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family style vs. plated??

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How do you serve your breakfast?
I recently purchase a bed and breakfast and the previous owner has been serving family style for 15 years! So for the past year I've been doing the same. Recently I've been wondering, 'is there a better way?'
I recently saw a cookbook with a bed and breakfast that served a four course breakfast. It look so gourmet and divine. Has anyone made the switch? Anyone done both and likes one better than the other? Guest feedback??
Thanks!!
 

egoodell

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We serve at indivdual tables, but are only two rooms now. When we get up to 5 rooms we'll do a buffet/serving combo probably.
You can create atmosphere with service. We set out the fruit course so it's there when they come and sit down, then bring a muffin, and then serve the entree.
But if you are casual, then family style may go with your overall style. We are trying for a wine country farm fresh comfort food served with elegance type of style.
Riki
 

The Farmers Daughter

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I serve a 3 course gourmet breakfast by candlelight. Its plated and served. I use fine china and crytal. Its quite posh and one of my draws.
 

YellowSocks

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Similar to Riki... plated fruit out and ready when they come down. Then an entree and side meat served family style. Very elegant table setting, very little waste. We have four rooms, which matters a lot when choosing breakfast style...
=)
Kk.
 

EmptyNest

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This topic has also been discussed at length if you do search. We served plated. Saves on food costs.
 
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I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room.
 
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I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Today there is just one couple, they sit down to the table at the time they chose and said "Don't go to any trouble, we aren't breakfast eaters, coffee is just fine."
Not sure who thinks we begin breakfast prep at the time guests sit down, but I had already been in the kitchen for 40 minutes and it was ready to go!
I replied,"It is no trouble, I already have it all prepared."
"Oh" he says. Then she says "Well honey do you just want an egg or something?"
What part of prepared do you not understand? I say my routine statement of late - - "I will bring it out and you can eat whatever you like and leave whatever you don't want and it won't hurt my feelings one bit..." and walk back into the kitchen for their food. :) Bless their hearts...from my favorite state as well...what a coinky-dink.
 

JBloggs

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I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room..
prince charming said:
I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room.
Here is my answer to what you wrote above:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
 

YellowSocks

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I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room..
prince charming said:
I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room.
Here is my answer to what you wrote above:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
.
Joe Bloggs said:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
I admit I never thought about this. (And we've discussed this topic plenty of times before!) Most of the times, though, my guests are not sitting with strangers as we aren't that large. And I pop in a lot with offers of more. And I'll hand the plate myself if necessary. And I serve a lot of food.
But hmmm... if you're perceiving that you have to "work" for your breakfast by serving yourself and passing the plate...
OTOH, you get as much as you want, or only as much as you want...
Hmmmm....
=)
Kk.
 

JBloggs

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I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room..
prince charming said:
I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room.
Here is my answer to what you wrote above:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
.
Joe Bloggs said:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
I admit I never thought about this. (And we've discussed this topic plenty of times before!) Most of the times, though, my guests are not sitting with strangers as we aren't that large. And I pop in a lot with offers of more. And I'll hand the plate myself if necessary. And I serve a lot of food.
But hmmm... if you're perceiving that you have to "work" for your breakfast by serving yourself and passing the plate...
OTOH, you get as much as you want, or only as much as you want...
Hmmmm....
=)
Kk.
.
YellowSocks said:
Joe Bloggs said:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
I admit I never thought about this. (And we've discussed this topic plenty of times before!) Most of the times, though, my guests are not sitting with strangers as we aren't that large. And I pop in a lot with offers of more. And I'll hand the plate myself if necessary. And I serve a lot of food.
But hmmm... if you're perceiving that you have to "work" for your breakfast by serving yourself and passing the plate...
OTOH, you get as much as you want, or only as much as you want...
Hmmmm....
=)
Kk.
Not so sure you get as much as you want. That was what I was talking about, being polite we might only take a small portion, not knowing how much others will want, or how far it will go. As a guest, I don't want to have to calculate this out and then embarass myself asking for more of something that is in a bowl in front of another guest.
When I answer, I always think of our family, not just myself. Ie kids, spouse, etc, how they react to this sort of set up.
When we are on vacation we often say "instead of boo-fay, let's just go somewhere where we can be served" so that is what I meant by working for the food. I guess if I am paying $110-$200 a night I want to be served. Trying to explain it, hope it makes sense.
The same reason we got a lazy susan as a child, we wanted to eat and not have to pass the food around and around the whole meal.

