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Lbird

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Hi Guys,
I have a unique situation that I was hoping I could get some advice on. I currently manage a 12 room historic B&B. Our prices range from $105 to $375 per night in the off season. We had a couple of rooms the other night and the lady that was in charge of staying overnight and cooking breakfast came down sick that morning. Instead of cooking a full breakfast like we offer, she decided to simply offer fruit, muffins, yogurt and granola self service on the dining room table with a note explaning that breakfast would not be availble this morning (unbeknowst to me!). I arrived at work this morning and received an email from one of the guests wanting to know what type of credit she could expect due to not receiving a full breakfast (they paid $245 for their room!). I think I know what I'm going to offer her but I was looking from some insight from you guys as to what you would do in a situation like this. I read this board everyday and have come to value your honesty and opinions. Thank you in advance for any advice you may offer.
 

EmptyNest

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That is ashame it was done without your knowledge.
Do you have in on your website anywhere that breakfast is complimentary?? Or do you say rate included full breakfast? If the later, then some sort of small reimbursement might be in order, maybe a gift certificate for $25 off their next stay. Afterall, they did get a breakfast so a refund I don't believe is called for. What is the amount you normally figure for your breakfast? iF they want cash off rather than a gift certificate, take off 1/2 that amount since they did eat. Good luck.
 

gillumhouse

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What would they have been served if it had been breakfast as usual?
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I'd be equally concerned that she set up whatever limited breakfast the guests got while being sick.
Hopefully she was not contageous. You can bet you'll hear from more guests if she was.
I'd certainly apologize to the guests who got less than they bargained for. How much less is always the question.
My first line of defense on these things is always to offer, along with a profuse apology, a free upgrade to the best room/suite available at check-in the next time they visit. Most guests accept this and then you have a second chance to woo them since the first chance didn't go as planned.
If that's not okay, I'd knock a small amount off of the bill. At $245 a room you probably have some room for movement there. Off the top of my head, I'd say a $25 credit would keep most very happy.
But again, I'd offer to make it up to them during their next visit first.
 

Lbird

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What would they have been served if it had been breakfast as usual?.
For a full breakfast we usually do 3 courses. The first being a muffin or baked good. Then a fresh fruit cup with granola and yogurt followed by the main course which is typically eggs and bacon, or pancakes and bacon, some type of hot meal.
 

Lbird

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That is ashame it was done without your knowledge.
Do you have in on your website anywhere that breakfast is complimentary?? Or do you say rate included full breakfast? If the later, then some sort of small reimbursement might be in order, maybe a gift certificate for $25 off their next stay. Afterall, they did get a breakfast so a refund I don't believe is called for. What is the amount you normally figure for your breakfast? iF they want cash off rather than a gift certificate, take off 1/2 that amount since they did eat. Good luck..
Hi Catlady,
Our website and verbiage states that "breakfast is included in your room rate" We tell guests that it's a full, hot breakfast.
 

gillumhouse

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I would also be concerned that the innkeeper did not notify me that she was ill. She did not give you the opportunity to make other arrangements. Would you have been available to take over?
I also agree that the upgrade on the next stay os an exce;;ent idea and if that is not acceptable, the $25 sounds more than fair. They did get the room and all the amenities and they did have a breakfast available even if it WASN'T up to your usual standards.
 

Lbird

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I'd be equally concerned that she set up whatever limited breakfast the guests got while being sick.
Hopefully she was not contageous. You can bet you'll hear from more guests if she was.
I'd certainly apologize to the guests who got less than they bargained for. How much less is always the question.
My first line of defense on these things is always to offer, along with a profuse apology, a free upgrade to the best room/suite available at check-in the next time they visit. Most guests accept this and then you have a second chance to woo them since the first chance didn't go as planned.
If that's not okay, I'd knock a small amount off of the bill. At $245 a room you probably have some room for movement there. Off the top of my head, I'd say a $25 credit would keep most very happy.
But again, I'd offer to make it up to them during their next visit first..
I was concerned about the sickness as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed that she was not contagious!

 

Innkeeper To Go

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I'd be equally concerned that she set up whatever limited breakfast the guests got while being sick.
Hopefully she was not contageous. You can bet you'll hear from more guests if she was.
I'd certainly apologize to the guests who got less than they bargained for. How much less is always the question.
My first line of defense on these things is always to offer, along with a profuse apology, a free upgrade to the best room/suite available at check-in the next time they visit. Most guests accept this and then you have a second chance to woo them since the first chance didn't go as planned.
If that's not okay, I'd knock a small amount off of the bill. At $245 a room you probably have some room for movement there. Off the top of my head, I'd say a $25 credit would keep most very happy.
But again, I'd offer to make it up to them during their next visit first..
I was concerned about the sickness as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed that she was not contagious!

.
On the bright side, it presents a great training opportunity.
A chance to make sure any/all staff know just what to do if they're sick. Who to call and when. And why it's important that, much as they don't want to disturb you at 6am with news that they can't make it, sometimes that's really the only choice they have.
As long as everyone learns from this, you can use the whole situation to improve the operations at your inn. That's always a good thing.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I'd be equally concerned that she set up whatever limited breakfast the guests got while being sick.
Hopefully she was not contageous. You can bet you'll hear from more guests if she was.
I'd certainly apologize to the guests who got less than they bargained for. How much less is always the question.
My first line of defense on these things is always to offer, along with a profuse apology, a free upgrade to the best room/suite available at check-in the next time they visit. Most guests accept this and then you have a second chance to woo them since the first chance didn't go as planned.
If that's not okay, I'd knock a small amount off of the bill. At $245 a room you probably have some room for movement there. Off the top of my head, I'd say a $25 credit would keep most very happy.
But again, I'd offer to make it up to them during their next visit first..
I was concerned about the sickness as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed that she was not contagious!

