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NW BB

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My husband and I are discussing the merits and drawbacks of adding a separate page to our website about our breakfast. My concern is that if we list the different entrees and food items on our website, people will start to request specific foods they see listed. I want to stay away from doing specific requests, especially in the busy times. We seem to get a lot of special dietary restrictions and if I have people requesting specific breakfast foods they see on our website, I'll end up like a short order cook.
Do you have experience with this? Is this an unfounded fear?
Thanks for the input!
 

brighteyes_22

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You could probably put a disclaimer on the bottom stating that the meals are subject to change per "chef's choice", but if someone has dietary restrictions, they are more than welcome to ask for something different. What kind of dietary alterarions do people request? Being allergic to a specific ingredient is totally different than being a picky eater.
You could always do what my mom did-if we didn't like what she cooked, there was cereal in the cabinet and milk in the fridge!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I think we DO need to focus and sell the second B!!!
But I do know that when I get WEST coasters they always have a long list of what they can't or won't eat and how to make life miserable for the cook - me. If your specialty is meeting difficult dietary needs like Gillum House then I say PROMOTE THAT!
If you don't show/list some of the items you serve for a 'typical breakfast' - then people might be bothered with what they do or do not get? Example - if you do not serve meat you need to specify that so the carnivore guests are not dissappointed. My husband thinks a breakfast without meat is a continental, you cannot convince him otherwise.
With the big push by Denny's (if anyone has seen their ads, esp the big super bowl ad) it might be a good time to demonstrate what WE do serve. I hope the links work below:
Phony Money Denny's ad [COLOR= rgb(85, 26, 139)]
[/COLOR]
Denny's Thug Ad
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Brighteyes, a former innkeeper on our forum was sent over the edge by the 3 page lists of can and cannot eats, guests demanding egg white only omeletts prepared EXACTLY to their wishes or else (In CA). She left innkeeping with bitterness from all of that. Many others can tell you more of her story. So be well armed is a good one in this situation. I mean, well prepared? Gee what am I trying to say.
 

NW BB

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You could probably put a disclaimer on the bottom stating that the meals are subject to change per "chef's choice", but if someone has dietary restrictions, they are more than welcome to ask for something different. What kind of dietary alterarions do people request? Being allergic to a specific ingredient is totally different than being a picky eater.
You could always do what my mom did-if we didn't like what she cooked, there was cereal in the cabinet and milk in the fridge!
.
When discussing dietary restrictions with other innkeepers in my region, it seems that I get more than the norm. I always have been able to accommodate the restrictions. One of my toughest was for 3 breakfasts I had vegans who were gluten intolerant! Yikes, I felt like telling them they could go graze in the yard. One time I had 3 of my 4 rooms with dietary restrictions and they weren't the same restrictions. I ended up cooking 3 different breakfasts because there was nothing that all of them could eat.
I can deal with these special restrictions, but I'm more curious about whether you get requests for specific items they see on your website.
 

NW BB

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I think we DO need to focus and sell the second B!!!
But I do know that when I get WEST coasters they always have a long list of what they can't or won't eat and how to make life miserable for the cook - me. If your specialty is meeting difficult dietary needs like Gillum House then I say PROMOTE THAT!
If you don't show/list some of the items you serve for a 'typical breakfast' - then people might be bothered with what they do or do not get? Example - if you do not serve meat you need to specify that so the carnivore guests are not dissappointed. My husband thinks a breakfast without meat is a continental, you cannot convince him otherwise.
With the big push by Denny's (if anyone has seen their ads, esp the big super bowl ad) it might be a good time to demonstrate what WE do serve. I hope the links work below:
Phony Money Denny's ad [COLOR= rgb(85, 26, 139)]
[/COLOR]
Denny's Thug Ad.
We have 1 picture on our website that shows breakfast and it's described as a 4 course breakfast, but no specifics. I think you're right about WEST coasters. They tend to be pickier and have more restrictions.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I think we DO need to focus and sell the second B!!!
But I do know that when I get WEST coasters they always have a long list of what they can't or won't eat and how to make life miserable for the cook - me. If your specialty is meeting difficult dietary needs like Gillum House then I say PROMOTE THAT!
If you don't show/list some of the items you serve for a 'typical breakfast' - then people might be bothered with what they do or do not get? Example - if you do not serve meat you need to specify that so the carnivore guests are not dissappointed. My husband thinks a breakfast without meat is a continental, you cannot convince him otherwise.
With the big push by Denny's (if anyone has seen their ads, esp the big super bowl ad) it might be a good time to demonstrate what WE do serve. I hope the links work below:
Phony Money Denny's ad [COLOR= rgb(85, 26, 139)]
[/COLOR]
Denny's Thug Ad.
We have 1 picture on our website that shows breakfast and it's described as a 4 course breakfast, but no specifics. I think you're right about WEST coasters. They tend to be pickier and have more restrictions.
.
NW BB said:
We have 1 picture on our website that shows breakfast and it's described as a 4 course breakfast, but no specifics. I think you're right about WEST coasters. They tend to be pickier and have more restrictions.
The problem is either to let them know what to expect so they know or don't let them know so they can't pick and choose off your website list with photos, right?
Bree is not online right now but she has MANY requests for the waffles on her website. I think to the tune of "I want what was on the website" but she serves the tables and asks each guest what they prefer via way of juice and a couple other things, I will let her speak to that.
 

