring coffee service right out."

What we have found from this, is that our guests respond with questions. Perhaps the most common is, "What is the earliest/latest we can come down" While it seems obvious to me, it seems many guests are reluctant to choose either 7 or 9, as if it were bad form.

The other thing is that if they are a bit challenging with selecting a time, (usually their first night), I will pin it to their activities to prompt them to choose in one direction or another. Once they select, I often say, Okay, sounds great! We'll see you around 8ish. That lets them know that they won't get beaten for showing a few minutes either way. cheeky

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Madeleine's picture
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Oh the ditherers! They drive me spare! And it's always a couple where one likes to sleep in and the other is up at 5.

We only ask if they are the only guests. Otherwise just come when you want between 8 - 9:30.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Oh the ditherers! They drive me spare! And it's always a couple where one likes to sleep in and the other is up at 5.

We only ask if they are the only guests. Otherwise just come when you want between 8 - 9:30.

I had one recently that looked at each other and she finally said 8? Is that too early for you? Then HE chimes in with I am always up at 4:30 looking for coffee. So I am up at 4 and make coffee - they come down about 7:45 and no sign of HIM! HE is still sleeping.

Even though I tell them they can choose between 4 and 10, whatever time they ask for, they end with, "Is that too early?"

Breakfast Diva's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Oh the ditherers! They drive me spare! And it's always a couple where one likes to sleep in and the other is up at 5.

We only ask if they are the only guests. Otherwise just come when you want between 8 - 9:30.

I had one recently that looked at each other and she finally said 8? Is that too early for you? Then HE chimes in with I am always up at 4:30 looking for coffee. So I am up at 4 and make coffee - they come down about 7:45 and no sign of HIM! HE is still sleeping.

Even though I tell them they can choose between 4 and 10, whatever time they ask for, they end with, "Is that too early?"

But K, I thought you bought a keurig machine!

gillumhouse's picture
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I did, but there had been a coffee request and I picked up a vibe that made me want to give the poke in the eye that yes, a B & B will have your coffee ready at 4:30. The beauty of that one was the reaction of his family - THEY gave him jabs all morning about how he is up so early every day. It was worth it.

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Unfortunately, there are some dumb people out there that probably think just that.  Nothing you can say to them will make it clearer - are you shocked any longer by the people walking around who can't reason?

 I do believe in your case that it was past innkeepers who thought what they did was the be-all end-all and that everyone who doesn't do the same is wrong.  It's not that they had a problem eating because they came within that time period, you just didn't offer them the choice that matched what they wanted.

Like I've said in TA replies, we do a great job and make 99% of our guests happy so that's what we'll continue to do.  The other 1% no one is ever going to please them.

gillumhouse's picture
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Do you word it  that breakfast is SERVED between 8:30 and 9:30?  One of the reasons I have my guest tell me what time they want breakfast is that YOU chose the time, not me. So if you are not down and breakfast is ruined, do not blame me.

Anon Inn's picture
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So far, this works for us.  I take them up to their rooms, show them where the guest fridge is, tea and hot chocolate things, then say "I bring up a thermos of fresh coffee an hour before your breakfast, which leads me to the question  - what time would you like breakfast?"

They may decide for 30 seconds or so, but when they come up with a time that works for both (usually both) of them, they are there within a minute or two either way.  Have only had a couple of 1/2 or so late, but the final grilling waits until they are served their fruit course, so no ruined breakfasts. (fingers crossed, so far)

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10/07/2008

Holy smokes.

No matter how you word it people interpret how they want. Nothing worse than having someone tell you how you should do it, ticks you right off doesn't it!

I had a lady down with a coffee cup watching to see what I served before she got her husband. No I am not kidding. I said "Why don't you come on down and join us!" being the uber hospitable hostess that I am. She said "He's MY picky eater" here celebrating 25 years of marriage. Now she's his momma, apparently.

They did end up coming down. He ate everything, like a good boy. cool

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Generic's picture
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There is at least one restaurant in town that throws picky eaters out of the place. They can fill the seat every night of the week that they are open. They don't need the picky eater.

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Highlands John's picture
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Now that's a whole different thread, wives that tell husbands what they do and don't want or like. smiley

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Highlands John wrote:

Now that's a whole different thread, wives that tell husbands what they do and don't want or like. smiley

My MIL's favorite saying is "WE don't like..."

Silverspoon's picture
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Well it sounds like THEY did not want breakfast at 8:00 a.m. but that is probably how they ran their business and they think everyone should do what they did!!   I'm with you HJ.  8:30-9:30 works for most with small adjustments along the way for those who need something earlier.  IMHO anything later than 9:30 becomes bed and brunch! 

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Highlands John's picture
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Silverspoon wrote:

Well it sounds like THEY did not want breakfast at 8:00 a.m. but that is probably how they ran their business and they think everyone should do what they did!!   I'm with you HJ.  8:30-9:30 works for most with small adjustments along the way for those who need something earlier.  IMHO anything later than 9:30 becomes bed and brunch! 

I've had this comment before from people that come down late and it seems so stupid that the only explanation I can come up with is people think that 8.30-9.30 means they have to be in and out of the breakfast room within the hour. That's not what it means to us, we're frequently in the breakfast room chatting to people well past 10, it just means you need to be down within the hour. 

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