Graceful way to say, 'Please leave on time?'

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Well-known member
May 22, 2008
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If you absolutely have to be somewhere that is dependent on the guests vacating the premises at or before check-out, how do you phrase that? An example would be a dr's appt that you can't be late for. If everyone leaves when they are supposed to, you're in the clear. If you get a dawdler, it's all over.
We generally plan appts for later in the day, but there are things you can only do at certain, a funeral, your flight to Rio, something where they're not going to wait for you to show up!
Our normal check-out is 11 am, but on Easter Sunday we always put a little tent card at the front desk:
"So that we can enjoy Easter services with our family, we kindly ask that all guests plan to check-out no later than 10 AM. Thank you, and Happy Easter!"
Or if it's just a few people just tell them when they check in.
Last weekend DH went up and knocked on their door and said "Are you ready to check out it is past check out time" yeah yeah we're just packing up...this went on three times, I was here ready to throw a late check out fee onto their statement and DH said no, don't do it. Now in situations past we would have just left, left them here, yes, that is what I said, but these were very young unmarrieds on a fling and didn't feel we could.
I had a friend who said to some guests..."my weekend begins when you leave, it is past check out time now, so we need you to leave now."
Actually at breakfast as folks were getting up from the table, I used to tell folks, we'll say our goodbyes at 11 am checkout!
I like the idea of letting guests know at check-in that you have special plans. If we were to go to church every week, I would change my policies to show check out on Sunday is at 10:30. And make sure I mentioned that.
We had a friend who left a couple at his inn as he had to go to work. They were supposed to check out. They didn't. They stayed all day, refilled the Jacuzzi several times and basically made themselves at home. They were just leaving when he got home from work.
I think I'd have a tough time with a self check-out!
I'll usually just be sure to tell them at checkin that "Checkout is at 11 o'clock. If you need a few extra minutes, be sure to let us know."
They rarely then take those extra few minutes. And they know upfront that a late checkout is a few minutes late, not 2 hours or whatever.
Still, some dawdlers will take time packing up, losing keys, getting all panicked as they hit the road. So I try to plan for the possibility that some guests may be there - even if they're out of their room and officially checked out - as much as 30 minutes past checkout and make my appointments with that in mind. So if I really really need them out by 11 o'clock, I'd have checkout at 10:30.
See this is the thing, we discuss these things, people don't care about YOUR plans. Or else they would be checked out at check in time, we can't beat them over the head, they will be late if they want to, UNLESS you say there is a charge for a late check out,then guess what, theyw will be out on schedule.
But once again, do we have to change our entire policy for those few who are inconsiderate? That is what we battle. Of course they do not see the flip side, we wait all hours for check ins, then others check out when they feel like it, not at checkout time. So when you have this happen all the time, you need to step up and make a policy change. Then people think you are hard nosed. We are, because there is a reason we are.
It is always the same who are late checking out I can ANTICIPATE who will be late - it is the unmarried or not married to each other, who are here and typically 20's.
Tell the truth. If I have an appointment I tell the guests that I have an appointment so need to have everyone checked out on time. I also have no problems telling guests who are dawdling that I need to have them leave so I have time to prepare for new guests. I don't seem to have guests causing me problems.