NW BB

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Here are some of the restrictions/requests I get:
no gluten
no dairy
no eggs
no pork
no beef
organic sustainable only
no seafood (we're on the coast)
no mushrooms
no msg
no nuts
here's one...she hated eggs and he was diabetic....this was a 3 nighter
vegan
no onions or peppers
vegetarian (this is the least of my problems)
I already told you about the vegans who were gluten intolerant
Then there's the ones who want to fax the list of restrictions
I love the ones that say "oh, I don't eat xyz, but my husband loves all that"! I don't think they realize that what they're asking is for me to make 2 different things for each of them.
hmmm....I'm sure there's more
 

Morticia

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To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!
 

NW BB

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I think we DO need to focus and sell the second B!!!
But I do know that when I get WEST coasters they always have a long list of what they can't or won't eat and how to make life miserable for the cook - me. If your specialty is meeting difficult dietary needs like Gillum House then I say PROMOTE THAT!
If you don't show/list some of the items you serve for a 'typical breakfast' - then people might be bothered with what they do or do not get? Example - if you do not serve meat you need to specify that so the carnivore guests are not dissappointed. My husband thinks a breakfast without meat is a continental, you cannot convince him otherwise.
With the big push by Denny's (if anyone has seen their ads, esp the big super bowl ad) it might be a good time to demonstrate what WE do serve. I hope the links work below:
Phony Money Denny's ad [COLOR= rgb(85, 26, 139)]
[/COLOR]
Denny's Thug Ad.
We have 1 picture on our website that shows breakfast and it's described as a 4 course breakfast, but no specifics. I think you're right about WEST coasters. They tend to be pickier and have more restrictions.
.
NW BB said:
We have 1 picture on our website that shows breakfast and it's described as a 4 course breakfast, but no specifics. I think you're right about WEST coasters. They tend to be pickier and have more restrictions.
The problem is either to let them know what to expect so they know or don't let them know so they can't pick and choose off your website list with photos, right?
Bree is not online right now but she has MANY requests for the waffles on her website. I think to the tune of "I want what was on the website" but she serves the tables and asks each guest what they prefer via way of juice and a couple other things, I will let her speak to that.
.
[/quote]
The problem is either to let them know what to expect so they know or don't let them know so they can't pick and choose off your website list with photos, right?
[/quote]
exactly!
 

Morticia

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Here are some of the restrictions/requests I get:
no gluten
no dairy
no eggs
no pork
no beef
organic sustainable only
no seafood (we're on the coast)
no mushrooms
no msg
no nuts
here's one...she hated eggs and he was diabetic....this was a 3 nighter
vegan
no onions or peppers
vegetarian (this is the least of my problems)
I already told you about the vegans who were gluten intolerant
Then there's the ones who want to fax the list of restrictions
I love the ones that say "oh, I don't eat xyz, but my husband loves all that"! I don't think they realize that what they're asking is for me to make 2 different things for each of them.
hmmm....I'm sure there's more.
Depending on how many guests we have in house at the time, we cook what will serve the most at one time. But, no doubt, if you're going to get ONE dietary restriction, you're going to get 5 in the same weekend. We serve a lot of yogurt and scrambled eggs when it gets to be too much. We will not make an entirely different breakfast to accommodate tons of restrictions.
 