 

YellowSocks

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I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room..
prince charming said:
I have 5 rooms... at max I could have 11 people.
I think either style would work from a functional aspect.
Some days I do have a lot of wasted food as I tend to make to much. But then there are days when I barely have enough. I guess you just never know?? Currenlty I do have just one big table in my dining room.
Here is my answer to what you wrote above:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
.
Joe Bloggs said:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
I admit I never thought about this. (And we've discussed this topic plenty of times before!) Most of the times, though, my guests are not sitting with strangers as we aren't that large. And I pop in a lot with offers of more. And I'll hand the plate myself if necessary. And I serve a lot of food.
But hmmm... if you're perceiving that you have to "work" for your breakfast by serving yourself and passing the plate...
OTOH, you get as much as you want, or only as much as you want...
Hmmmm....
=)
Kk.
.
YellowSocks said:
Joe Bloggs said:
On one hand, people can interact and maybe relax family style, or on the other hand, they won't eat or get what they want as they may be shy to ask strangers to pass the biscuits... I wouldn't want to ask strangers to pass me food or pass me seconds.
The mix of guests would make all the difference, if you get one stick in the mud, then the table is not comfortable and unless you stand there yourself and keep the food moving, people would be reluctant to pass the food. Just my 2 cents worth.
From my own perspective - I want to sit down and relax and not have to work at breakfast. I want the food brought to me, not me to the food, or pick up move move move and interrupt my meal. If you are in a country setting, checkered tablecloths, casual atmosphere then family style might be fun, people are there for the same reason and will enjoy it.
I admit I never thought about this. (And we've discussed this topic plenty of times before!) Most of the times, though, my guests are not sitting with strangers as we aren't that large. And I pop in a lot with offers of more. And I'll hand the plate myself if necessary. And I serve a lot of food.
But hmmm... if you're perceiving that you have to "work" for your breakfast by serving yourself and passing the plate...
OTOH, you get as much as you want, or only as much as you want...
Hmmmm....
=)
Kk.
Not so sure you get as much as you want. That was what I was talking about, being polite we might only take a small portion, not knowing how much others will want, or how far it will go. As a guest, I don't want to have to calculate this out and then embarass myself asking for more of something that is in a bowl in front of another guest.
When I answer, I always think of our family, not just myself. Ie kids, spouse, etc, how they react to this sort of set up.
When we are on vacation we often say "instead of boo-fay, let's just go somewhere where we can be served" so that is what I meant by working for the food. I guess if I am paying $110-$200 a night I want to be served. Trying to explain it, hope it makes sense.
The same reason we got a lazy susan as a child, we wanted to eat and not have to pass the food around and around the whole meal.

.
Joe Bloggs said:
Not so sure you get as much as you want. That was what I was talking about, being polite we might only take a small portion, not knowing how much others will want, or how far it will go. As a guest, I don't want to have to calculate this out and then embarass myself asking for more of something that is in a bowl in front of another guest.
Would it make a difference if you looked at the plate and there was so much you could take as much as you wanted and still have LOTS left for everyone else? I mean, I serve a LOT of food... like a cookie sheet of bacon for two people. I hate going someplace and having to count the sausages.
=)
Kk.
 

Samster

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What do you charge for your rooms? I think this is key for people in their perception of service. This came up in someone else's reply. If I am paying well over $100/night, I expect to be served. I don't care if there is a bountiful amount of buffet or family style food available. I want to sit, relax, and be taken care of! And it's wonderful when it is all beautifully presented as well. If presented with a family style situation, I would tend to be quite careful in what I served myself...we used to call that FHB (Family Hold Back). lol!
That is one of the perks that I've found when I stay at B&Bs. Otherwise, I'll stay at the chain hotels and grab a banana and bagel.
 
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What do you charge for your rooms? I think this is key for people in their perception of service. This came up in someone else's reply. If I am paying well over $100/night, I expect to be served. I don't care if there is a bountiful amount of buffet or family style food available. I want to sit, relax, and be taken care of! And it's wonderful when it is all beautifully presented as well. If presented with a family style situation, I would tend to be quite careful in what I served myself...we used to call that FHB (Family Hold Back). lol!
That is one of the perks that I've found when I stay at B&Bs. Otherwise, I'll stay at the chain hotels and grab a banana and bagel..
Samster said:
What do you charge for your rooms?
All rooms, expect our suite, are under $75 per night.
With that being said, I still want to create something special. Just because my rooms are 'economically price' I still want people to feel special and taken care of...
Everyone makes a great point... I suppose I just need to 'pick one' and stick with it.. Just trying to take it all in before making that change.
 

