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Breakfast zoo, or what happens when you try to honor someone's allergy restriction

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Morticia

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First off, everyone came for breakfast at 8:50. One family had let us know 3 months ago their kids cannot have milk or 'industrial' sugar. We offered them scrambled eggs & toast. That was fine with them, kids love that. OK.
One couple sits down while all the other 9 guests wander aimlessly around. FInally they all decide to sit at once. We get the kids' breakfasts plated and I ask about juice at the other tables. One other table only wants dry toast. That works, too. Then they see the kids with eggs. Oh, they want eggs, too, all 5 of them. Well, hey, the family graciously informed us 3 months ago their kids can't have these things so we worked around that. No, you can't order breakfast. Dry toast I can do, a complete eggs, toast & sausage brekkie is not happening.
So, tomorrow everyone gets eggs whether they want them or not. 18 guests who will all want to eat at the same time I'm sure. (I can seat 11 at a time.)
Adding heartbreak to the whole thing, 4 rooms tomorrow are 3 or 4 which doesn't work with the seating at all.
 

gillumhouse

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Makes you want to snatch someone bald-headed as my Granny used to say. I do feel your pain. That happened to me with the 6 old guys as I served the baked pineapple toast and one said no. I made the mistake of offering him eggs and everyone else also wanted eggs! Grrr!!!
Good luck tomorrow. May at least 2 rooms sleep in.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Can you explain the scenario a little more clearly as its pretty confusing the way it got told originally.
Sounds like you have a group of adults and some kids. Right? One set of parents said the kids can't have milk or processed sugar.
Was there another request by the rest of them three months earleir that they wouldn't want your standard breakfast?
Then it sounds like they all bumrushed you at once towards the end of your serving window.
I guess I'm confused over how a few of them begging off of the entrees then changing their minds is a real big inconvenience for someone already prepared to cook them all breakfast?
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
Or did I miss something in the story?
 

gillumhouse

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Can you explain the scenario a little more clearly as its pretty confusing the way it got told originally.
Sounds like you have a group of adults and some kids. Right? One set of parents said the kids can't have milk or processed sugar.
Was there another request by the rest of them three months earleir that they wouldn't want your standard breakfast?
Then it sounds like they all bumrushed you at once towards the end of your serving window.
I guess I'm confused over how a few of them begging off of the entrees then changing their minds is a real big inconvenience for someone already prepared to cook them all breakfast?
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
Or did I miss something in the story?.
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
They had breakfast menu posted as they do every evening for the morning. The reservation with the kids had been made 3 months prior so they KNEW the kids needed the eggs that were not on the menu for this morning (just for special diet kids).
It was when the other guests saw the kids with eggs that they wanted eggs also (I do not know what was on for the morning, but say it was FT). They do not do "short order" breakfasts. Breakfast was already made and it was NOT eggs!
 

JBloggs

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I pictured the scene perfectly. I often have difficulty seeing your lay out in my mind. The difference in my layout is every one is served at once, one set time, OR we have two seatings, then still everyone is served at once at the second seating as well. There is no bickering about what they want, plop, there it is (prearranged in advance).
Having eaten at an actual restaurant attached to a BnB recently, they had table service similar to what you are offering there. There was one set menu for the day, there were no choices. Even the coffee was on a large cart that you got yourself - caf or decaf. She brought it out, poured the juice - didn't offer a choice. It was GREAT, NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. We try to please too much. I run a BnB and I thought it was great.
 

Samster

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Can you explain the scenario a little more clearly as its pretty confusing the way it got told originally.
Sounds like you have a group of adults and some kids. Right? One set of parents said the kids can't have milk or processed sugar.
Was there another request by the rest of them three months earleir that they wouldn't want your standard breakfast?
Then it sounds like they all bumrushed you at once towards the end of your serving window.
I guess I'm confused over how a few of them begging off of the entrees then changing their minds is a real big inconvenience for someone already prepared to cook them all breakfast?
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
Or did I miss something in the story?.
I agree with Joe. With the type of guests that you have and your open seating time set-up, I think you're trying too hard to please them all. Seems like you do so much complaining about it that you might need to come up with something else. Either: 1) Provide one breakfast and "plop" it down like Joe says (which I doubt really happens that way) and let them eat what they can and leave the rest, 2) Come up with a couple of extremely simple choices for people to "order" daily - things that would meet the 10 min emergency breakfast scenario perhaps, or 3) Serve a simple buffet every day within a narrow timeframe since it seems like most of the time they are on to the next place and let them help themselves. With your attention to details, I bet you could nail down the buffet system pretty quickly with little waste and you don't have to serve anyone. When you just have a room or two or during your quiet season, you could just offer one entree.
 