gillumhouse

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I was about to say I do not currently have a breakfast photo up - checked and I show a place setting with a fruit plate. Need to do better because that is an old setting even.
Anyway, the one I hated - and had twice since I opened - was raw foods only. That was worse than vegan or gluten-free. I decide what to fix based on all restrictions in-house - they all get it unless it is a raw diet.
Except for the gluten-free, most of the other restrictions can be overcome without "regular" people even knowing the difference. The no eggs gets pancakes and for a 3-nighter there is buckwheat, buttermilk, blueberry, or whole wheat or walnut-oatmeal.....
 

seashanty

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i had guests tell me they came to me SPECIFICALLY because they saw the picture of awesome breakfasts on the website ..,. so this told me that those pictures really did make a difference.
i used bree's phraseology of cook's choice on the website ....
that ONE of those awesome things would be served each morning.
you will still have some misunderstanding, you will still have guests who are confused and think you have a full restaurant style kitchen with menu choices. just realize that guests hear some of what you say, but maybe their expectations drown out what they 'hear'
i told my guests i would do my best to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions, but occasionally there was little i offered that they could eat.
just gently, firmly, you explain what you have, what you are able to do
it is important not to get 'upset' when a guest balks at what you offer ... i was alone making and serving breakfast for up to 20 people ... and if someone was really distressed about what i had 'on the menu' i would say i could cook them up some eggs or something else in a little while when things calmed down ... and i did. you have to take this for what it is ... someone wants a nice breakfast and has an idea in their head of what that nice breakfast is
this may sound like extra work, but it was not so bad and actually quite rare ... if they had to wait for their special breakfast, often they saw the cooks choice and came to me and said 'i'll try what you're making instead' ta da!
i printed up little postcards explaining about cooks choice ... and handed them to guests with their room key as they checked in ... i told them breakfast tomorrow is ................ and i told them 'bacon and eggs' or 'blueberry pancakes' or 'waffles and sausage'. this really helped because even though i had a sign in the breakfast room saying what breakfast was and even though i put little tent cards on the tables saying what breakfast was i still had folks wanting to order breakfast
ps occasionally i ran into a breakfast problem (like they time i dropped and broke a flat of eggs!) and could not serve what i planned. guests were good about this as well.
 
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So...we West Coasters are picky, are we? Maybe healthier too! (I'm laughing here)

Ok. So we are going on a road trip soon and I've booked the B&B and told them that I'm a "picky" vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs or dairy or, of course meat.
You know it's not all that hard to make me happy. A bowl of porridge (who doesn't have oatmeal or even instant oatmeal), toast and jam, granola, fruit...it's not that hard.
I try to accommodate everyone as best as I can. I always ask ahead of time what their preferences are. If it's a late same day booking, that can be a different story because unless I can get to a store, them may get my breakfast! I think that people can be impolite by not telling you in advance what they can or cannot eat and then complain about it. Don't get much of that because I always ask!
 

Copperhead

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To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!.
Bree said:
To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!
I agree pictures say it all - well most the time! I am working on a new breakfast page myself. Bree, Did you take your own breakfast photos? No matter how hard I try, my photos seem to make the food look burnt - too dark. Any suggestions?
 

Morticia

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So...we West Coasters are picky, are we? Maybe healthier too! (I'm laughing here)

Ok. So we are going on a road trip soon and I've booked the B&B and told them that I'm a "picky" vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs or dairy or, of course meat.
You know it's not all that hard to make me happy. A bowl of porridge (who doesn't have oatmeal or even instant oatmeal), toast and jam, granola, fruit...it's not that hard.
I try to accommodate everyone as best as I can. I always ask ahead of time what their preferences are. If it's a late same day booking, that can be a different story because unless I can get to a store, them may get my breakfast! I think that people can be impolite by not telling you in advance what they can or cannot eat and then complain about it. Don't get much of that because I always ask!.
We ask, too, but it doesn't stop guests from looking at the breakfast board for the second time at 8 AM (the first time being check-in when it would have helped to tell me) and saying, 'I can't eat that, I'll have...' We, for one place, do not have porridge, oatmeal or anything like on hand and I wouldn't want to have it anyway as it is a mess to clean. This year I am making an attempt to ask those with dietary restrictions exactly what they do eat for breakfast. Mind you, not what they WANT, but what they eat. Most eat nothing but expect me to jump thru hoops.
If you were here you'd get yogurt and toast and fruit as you said. But you'd be amazed how many don't want those choices. Or, like someone else posted, they want all natural, organic, sustainable $5/pint yogurt! This ain't your mother's house.
I've had too many 'DR's' tell me about the wonderful clam chowdah they had for dinner as they are telling me they can't eat any dairy products.
 

gillumhouse

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To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!.
Bree said:
To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!
I agree pictures say it all - well most the time! I am working on a new breakfast page myself. Bree, Did you take your own breakfast photos? No matter how hard I try, my photos seem to make the food look burnt - too dark. Any suggestions?
.
I have been told that most food photos are taken when the food is not fully cooked and shaving cream is often used instead of whipped cream (it sets up better and is a nice white).
 

