Extra guest

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Madeleine's picture
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How do you handle someone who brings an extra guest to breakfast who they also let stay over in the room?

We prep enough for the exact number of guests. If someone appeared in the morning they would go without the starter.

We could squeeze out enough main course but is that how you would do it? Or just say we didn't know about you?

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My extra guest came at midnight and left at 5am.  First night he drove a sports car, second night a motor cycle.  I believe my guest didn't think I was aware of what was going on.  Not sure if it was a hook up or a hooker. blush

So I finally have someone on my DNB list.

 

Tom
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Happens here -- college town and children sometimes stay with parents although not originally planned, but I usually know the night before since they need an extra bed. 

None of my breakfast is so tight I can't easily accommodate another mouth.  Individual table service anyway so .. pull up an extra chair.

BUT, we will usually charge the $25 extra person fee unless it is a repeat or multi-night customer -- that is just straightforward business.

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So what did you do?

I said.,..feed them. Of course you want to be gracious but an explanation is also needed. If you don't have enough of the planned meal, then he/she has to eat whatever else you have there..Cereal etc.  

I too like Kathleens response about only being able to serve registered guests....health dept, insurance regs etc etc. should be told the the person who put you in this situation. Obviously they don't have a clue if they let the person just go down to breakfast.

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Maddie, if that happened to me and the 4th person arrived at the same time the others were being seated, AND if I had enough food already prepared, I would feed them. Otherwise I would explain that I only prepared enough food for the actual number of guests and offer them coffee and granola. And yes, I would charge the person who invited them.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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So how did it end?  did you say something?

 

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Silverspoon's picture
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We have only enough seats at the table for our guests...2/accommodation.  So an extra person has no where to sit. We would have to drag another chair into the dining room and squeeze them in, making it quite obvious that we have no room for an unexpected guest. With that said, rather than make a confrontation, I would offer beverage and cold cereal.  Once the breakfast is over I would have a little talk with the person who made the reservation to underscore the fact that we only serve and prepare for registered guests.

If, like sea shanty, they are traveling alone and the guest is the second person in the room, we would be happy to prepare a breakfast for them on the second day, after they have registered.  But if the extra guest were a third person, I would make it clear that we are not set up for extra people.

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seashanty's picture
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 i fed them. basically take 1/3 off each plate and make it for the fourth person. 

as for charging - was it one room or two? most places say maximum occ for my room is two ... and though i'm alone, right or wrong as a guest i assume i can bring someone along at no extra charge. 

i would say they are probably not thinking this causes a problem in the kitchen

Flower's picture
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You would assume you could bring some one else around to stay in your room! WOW!  If you charge the same price for a room with two people or one person . This does not make a difference as the second person in this case was not a registered guest at the time of booking.  It is also a safety issue when you bring in an unregistered  person. Would I feed them ? No! plain and simply.

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seashanty's picture
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  see - this confuses me. i stayed at a red ro of inn in june for two nights - had a friend with me who also stayed. we both stood at the counter checking in, both had our own luggage, but only i was asked for my name and id. no question at all about who the second person was staying with me.  

 staying at a b&b, i never brought in an 'extra' person unplanned for.

 when i had the b&b, i always wanted to know who was staying since it was also my home ... but never found out the rules or actual  laws about it. would think it's needed in case there was a fire or whatever. but often was not told who else was staying and had to ask.

  are hotels lax in this area?

 if this is the norm with hotels, do you think it's because these guests were 'hotel' people and used to being much more anonymous ... or something?

Flower wrote:

You would assume you could bring some one else around to stay in your room! WOW!  If you charge the same price for a room with two people or one person . This does not make a difference as the second person in this case was not a registered guest at the time of booking.  It is also a safety issue when you bring in an unregistered  person. Would I feed them ? No! plain and simply.

Flower's picture
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In a Hotel they do charge per person. Yes do people sneak other in, You bet they do! But if you are caught you are charged. In this case you mention above you were both present at check in and the hotel/ Inn was dealing with the person who was paying for the room. In the B&B they were not there at check in...... But only showed up at breakfast.

Why take from people that paid for breakfast and give some of their proportion of breakfast, to a person that did not pay to stay?

Maddie question was would you charge them ? Yes I would for sure. You pay you stay and enjoy our labour of love, our beautiful breakfast.

We are not S.. .Army and give food away to the needed.

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Flower wrote:

 

Maddie question was would you charge them ? Yes I would for sure. You pay you stay and enjoy our labour of love, our beautiful breakfast.

We are not S.. .Army and give food away to the needed.

My question was NOT about charging them but that's the basic question everyone is answering!

My question was: do you feed them? Or say there isn't enough to go around?

I'm always trying to figure if it's best to be gracious or in the guest's face!

