Dining space

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Arks

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I referenced this in my lengthy "Still in the planning stages" post, but would like to specifically ask about how much dining space is needed. Should I have enough tables and chairs so everybody in the building can eat breakfast at the same time, should that rare occasion arise, or is it reasonable to have a 2/3 capacity, or whatever amount, assuming that everybody won't usually be eating at the same time?
 

gillumhouse

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Since you include vouchers for the restaurant (and they can also have room service) I think 2/3 would be enough. I would make them dueces and quads.
 

Morticia

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I can accommodate about half of the guests who might be in the house. Generally it's not that packed. On the rare occasion when someone has to wait, depending on their personality, it can be nasty. One couple walked out when they could not sit alone at brekkie, but had to share a table.
If there isn't room for everyone at one seating, most guests will happily wait in the living room with coffee and the paper.
You can also do set seatings where you ask/tell the guests when they can dine.
What we run into are guests who decide they 'bought' their table and will sit at it for 3 hours regardless of how many guests are standing there waiting to sit down.
 

Copperhead

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Well, I am wondering if maybe just 2-3 tables would not be enough. You are not serving any meals there as you are providing vouchers for a neighboring cafe. It would be my feeling (thinking if I were your guest) that if I were to request my breakfast be delivered, it would be that I did not want to get dressed and would eat in my room. A couple of tables would be nice to have just in case they wish to bring lunch in or a snack, but you may be able to even include this in the pub area you mentioned.
Just another idea to ponder over!
 

Arks

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I can accommodate about half of the guests who might be in the house. Generally it's not that packed. On the rare occasion when someone has to wait, depending on their personality, it can be nasty. One couple walked out when they could not sit alone at brekkie, but had to share a table.
If there isn't room for everyone at one seating, most guests will happily wait in the living room with coffee and the paper.
You can also do set seatings where you ask/tell the guests when they can dine.
What we run into are guests who decide they 'bought' their table and will sit at it for 3 hours regardless of how many guests are standing there waiting to sit down..
Morticia said:
On the rare occasion when someone has to wait, depending on their personality, it can be nasty. One couple walked out when they could not sit alone at brekkie, but had to share a table.
The key word there, I think, is "rare". I've see businesses spend a lot of money on adding new features just because one person a year would mention, "you should have such-in-such here".
I think we have to accept that we won't every please everybody all the time. The wisest decision may be to only have a few tables and accept that once in a blue moon somebody might not be happy with it.
But if I have room, I might make the front sitting/dining area large enough to hold additional tables if I need them some day, but not fill it with tables on day one.
 

Arks

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Well, I am wondering if maybe just 2-3 tables would not be enough. You are not serving any meals there as you are providing vouchers for a neighboring cafe. It would be my feeling (thinking if I were your guest) that if I were to request my breakfast be delivered, it would be that I did not want to get dressed and would eat in my room. A couple of tables would be nice to have just in case they wish to bring lunch in or a snack, but you may be able to even include this in the pub area you mentioned.
Just another idea to ponder over!.
Yes, I'm now thinking about starting with just a few tables, and squeeze more in if I have to later. The only reason I'd need tables for most guests at once is if/when the cafe down the street closes.
 

Joey Camb

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If we are packed to the doors we do 30 breakfasts and can seat 22 and we have never had to have people wait in 5 years. But it depends on what kind of trade you have. We are a conference town so people come for a specific thing and all have to be at that thing for a set time which bunches them all in a bottleneck for breakfast. However if you are more a holiday place then you always end up with a bottleneck at the end of breakfast. My DH works at a big hotel and it is always the same on a sunday morning 250 people try and have breakfast in an hour and it is complete and utter chaos. I recon from practical experience 2/3 is enough and what most hotels try to operate at.The only exception is conference hotels and airport/business hotels where they recomend 100% as everyone wants to be out between 7 and 8. Also you mention the diner what hours does it operate and will you offer anything for the early departure? We do a continental basket type thing so people have a little something to get started in. Also what are you going to do about things in the room like tea and coffee or a small fridge for fresh milk? It would consider it as a nice touch but make sure it is one of the new hotel type silent ones as otherwise the popping and clicking is annoying.
 