Morticia

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Can you explain the scenario a little more clearly as its pretty confusing the way it got told originally.
Sounds like you have a group of adults and some kids. Right? One set of parents said the kids can't have milk or processed sugar.
Was there another request by the rest of them three months earleir that they wouldn't want your standard breakfast?
Then it sounds like they all bumrushed you at once towards the end of your serving window.
I guess I'm confused over how a few of them begging off of the entrees then changing their minds is a real big inconvenience for someone already prepared to cook them all breakfast?
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
Or did I miss something in the story?.
We have a set breakfast. If someone wants something 'easy' like just toast rather than a big, full breakfast, that's ok. When that guest sees kids getting something he would rather have, but he hasn't told us he's allergic to what we're serving, that's not happening. We had enough food for the guests we had. I did not have another 2 dozen eggs to make eggs for everyone, which is where that situation was going. We don't 'stock up' we buy breakfast everyday.
Generally this is not a problem because almost everyone happily eats what's thrown in front of them. These guests saw something they liked better than the simple 'toast' they asked for.
So, 'the rest of them' were part of a plan that included everyone other than those kids getting pancakes and not getting anything other than that. Trying to be nice and just give them the simple toast is what made them think they could order breakfast. My mistake.
I need to learn to stick to the plan. If no allergies are mentioned, you get what the cook says he's making.
Tomorrow, feeding 18, means NO deviation. Everyone gets an omelet and likes it. The kitchen will be an assembly line in the morning.
It always begs the question if it's proper to ask the 'special needs' guests to wait and eat at the very last.
 

Morticia

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Makes you want to snatch someone bald-headed as my Granny used to say. I do feel your pain. That happened to me with the 6 old guys as I served the baked pineapple toast and one said no. I made the mistake of offering him eggs and everyone else also wanted eggs! Grrr!!!
Good luck tomorrow. May at least 2 rooms sleep in..
Heck they ALL slept in this morning! The last couple got fed at 9:25. There was 1 family of 4, 1 family of 5 and 2 couples. Tomorrow it's the same family of 4, the same family of 5, 2 other families of 3, 1 single and 1 couple.
Samster's right, tho, I need to stop complaining and stop being 'nice' and just serve up the way Joe does.
 