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I think that's a good question.  I have the tendency to get too offended sometimes - extra guest! snuck in! And acting in the offended/in your face mode doesn't work well.  (We just had a case like this a couple weeks ago. ...and yeah, I got very "rules mode" and was perhaps a wee bit too inflexible (read in guest shouting at me how we're doing something illegal by not allowing the unregistered visitor in, and boy, I was not backing down after he started shouting at me that he was a lawyer and so on and so on...sigh), and yeah, I'm ashamed of not acting with more grace, and handling the situation better in the first place.  So, well, don't act like me.  It doesn't end up with happy guests.

In my do-over world, I would pull aside the person who made the reservation-let them know we prep breakfast the night before, and since their reservation was for x many people I have breakfast cooked for x many.  And I would offer a suggestion of how I think we should handle it, extra round of oatmeal? toast?  extra scrambled eggs for person in the group? - that would be easy for me.  OR I would just do it, letting the person who made the reservation know as I served the food that we noticed the extra guest and hey, wasn't the cook great being able to accommodate the last minute guest (so as to prep them for the extra person charge).  

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Madeleine wrote:

Flower wrote:

 

Maddie question was would you charge them ? Yes I would for sure. You pay you stay and enjoy our labour of love, our beautiful breakfast.

We are not S.. .Army and give food away to the needed.

My question was NOT about charging them but that's the basic question everyone is answering!

My question was: do you feed them? Or say there isn't enough to go around?

I'm always trying to figure if it's best to be gracious or in the guest's face!

That's because if I'm not charging them, I'm not feeding them! It's always best to be gracious, but gracious comes in many styles. Charging them does not mean you're not gracious.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Flower wrote:

 

Maddie question was would you charge them ? Yes I would for sure. You pay you stay and enjoy our labour of love, our beautiful breakfast.

We are not S.. .Army and give food away to the needed.

My question was NOT about charging them but that's the basic question everyone is answering!

My question was: do you feed them? Or say there isn't enough to go around?

I'm always trying to figure if it's best to be gracious or in the guest's face!

That's because if I'm not charging them, I'm not feeding them! It's always best to be gracious, but gracious comes in many styles. Charging them does not mean you're not gracious.

If I understand correctly, the extra guest was invited by a single person in a double room.  So technically, they had already paid the rate for two breakfasts.   The issue is that Maddie didn't have the stock to make two breakfasts because the guy checked in as a single.  So the question of charging is moot.

The big question is, who the heck are you and what are you doing in my house????

Along with - I don't have any food for you, what should I do?

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Hmmm, that's not how I read it. I'm thinking that the 3 were in one of the rooms with 2 beds.

Madeleine's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Hmmm, that's not how I read it. I'm thinking that the 3 were in one of the rooms with 2 beds.

Reservation made for 3 guests, 3 guests checked in. 4th guest showed up later. No one mentioned the 4th guest on check in.

4th guest sat down with them in the morning and they explained this person decided at the last minute to drive up.

No apology. No offer to pay for the person.  

 

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I would feed the guest, but I would also be honest about how you could not accommodate them with the full complement of the meal because you were not informed that they would be there. 

Then, I would speak to them later aside from other guests about how you would have to do the extra person charge.  You know that you can always also say nicely that knowing in advance (or as soon as possible) that there was a 4th guest would have been appreciated since you're a small lodging property, not a hotel. 

Geez, people never cease to amaze me....

 

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Generic's picture
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Graciousness....

Yes, I would feed them. If I truly didn't have enough to go around I would simply say something like.... "Welcome, unfortunately we prepared breakfast ahead of time to serve exactly the number of guests that we had registered. I'm sure you understand that. Please partake of the continental breakfast and I will see if we can manage an extra plate."

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In that instance, I would say "Oh, since I wasn't aware that you'd be joining your friends last night, I didn't prepare the regular breakfast for you.  However, I can gladly get you something, let me see what I have."  This doesn't promise them anything specific like what everyone else is having, it shows that you were unaware and it could only be taken as a nice gesture by your other guests.  You could give them fruit and toast or yogurt and toast or a scrambled egg, whatever worked for you.  Then I would just add the extra person charge to their room for whatever nights he was staying.  No discussion needed about the extra person charge, it's a policy and they can question on the way out if they want to.

We once had a guest ask right int he middle of serving if she could sit out on the deck.  We do service in the dining room because it's too difficult for my husband with hands full to open the doors and close the doors and not let flies in so we don't serve out there.  Therefore, the tables weren't clean or setup.  He politely asked if they could sit inside as the tables were clean or setup.  Another guest who gave us a 4 for their review said that they would have given us a 5 had my husband not said NO to a guest in front of them - that innkeepers should do whatever they need to do say YES to a guest.  WHAT?  Yes, they marked us down because we said no to another guest.  So keep this in mind that what you say to one guest is being heard by all the rest.