Morticia

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To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!.
Bree said:
To answer the question that seems to be bothering you...yes, guests have specifically requested the breakfasts they have seen photos of on the website. Which we can do if it's not really busy because what's up there are the meals that make the best pix! However, we also have a disclaimer that these are 'favorites' but that breakfast is 'cook's choice'.
Now, onto what you didn't really ask but that is very important...photos sell. You can 'say' all you want about the wonderful breakfasts you prepare, but one photo says it better. My breakfast page ranks right up there with the rooms page for guest visits.
If we had 'smell-o-vision' on the internet I'd be full all the time!
I agree pictures say it all - well most the time! I am working on a new breakfast page myself. Bree, Did you take your own breakfast photos? No matter how hard I try, my photos seem to make the food look burnt - too dark. Any suggestions?
.
Don't cook the food to the point where you'd want to eat it...the photos always make it look darker. I did take the pix and I took them for a newspaper column we had. I stood on a chair in full sunlight in front of a huge window to get those pix. Set everything up first...table and extras like coffee (or in my case, that 'coffee' is really cranberry juice) and get your angles down. THEN cook the food and plate it. I had to let the waffle get cold so the cannoli cream wouldn't 'melt'. If you want to put a pat of butter on something you can always nuke it and then slide it onto the cold food.
Hairspray makes food look shiny, if you need that.
I played around a lot with the food so you wouldn't want to eat it anyway!
BTW, sausage looks awful in photos unless it has grill marks on it. It's always sickly and gray...yuck. Bacon should be just barely browning so it is wavy and the fatty bits show up.
Good point K made about shaving cream...I actually mixed up a real batch of whipped cream for that shot I took. Also, the french toast face that is my avatar? I didn't take that, a guest did.
 

Copperhead

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Thanks Bree and K for the pointers.
I have heard that food photographers rarely are using real food in their shots....and we have all noticed that the whopper on TV sure looks more appealing than the one we just unwrapped. Shaving Cream how yummy - I just may whip me up a nice shaving cream topped hot cocoa tonight...
 

NW BB

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So...we West Coasters are picky, are we? Maybe healthier too! (I'm laughing here)

Ok. So we are going on a road trip soon and I've booked the B&B and told them that I'm a "picky" vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs or dairy or, of course meat.
You know it's not all that hard to make me happy. A bowl of porridge (who doesn't have oatmeal or even instant oatmeal), toast and jam, granola, fruit...it's not that hard.
I try to accommodate everyone as best as I can. I always ask ahead of time what their preferences are. If it's a late same day booking, that can be a different story because unless I can get to a store, them may get my breakfast! I think that people can be impolite by not telling you in advance what they can or cannot eat and then complain about it. Don't get much of that because I always ask!.
We ask, too, but it doesn't stop guests from looking at the breakfast board for the second time at 8 AM (the first time being check-in when it would have helped to tell me) and saying, 'I can't eat that, I'll have...' We, for one place, do not have porridge, oatmeal or anything like on hand and I wouldn't want to have it anyway as it is a mess to clean. This year I am making an attempt to ask those with dietary restrictions exactly what they do eat for breakfast. Mind you, not what they WANT, but what they eat. Most eat nothing but expect me to jump thru hoops.
If you were here you'd get yogurt and toast and fruit as you said. But you'd be amazed how many don't want those choices. Or, like someone else posted, they want all natural, organic, sustainable $5/pint yogurt! This ain't your mother's house.
I've had too many 'DR's' tell me about the wonderful clam chowdah they had for dinner as they are telling me they can't eat any dairy products.
.
OHHHHHHHH.....now you've hit on one of my pet peeves! They say "no dairy, low sugar", then they have their hands in my cookie jar all day! My cookies are filled with butter and sugar and chocolate! When I see this, I don't go to any heroic efforts to eliminate that stuff from my breakfast.
One good thing about having breakfast that is delivered is that when we deliver it and go away. They uncover their breakfast in their room and if they don't like what's in it, they can just eat around it. I've never had someone come out of their room and ask for something else.
 
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