seashanty

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you just have to rehearse your response ... 'i'm so sorry. breakfast today is xyz. the kids are having abc by special arrangement.'
the guests really aren't trying to be difficult. they just don't understand whatever limitations you're dealing with. (time, supplies, food!)
my most challenging was a couple from india who came in to breakfast and told me what they would have. totally opposite of what i had on hand and could give them. we had a completely full house which meant i was doing breakfast for 19. i was doing waffles or pancakes with sausage that morning. i explained the best i could when they booked, when they checked in and when they come into the breakfast room ... 'but,' i said, 'tomorrow i will have fresh eggs for everyone.' that didn't satisfy and the next day they declined breakfast with me which was too bad because i made some lovely blueberry muffins and fluffy bisquits.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Can you explain the scenario a little more clearly as its pretty confusing the way it got told originally.
Sounds like you have a group of adults and some kids. Right? One set of parents said the kids can't have milk or processed sugar.
Was there another request by the rest of them three months earleir that they wouldn't want your standard breakfast?
Then it sounds like they all bumrushed you at once towards the end of your serving window.
I guess I'm confused over how a few of them begging off of the entrees then changing their minds is a real big inconvenience for someone already prepared to cook them all breakfast?
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
Or did I miss something in the story?.
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
They had breakfast menu posted as they do every evening for the morning. The reservation with the kids had been made 3 months prior so they KNEW the kids needed the eggs that were not on the menu for this morning (just for special diet kids).
It was when the other guests saw the kids with eggs that they wanted eggs also (I do not know what was on for the morning, but say it was FT). They do not do "short order" breakfasts. Breakfast was already made and it was NOT eggs!
.
gillumhouse said:
It was when the other guests saw the kids with eggs that they wanted eggs also (I do not know what was on for the morning, but say it was FT). They do not do "short order" breakfasts. Breakfast was already made and it was NOT eggs!
Seeing how you were there also and are answering for Bree, can you tell me what the guest's reaction was when she politely informed them that their entrees had already been planned for and prepared and that was their only choice besides the dry toast and other items available?
Or how you handled diplomatically telling these guests that your B&B doesn't deviate from its preset menu and they can take what you had to offer or leave it?
It would seem to be a very easy explanation to these folks that the kids were a special request, but all others are being offered what is on today's menu.
I'm asking these questions because even though we offer two different entrees each day that are prepared I guess in the intended pejorative term "short order" fashion which in my defintion just means cooked while the guest is at the table, we don't really deviate from the stated menu except to leave out individual ingredients that folks don't care for.
We're not running a breakfast boot camp here where its eat what we give you in its exact form or you're out of luck. But we also aren't substituting things until it drives us nuts either.
Like today. The egg entree was a scrambler with smoked salmon, little bits of cream cheese, tomatoes, red onion and fresh dill. A guest didn't like smoked salmon, so the much better half made it with everything else, no skin off her teeth and the guest was thrilled and very impressed by our flexibility. She wasn't interested in the other entree, so we made her happy, it was zero extra effort, actually saved a salmon portion for another time and we ended up looking very accomodating, which I thought this whole "hospitality" thing was all about.
I'm not knocking anybody's approach or infrastructural setup, just trying to figure out how it became such a huge inconvenience after explaining why Bree couldn't make them eggs.
 

Morticia

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you just have to rehearse your response ... 'i'm so sorry. breakfast today is xyz. the kids are having abc by special arrangement.'
the guests really aren't trying to be difficult. they just don't understand whatever limitations you're dealing with. (time, supplies, food!)
my most challenging was a couple from india who came in to breakfast and told me what they would have. totally opposite of what i had on hand and could give them. we had a completely full house which meant i was doing breakfast for 19. i was doing waffles or pancakes with sausage that morning. i explained the best i could when they booked, when they checked in and when they come into the breakfast room ... 'but,' i said, 'tomorrow i will have fresh eggs for everyone.' that didn't satisfy and the next day they declined breakfast with me which was too bad because i made some lovely blueberry muffins and fluffy bisquits..
We rehearsed tonight. My mistake was deviating at all for anyone other than those kids. But how can you tell someone you can't make them a piece of toast? Aaaaaaaaaaah, I just can't do it.
So, anyway, tomorrow is eggs. Scrambled or omelets, no over easy, no sunnyside, no pancakes, no french toast.
BTW, to drag another thread in here...I set the tables completely before shutting down for the night. Someone is out there playing cards. This doesn't bother me, they are enjoying themselves. But it's a big reason I don't set up the night before.
Watch, no one shows up for brekkie tomorrow, they all leave early...
 

seashanty

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oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm
 

Morticia

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oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm.
seashanty said:
oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm
That pretty much goes for all of us about anything!
 