.
Edited to remove duplicate post.
 

Morticia

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According to the rest of the posting, what the guests missed was the bacon & eggs portion of the brekkie, but they got everything else, right? There is no way you are going to make the guest understand they missed a little bit of brekkie because they are probably feeling they missed the 'experience.' That's what you have to focus on, the missed experience.
If you choose to refund any amount of money it is not because of food costs, it is because the guest missed the other 'B,' at least in the guest's mind. You need to acknowledge that in any correspondence. You also need to take personal responsibility for the lapse. Mention nothing about the cook, how you didn't know, etc.
Are you of the opinion that these guests might have come back in the future, or was this a one-off? Use that instinct to craft your response. Money back is fine for guests who will never be back, a gift is for the ones who will. If you think cash outlay will do it, fine, if you think offering to 'repair' what went wrong is a better way to go, then offer the upgrades or add ons for the next visit.
Then you need to work on what's going on with your staff. They don't seem to have a protocol for what to do when something bad happens.
 

gillumhouse

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Out of curiosity - what had you thought of doing?
 

egoodell

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From what you have told us, the guest not only missed the main course of the breakfast, but the experience was reduced from a served three course meal to a "serve yourself" continental. While a nice continental, it was not what you advertise.
I would refund $25 with apology for not providing the regular breakfast, and offer an upgrade at their next visit.
It sounds like your housekeeper has lost sight of what level of services you offer and what your guests expect and deserve. I would have been extremely unhappy with her actions.- She should have contacted someone to fill in if she felt that bad. It is possible she is "burnt out".
Riki
 

bbinnsitters

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Tho I realize it is probably too late for my response, I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in anyways. I have always found that sometimes it is best to ask the guest what they would like to see happen. Ask them "what can I do to make this right for you?" They are usually caught off guard and end up asking for way less than you were prepared to offer. Most people just want an apology/validation that they were wronged somehow. Of course there are those out there that will ask for a free night for any little thing that goes wrong!
 

Lbird

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Good Morning guys,
Thank you all very much for your input. My original idea was to offer her some type of discount on a future stay (hoping of course they want to return) So I ended up sending her an email apologizing that she wasn't able to enjoy the full breakfast that we pride ourselves on and I offered a 30% discount on a future reservation so that she can come and experience everything we have to offer. She actually wrote back and said she would be back in September for her anniversary, so that worked out really well.
Thanks again, you guys are great!
 

Breakfast Diva

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Good Morning guys,
Thank you all very much for your input. My original idea was to offer her some type of discount on a future stay (hoping of course they want to return) So I ended up sending her an email apologizing that she wasn't able to enjoy the full breakfast that we pride ourselves on and I offered a 30% discount on a future reservation so that she can come and experience everything we have to offer. She actually wrote back and said she would be back in September for her anniversary, so that worked out really well.
Thanks again, you guys are great!
.
WELL DONE!!!
 

egoodell

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Good Morning guys,
Thank you all very much for your input. My original idea was to offer her some type of discount on a future stay (hoping of course they want to return) So I ended up sending her an email apologizing that she wasn't able to enjoy the full breakfast that we pride ourselves on and I offered a 30% discount on a future reservation so that she can come and experience everything we have to offer. She actually wrote back and said she would be back in September for her anniversary, so that worked out really well.
Thanks again, you guys are great!
.
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
 

Sanctuary

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Good Morning guys,
Thank you all very much for your input. My original idea was to offer her some type of discount on a future stay (hoping of course they want to return) So I ended up sending her an email apologizing that she wasn't able to enjoy the full breakfast that we pride ourselves on and I offered a 30% discount on a future reservation so that she can come and experience everything we have to offer. She actually wrote back and said she would be back in September for her anniversary, so that worked out really well.
Thanks again, you guys are great!
.
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
And include Mimosas for her!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Good Morning guys,
Thank you all very much for your input. My original idea was to offer her some type of discount on a future stay (hoping of course they want to return) So I ended up sending her an email apologizing that she wasn't able to enjoy the full breakfast that we pride ourselves on and I offered a 30% discount on a future reservation so that she can come and experience everything we have to offer. She actually wrote back and said she would be back in September for her anniversary, so that worked out really well.
Thanks again, you guys are great!
.
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
And include Mimosas for her!
.
I definitely vote for Mimosas!
 

egoodell

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Good Morning guys,
Thank you all very much for your input. My original idea was to offer her some type of discount on a future stay (hoping of course they want to return) So I ended up sending her an email apologizing that she wasn't able to enjoy the full breakfast that we pride ourselves on and I offered a 30% discount on a future reservation so that she can come and experience everything we have to offer. She actually wrote back and said she would be back in September for her anniversary, so that worked out really well.
Thanks again, you guys are great!
.
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
Great job! I'd make sure she has a super special breakfast - maybe give her an anniversary dessert of a little heart shaped cake or something like that if you have a heart shaped pan. To celebrate her anniversary.
Riki
And include Mimosas for her!
.
I definitely vote for Mimosas!
.
YES! Great idea!
RIki
 
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