Do you 'explain' how breakfast works?

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Alibi Ike

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Maybe we're getting more newbies and I should be asking that question at the start, but we seem to be getting a lot of people who do not know what to do when it comes to breakfast. We always greet the guests when they come into the dining room, we tell them to help themselves to coffee but then we must drop the ball.
If you do open seating where guests come whenever they're ready, how do you seat them? Direct them to a table? Let them figure it out on their own?
 

egoodell

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We have tables for two - only two rooms. We tell them to have a seat and start on their fruit and plop down their fresh baked muffin.
RIki
 

Copperhead

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We normally have 1 family style large table, if we have a large family or group as well as other guests, we will have 2 tables.
Our issue is that sometimes people will sit at one end of the table then the second (not wanting to sit close) will sit at the other end. This sometimes leaves the last couple to either wait or be seated apart.
DH is trying to be more bold by pulling out the chairs or pointing to the seats and say, so we can keep couples together... Most times that works if he is Johnny on the spot.
There lies your issue - you can't be everywhere.
If you did tell them at check in, would they listen?
 

gillumhouse

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I have one table. If I have 2 rooms, I set the table with settings at the corners and the 2 chairs in the middle empty. I tell them this is not as a barrier but for ease of serving. I can put the food in the middle and all can then reach everything. If it is one couple, I set it for them to sit in the two center seats and the food is at either side (or both sides) of them. All three rooms, it is grab a seat and they usually sit across from each other. It is rare fo a couple to seat themselves side-byu-side but it has happened. Oh, well. Then another couple has to sit side-by-side also.
 

Joey Camb

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We tell every person help yourself to the buffet toast is self service the glasses for the juice are here - and point and still every 5th person says you are out of glasses. Had a woman last week sat at the table (we lay up the table with cutlery and crockery) stood up started wandering about. Asked her if she needed any help and asked me if she should help herself to crockery from here (ie the stand for spares) No dear its all on your table where you were sat with it in front of you. Nothing shocks me at all
 

Don Draper

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We have two large tables, seat 12 total. Each seat will have a place setting. Help yourselves to coffee and tea on the buffet, then if you're ready to eat have a seat and we'll get you started. Works most days, but you do get the dense ones...like the guy the other week who wanted to carry his dirty plate into the kitchen through the "Do Not Enter" door...when he first sat down he said "How do we get breakfast? Do we come in there with you?"
We get a lot of people sitting down at the table...there will be 5 clean place settings and 1 dirty and they will always sit at the dirty one so you have to climb around them to clean it.
So short answer: No, you're not doing it wrong. They're just hungry and out of their element and probably are afraid to do it "wrong". Just smile and patiently redirect, it's all we can do!
 

Alibi Ike

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We have two large tables, seat 12 total. Each seat will have a place setting. Help yourselves to coffee and tea on the buffet, then if you're ready to eat have a seat and we'll get you started. Works most days, but you do get the dense ones...like the guy the other week who wanted to carry his dirty plate into the kitchen through the "Do Not Enter" door...when he first sat down he said "How do we get breakfast? Do we come in there with you?"
We get a lot of people sitting down at the table...there will be 5 clean place settings and 1 dirty and they will always sit at the dirty one so you have to climb around them to clean it.
So short answer: No, you're not doing it wrong. They're just hungry and out of their element and probably are afraid to do it "wrong". Just smile and patiently redirect, it's all we can do!.
Don Draper said:
when he first sat down he said "How do we get breakfast? Do we come in there with you?"
We get a lot of people sitting down at the table...there will be 5 clean place settings and 1 dirty and they will always sit at the dirty one so you have to climb around them to clean it.
This is it right here! "Do we come in the kitchen to get our food?" And that comes right on the heels of watching someone carry their dirty plates over and put them on the counter! LEAVE the plates on the table! You are NOT helping me by making the coffee area filthy with food scraps and piles of dishes!
Like you said, 'it's not our first day, we have a system!'
 

JBloggs

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Depends. If it is just me, they show up and IF I can walk out I will say please have a seat wherever you like. Chances are on my own I won't go out until the last moment, as I am cooking and cannot leave it unattended for people to chat to me, which they will do.
If I have children here I send one out around breakfast time in their apron and they greet the guests with a good morning, help yourself to the coffee (if they don't already have one) and direct them in with a "Come on in to breakfast if you are ready"
Otherwise, during the fifty cent tour, I walk them through and show them the dining room "Breakfast will be served here" and on the table is the little fella holding the breakfast time sign.
 

gillumhouse

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My 'splain of breakfast comes when a guest apologizes for being a small eater. I tell them that is why I serve "family style" - so my small eaters will not feel guilty for leaving a plare full of breakfast ad my "big eaters' will not be embarrassed to ask for more. It is a help yourself to as much or as little as you want.
I had one guest that I learned to limit what I put on the table if he was the only guest. - he would cleat the table, no matter how much was there!
 

Samster

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If I had your set-up with individual tables, there would definitely be some direction involved in the mornings with guest seating to avoid people hogging tables or to help provide the best use of the space. Especially since you have open seating. You also have the advantage of two people every morning. It gets trickier when there's only one of you and you're the cook, server, bus person, etc.
On check-in, I showed folks the dining room and told them where fresh brewed coffee as well as teas would be available at 7 AM on the library table. Since we had them commit to a breakfast time, I'd tell them to just show up then, have a seat, relax, and we would take care of serving them their complimentary breakfast.
The only time that I had problems was when we were full, including the extra persons in rooms and I had 2 seatings for breakfast and folks either showed up too early or lingered way too long at the table.
 
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