gillumhouse

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Can you explain the scenario a little more clearly as its pretty confusing the way it got told originally.
Sounds like you have a group of adults and some kids. Right? One set of parents said the kids can't have milk or processed sugar.
Was there another request by the rest of them three months earleir that they wouldn't want your standard breakfast?
Then it sounds like they all bumrushed you at once towards the end of your serving window.
I guess I'm confused over how a few of them begging off of the entrees then changing their minds is a real big inconvenience for someone already prepared to cook them all breakfast?
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
Or did I miss something in the story?.
Except for the kids with the tiny little special request, weren't the rest of them part of your regular breakfast planning?
They had breakfast menu posted as they do every evening for the morning. The reservation with the kids had been made 3 months prior so they KNEW the kids needed the eggs that were not on the menu for this morning (just for special diet kids).
It was when the other guests saw the kids with eggs that they wanted eggs also (I do not know what was on for the morning, but say it was FT). They do not do "short order" breakfasts. Breakfast was already made and it was NOT eggs!
.
gillumhouse said:
It was when the other guests saw the kids with eggs that they wanted eggs also (I do not know what was on for the morning, but say it was FT). They do not do "short order" breakfasts. Breakfast was already made and it was NOT eggs!
Seeing how you were there also and are answering for Bree, can you tell me what the guest's reaction was when she politely informed them that their entrees had already been planned for and prepared and that was their only choice besides the dry toast and other items available?
Or how you handled diplomatically telling these guests that your B&B doesn't deviate from its preset menu and they can take what you had to offer or leave it?
It would seem to be a very easy explanation to these folks that the kids were a special request, but all others are being offered what is on today's menu.
I'm asking these questions because even though we offer two different entrees each day that are prepared I guess in the intended pejorative term "short order" fashion which in my defintion just means cooked while the guest is at the table, we don't really deviate from the stated menu except to leave out individual ingredients that folks don't care for.
We're not running a breakfast boot camp here where its eat what we give you in its exact form or you're out of luck. But we also aren't substituting things until it drives us nuts either.
Like today. The egg entree was a scrambler with smoked salmon, little bits of cream cheese, tomatoes, red onion and fresh dill. A guest didn't like smoked salmon, so the much better half made it with everything else, no skin off her teeth and the guest was thrilled and very impressed by our flexibility. She wasn't interested in the other entree, so we made her happy, it was zero extra effort, actually saved a salmon portion for another time and we ended up looking very accomodating, which I thought this whole "hospitality" thing was all about.
I'm not knocking anybody's approach or infrastructural setup, just trying to figure out how it became such a huge inconvenience after explaining why Bree couldn't make them eggs.
.
Sorry but I was not there BUT I have been on the Forum with Bree long enough to know how their breakfast works and was trying to clarify the "what happened". Sorry if I stepped on your toes.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Hearing all this just makes me glad that I deliver breakfast to their door! If they've told me about any restrictions, I go crazy in the kitchen accommodating them. Once that food is sitting outside their door, they can't/don't ask for anything different. If they don't want to eat something I've prepared, they will leave it and eat everything else I've fixed. My headache is all the crazy restrictions I get, but at least they tell me up front.
 

Morticia

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BTW, brekkie was smooth as silk this morning. Everyone paced themselves in arriving and left when they were done eating so tables freed up, everyone ate what we made, everyone loved it.
And I even stuck a candle in someone's toast for his b'day after I heard 'cumpleaños' when he walked into the dining room.
 

JBloggs

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Samster said:
Absolutely, it's easy for us to sit at our computers miles and miles and miles away and make suggestions that we think might work for YOU!! :)
Most of the time, it's from the heart with the well-being of our inn-mates though and trying to make their life easier!
Work smarter, not harder....I'm trying to adapt this mentality myself. ;-)
This is why visiting other inns is so important. It is a necessity. A couple places I have been I have said "Ah ha! Now I see what he/she means!" Othertimes I feel I just don't get it.
 

Samster

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oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm.
seashanty said:
oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm
That pretty much goes for all of us about anything!
.
Absolutely, it's easy for us to sit at our computers miles and miles and miles away and make suggestions that we think might work for YOU!! :)
Most of the time, it's from the heart with the well-being of our inn-mates though and trying to make their life easier!
Work smarter, not harder....I'm trying to adopt this mentality myself. ;-)
 

Morticia

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oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm.
seashanty said:
oh well ~~ easy for me to tell you what to do from where i sit.
tomorrow they will all love the breakfast. yumm
That pretty much goes for all of us about anything!
.
Absolutely, it's easy for us to sit at our computers miles and miles and miles away and make suggestions that we think might work for YOU!! :)
Most of the time, it's from the heart with the well-being of our inn-mates though and trying to make their life easier!
Work smarter, not harder....I'm trying to adopt this mentality myself. ;-)
.
We have a guest tonight who requested waffles when he booked back when he was the only room in the house. He is now officially 'waffle guy'. Looking ahead to Sunday's brekkie I see notes about no gluten, no meat, no nuts.
Luckily, the omelets seem to be working very well. That should suit all of those dietary restrictions. But I'm going to have to ask tomorrow's check-ins who will be having brekkie as I think quite a few of them booked in for a wedding. And those guests generally don't eat.
 

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