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MtnKeeper wrote:

In that instance, I would say "Oh, since I wasn't aware that you'd be joining your friends last night, I didn't prepare the regular breakfast for you.  However, I can gladly get you something, let me see what I have."  This doesn't promise them anything specific like what everyone else is having, it shows that you were unaware and it could only be taken as a nice gesture by your other guests.  You could give them fruit and toast or yogurt and toast or a scrambled egg, whatever worked for you.  Then I would just add the extra person charge to their room for whatever nights he was staying.  No discussion needed about the extra person charge, it's a policy and they can question on the way out if they want to.

We once had a guest ask right int he middle of serving if she could sit out on the deck.  We do service in the dining room because it's too difficult for my husband with hands full to open the doors and close the doors and not let flies in so we don't serve out there.  Therefore, the tables weren't clean or setup.  He politely asked if they could sit inside as the tables were clean or setup.  Another guest who gave us a 4 for their review said that they would have given us a 5 had my husband not said NO to a guest in front of them - that innkeepers should do whatever they need to do say YES to a guest.  WHAT?  Yes, they marked us down because we said no to another guest.  So keep this in mind that what you say to one guest is being heard by all the rest.

did you respond?

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MtnKeeper wrote:

 

Another guest who gave us a 4 for their review said that they would have given us a 5 had my husband not said NO to a guest in front of them - that innkeepers should do whatever they need to do say YES to a guest.  WHAT?  Yes, they marked us down because we said no to another guest.  So keep this in mind that what you say to one guest is being heard by all the rest.

You have no idea how much arrogance like that sets my teeth on edge!

The reviewer's stay was impacted by hearing the word 'no' said to someone else? Poor them. Must be a magical little world they live in. 

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Yes I replied and explained in detail why we don't serve outside and that I'm sorry this guest didn't realize the impact to those sitting inside with the doors being left open, etc.  How freaking clueless to think that an innkeeper has to always say yes to everyone no matter what the request.  I can imagine we might have gotten a 3 had she had a fly or bee land on her breakfast because the door kept getting opened and ruined her breakfast.  If I go some place and their outside area isn't open and everyone is inside sitting, I don't expect them to go out and clean up and set the tables just for me -- I'm just not that important.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Hmmm, that's not how I read it. I'm thinking that the 3 were in one of the rooms with 2 beds.

 

I looked back and you're right, it isn't specified.   A third guest is an automatic charge.   Yes.   And I would feed him just to be hospitable.  But then I'd run right over here and tell y'all about the presumptuous guests we had to bend over backward for.   LOL

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Its always best to be gracious.  it reflects well on you and your business.  People will always remember the short, clipped, curt responses, even the happy and responsible guests will remember that, and it will put a pall on their experience.   Here, there is always enough extra of something, just in case, well, the quiche ends up on the floor (yes that happened once, fortunately on that day, I had the time and the ingredients to make another), but we are running businesses, and it should be no surprise to the unannounced and extra guest that a charge will be involved, even just a couple of dollars for a cup of coffee or tea, if that is all you can provide. I keep a stash of restaurant style guest checks for extra breakfasts or other meals, but we are licensed to provide meals for folks not staying here, and I try to be at least somewhat prepared for the unexpected. 

I love Gillum's response.  Covers the situation, and can be delivered in a pleasant, business-like way.

seashanty's picture
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because they were together. 

and because i refused to discount for no breakfast, saying it was complimentary for the room stay --- so i got in the reverse situation of being asked 'how much without breakfast'   

and because the charge was not different for 1 or 2 people in a room

Flower wrote:

Why take from people that paid for breakfast and give some of their proportion of breakfast, to a person that did not pay to stay?

and it's not just the breakfast. it's the use of the shower, the towels, the amenities when more people are in a room.

i am just giving my honest response here ... saying what i would have done .... and i probably should not try to figure out her guests.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I think the question is would you serve him?  

I would.

We have permitted early check ins to join in breakfast.   But we don't do plated service.  

I would invite him to enjoy coffee and let him know, I'm afraid I didn't expect you, but I can offer you a muffin and coffee.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

We have permitted early check ins to join in breakfast.   But we don't do plated service.  

Beachie, while this is nice of you , it sure sets a notable memory that guests may think other B&B's should also do this and get a bad review when they are turned away at 9am. 

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Copperhead wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

We have permitted early check ins to join in breakfast.   But we don't do plated service.  

Beachie, while this is nice of you , it sure sets a notable memory that guests may think other B&B's should also do this and get a bad review when they are turned away at 9am. 