EmptyNest

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What do you charge for your rooms? I think this is key for people in their perception of service. This came up in someone else's reply. If I am paying well over $100/night, I expect to be served. I don't care if there is a bountiful amount of buffet or family style food available. I want to sit, relax, and be taken care of! And it's wonderful when it is all beautifully presented as well. If presented with a family style situation, I would tend to be quite careful in what I served myself...we used to call that FHB (Family Hold Back). lol!
That is one of the perks that I've found when I stay at B&Bs. Otherwise, I'll stay at the chain hotels and grab a banana and bagel..
Samster said:
What do you charge for your rooms?
All rooms, expect our suite, are under $75 per night.
With that being said, I still want to create something special. Just because my rooms are 'economically price' I still want people to feel special and taken care of...
Everyone makes a great point... I suppose I just need to 'pick one' and stick with it.. Just trying to take it all in before making that change.
.
You need to do what works best for you. You don't have to do it the way the old innkeepers did it. How long have you been running your inn. Is it a tourist destination, or do you cater to local business people, college??? Do you have a partner or someone to help you? Serve while you cook or vice versa? I assume everyone gathers at the same time. Does that work for you? If not, consider a change.
Personally, I don't like family style at the B & B's I have stayed at. I don't want to be that cozy with the other guests. I want to be served my breakfast. For us, serving plated gave us a chance to show off our presentation skills, clever garnishes, etc. We usually always had enough if someone wanted more, but usually they had plenty.
Economical..I'd say? How long since a rate increase?
 

gillumhouse

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I used to do individual fruit dishes in small bowls or sherbets - what a waste! People would pick out the fruits they liked or would try something new and the rest was thrown away - someone touched it. I now serve a fruit bowl so the guests can choose what they want into their individual dish. What is left can go into my family garbage disposal (have I ever introduced anyone to DH?). I set an elegant table, but we are relaxed family in atmosphere. I have rarely had a breakfast where there was so little food that there was none left (only time that happens is with Pete - if I put enough food on the table for 6, he will finish every bite!) I believe in abundance of good food. It is obvious from the size of the serving dishes heaped with food that there is more than enough for those at the table that morning.
I serve family style to avoid waste AND so my small eaters can take a small portion (or a tiny taste portion and come back for more) and our hearty eaters can have at it without looking like pigs.
Quite frankly I never looked at putting food on my plate as having to work for it. And handing a dish to another person was looked at in my family as just being polite - and could be an ice breaker. I guess growing up in the farm did not prepare me for polite society. I am surprised at some of the answers. And just for the record my rates are $95 to $145 per night.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We deliver a 4 course breakfast to the door. It fits our romantic niche. If I didn't deliver it, I would do a plated breakfast. If you want your guests to feel special, plating is a way to do it.
With your prices, I would suggest you do a plated breakfast so you have less waste. Make them generous portions, but that way you know exactly how much to make each day.
 

gillumhouse

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We deliver a 4 course breakfast to the door. It fits our romantic niche. If I didn't deliver it, I would do a plated breakfast. If you want your guests to feel special, plating is a way to do it.
With your prices, I would suggest you do a plated breakfast so you have less waste. Make them generous portions, but that way you know exactly how much to make each day..
But then what would the garbge disposal get for breakfast?

 

Breakfast Diva

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We deliver a 4 course breakfast to the door. It fits our romantic niche. If I didn't deliver it, I would do a plated breakfast. If you want your guests to feel special, plating is a way to do it.
With your prices, I would suggest you do a plated breakfast so you have less waste. Make them generous portions, but that way you know exactly how much to make each day..
But then what would the garbge disposal get for breakfast?

.
gillumhouse said:
But then what would the garbge disposal get for breakfast?
Whatever HE made!

 

gillumhouse

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We deliver a 4 course breakfast to the door. It fits our romantic niche. If I didn't deliver it, I would do a plated breakfast. If you want your guests to feel special, plating is a way to do it.
With your prices, I would suggest you do a plated breakfast so you have less waste. Make them generous portions, but that way you know exactly how much to make each day..
But then what would the garbge disposal get for breakfast?

.
gillumhouse said:
But then what would the garbge disposal get for breakfast?
Whatever HE made!

.
Different garbage disposal system. That one eats nothing (other than fruit) that tastes good. The disposal that would go unfed (ahem!) eats whatever is available...... or else gets stuck with (groan) Coco-Wheats - the only thing other than oatmeal DH knows how to make for breakfast and so as to not hurt feelings UGH!
 
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