Arks

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If we are packed to the doors we do 30 breakfasts and can seat 22 and we have never had to have people wait in 5 years. But it depends on what kind of trade you have. We are a conference town so people come for a specific thing and all have to be at that thing for a set time which bunches them all in a bottleneck for breakfast. However if you are more a holiday place then you always end up with a bottleneck at the end of breakfast. My DH works at a big hotel and it is always the same on a sunday morning 250 people try and have breakfast in an hour and it is complete and utter chaos. I recon from practical experience 2/3 is enough and what most hotels try to operate at.The only exception is conference hotels and airport/business hotels where they recomend 100% as everyone wants to be out between 7 and 8. Also you mention the diner what hours does it operate and will you offer anything for the early departure? We do a continental basket type thing so people have a little something to get started in. Also what are you going to do about things in the room like tea and coffee or a small fridge for fresh milk? It would consider it as a nice touch but make sure it is one of the new hotel type silent ones as otherwise the popping and clicking is annoying..
The cafe opens for breakfast at 6 a.m. They are open for lunch every day, and serve dinner Thurs., Fri. and Sat. until 9 p.m.
Of course, they could change that at any time.
Certainly there are times when people need to leave at 5 a.m. to catch a plane flight (we're a couple of hours from a major airport). So yes, I need a Plan B, probably have a basket of goodies those folks would receive the night before.
Since I'm putting in a full guest kitchen for them to use, I'm not planning on things like coffee, tea, microwave, and mini refrigerator in the rooms, but of course those could be added at any time if there's a real need.
I love the 1-cup coffee/tea makers the hotels are using now, where you pour a cup full of water in the top, pitch in a pre-measured pouch of coffee or tea, and put the cup under the spout with no need for a carafe to be washed (and broken). They take up little space and switch themselves off when they're done. Pretty well perfect.
Except...if someone drinks their coffee, then uses the now-dirty cup to pour another dose of water in the thing to make a second cup of coffee, it starts to get a little unsanitary for the next guest. You just have to assume the coffee making process will kill the germs, or not think about it!
But then, the same thing could happen to ANY coffee maker the guests have access to.
 

Joey Camb

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If we are packed to the doors we do 30 breakfasts and can seat 22 and we have never had to have people wait in 5 years. But it depends on what kind of trade you have. We are a conference town so people come for a specific thing and all have to be at that thing for a set time which bunches them all in a bottleneck for breakfast. However if you are more a holiday place then you always end up with a bottleneck at the end of breakfast. My DH works at a big hotel and it is always the same on a sunday morning 250 people try and have breakfast in an hour and it is complete and utter chaos. I recon from practical experience 2/3 is enough and what most hotels try to operate at.The only exception is conference hotels and airport/business hotels where they recomend 100% as everyone wants to be out between 7 and 8. Also you mention the diner what hours does it operate and will you offer anything for the early departure? We do a continental basket type thing so people have a little something to get started in. Also what are you going to do about things in the room like tea and coffee or a small fridge for fresh milk? It would consider it as a nice touch but make sure it is one of the new hotel type silent ones as otherwise the popping and clicking is annoying..
The cafe opens for breakfast at 6 a.m. They are open for lunch every day, and serve dinner Thurs., Fri. and Sat. until 9 p.m.
Of course, they could change that at any time.
Certainly there are times when people need to leave at 5 a.m. to catch a plane flight (we're a couple of hours from a major airport). So yes, I need a Plan B, probably have a basket of goodies those folks would receive the night before.
Since I'm putting in a full guest kitchen for them to use, I'm not planning on things like coffee, tea, microwave, and mini refrigerator in the rooms, but of course those could be added at any time if there's a real need.
I love the 1-cup coffee/tea makers the hotels are using now, where you pour a cup full of water in the top, pitch in a pre-measured pouch of coffee or tea, and put the cup under the spout with no need for a carafe to be washed (and broken). They take up little space and switch themselves off when they're done. Pretty well perfect.
Except...if someone drinks their coffee, then uses the now-dirty cup to pour another dose of water in the thing to make a second cup of coffee, it starts to get a little unsanitary for the next guest. You just have to assume the coffee making process will kill the germs, or not think about it!
But then, the same thing could happen to ANY coffee maker the guests have access to.
.
Those pop things are excellent a lot of people have them in their homes in this country I would say that the pod things work out quite expensive and if you put out a basket of different varieties the customers tend to swipe the lot. However from a guests not burning the place down they are very safe. They also look very sleek and professional.
 

seashanty

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in my old place, i had enough seating for all guests at once. maximum occupancy was 21 and i could do it but it was crowded. i also served from 8 to 10 and folks rarely all showed up at once. unless it was a group rental then the place was hopping.
however, i had a few 'favorite tables' that people would wait to sit at ... the ones right at the windows looking out at the water. if folks wanted to wait ... by choice ... that was fine. but they never HAD to wait. a few times, there were families that wanted to eat together and if they wanted to wait til i could pull two tables together, and could arrange 10 or even 12 chairs around, i'd do that. i had tables for two and four and was always moving things around to accommodate. the tables were fairly close together so people could talk back and forth. unless they chose one of the corner tables or the most private table of all that was in a window bay ... very popular for romance.
also, when i wasn't at max occupancy, i moved some chairs to the walls and/or used a few in other areas to make more space in the dining area.
 

Joey Camb

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Just to add another point I would have square tables as then you can put two together to make a table for 4 or separate for 2 two's etc it is more flexible than round ones. It is handy for future development if say you were to do afternoon teas or host small meetings for example for book clubs etc.
 

Morticia

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Just to add another point I would have square tables as then you can put two together to make a table for 4 or separate for 2 two's etc it is more flexible than round ones. It is handy for future development if say you were to do afternoon teas or host small meetings for example for book clubs etc..
Excellent point! We have done this twice now for whole house bookings and they are very happy to be able to all sit together at once.
 

JBloggs

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Unless you are into feng shui which states square tables separate people, you must have round or oblong. :)
 
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