We didn't check them in.   It was more like, "We know we're early, do you mind if we sit here while we wait?"  "Of course not."   "Would it be ok if I had a cup of coffee?"   "Sure, please help yourself."  

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I would probably feed them as I made the statement "You will have to register as a guest so I can serve you a breakfast since I can only serve registered guests. We will have your bill ready for you at checkout since you spent the night here." 

Anon Inn's picture
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yes

Madeleine's picture
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Skip the money. Do you feed the extra person or not?

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Yes, but only if you have enoug withthout having to skimp on the ones who have paid.

And I would say something like, I am sorry since we didnt know you would be here, i dont have what eveyone else is having, but I can do....... whatever you want to do, or just help yourself to cereal, fruit, juice and coffee.

 

Generic's picture
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NO! Absolutely NOT!

It's RUDE to expect you to feed an extra unannounced person. You say to who ever is in charge "Excuse me, can we talk in private in the ______ room for a minute." And say as nicely as you can. I'm sorry, should I adjust the bill for the extra person at breakfast?" You aren't being rude at all, they are! They invited someone into your home without your permission and then just as rudely brought them to your table. You need to be compensated, or they need to have one person bow out.

Now, even if you decide to be gracious and not accept payment, you need them to acknowledge the major inconvenience. Something like "I'm sorry but you surprised me with an extra unannounced person. While we won't charge this time, please understand that we have prepared for exactly the number of people we had registered as guests. I hope you understand that we don't have a plate for _____. Is that okay?"

At that point what are they going to say? They are caught, you have been more than gracious. They will likely offer to pay you and have that person registered because they know you prep ahead and there ain't no food for Oliver.

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Right on !!!yes My good ness how rude some people can be . Unbelievable.!!! This is your private house not theirs . My how they forget it is your residence not theirs to do as they wish. Yes they are a paying guest . But it is your house. and respect that fact. I would never bring some one into another persons house with out asking first. OMG! how rude and inconsiderate.!!!angry

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Madeleine wrote:

Skip the money. Do you feed the extra person or not?

This has happened once here.  We treated the guest like all our other guests and fed them as we could.  To my recollection we did not have a starter prepared but did have enough main course.  We did say we did not expect them.... A 3rd wheel on a honeymoon night is never expected.   So many things about those guests are now coming back to haunt my mind.  angry

Madeleine's picture
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I'm more interested in how you treat the unexpected guest at breakfast. Feed them? Say there's nothing extra? Offer cereal?

Anon Inn's picture
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Extra breakfasts $15 here. If they sat down, they would be fed - and charged.

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I would do the same. If they book the room for single I would let them know that since there are 2 guests in the room there is an outstanding balance. Re. food- if I had enough of regular meal for the day - that would they get if not I would tel them - sorry, we did not expect an extra person- this is what we can offer you - and just improvise.

Generic's picture
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Charge the extra guest fee. We have been contemplating having a two tiered fee. $20 if booked ahead and $40 otherwise.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I need more info before I could tell you what I would do...

was it a 3rd person?

was the room booked for a single and they brought someone else with them?

was this a self check-in?

 

Madeleine's picture
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Reservation made for 3 guests, 3 guests checked in. 4th guest showed up later. No one mentioned the 4th guest on check in.

4th guest sat down with them in the morning and they explained this person decided at the last minute to drive up.

No apology. No offer to pay for the person. 

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Do not wait for the offer to pay - just tell them that rate for 3 is different than for 4. "Please step to my office to settle up". They most likely think is like hotel - "What is the big deal?"

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You had better be charging them for that extra person and especially if they had the nerve to show up for breakfast! No way is this a give away,

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Sorry, but you DO need to take them aside and explain that this is just not cool.  You are being taken advantage of. Bad, bad, bad.

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Madeleine wrote:

4th guest sat down with them in the morning and they explained this person decided at the last minute to drive up.

No apology. No offer to pay for the person. 

Well of course no offer. They hope to slip it by. But I don't think they'd be a bit surprised to a) find there's no breakfast planned and ready for this extra person at the table and b) be asked to pay an extra charge for the extra food, extra towels, etc.

I like the idea of charging half as much if they tell you about the extra person in advance, and double that if they spring it on you after a night in your bed. Well, not YOUR bed, but...oh my, now my face is turning red.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Yowzer, you sure do get them!

I would have asked to speak with the person who made the reservation and briefly gone out of earshot of the rest of the guests. I would explain the charge and tell him/her that we had not planned food for that person, but I would be happy to scramble up a couple of eggs and fruit (if you have it).

People really do think we're a restaurant and have all sorts of supplies on hand. They just don't get it.

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Don't you have a charge for an extra guest?  If someone brings an extra guest here, they are getting charged an extra $25 and we are not going to be happy.

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