How do you POLITELY get rid of lingering breakfast guests?

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Proud Texan

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This question is for small B&B owners who interact with their guests at breakfast.
We commonly serve breakfast at 8:30 a.m. When we have only one couple at breakfast, many times they ask us to sit and have coffee with them. Depending on the guests, this is mostly a very nice experience and we've actually made many new friends through this practice. When there are two couples at the table, we leave them to their own devices and check periodically for coffee refills etc. staying out of the way.
We must be extremely interesting because many times guest linger at the table until nearly checkout time. I've tried to "hint" that breakfast is over by clearing the table of empty dishes and start turning off the lights (DW cringes when I do this).
What is a polite way to get people to leave in a timely fashion without being inhospitable? Even though they are being rude and inconsiderate, as innkeepers, we have to be the epitome of hospitality.
 

seashanty

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i used to put my cordless phone in my apron pocket and then touch the ringer. it would ring and i would pretend to answer and then POLITELY excuse myself saying i had to do some office work and to please enjoy their morning. then i would leave them in the dining area. they sometimes lingered alone but would get up and wander off after a bit.
yes, it was a bit cowardly i suppose. but it let me leave them gracefully.
 

gillumhouse

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I have used the glance at my watch and say "Oh my goodness, this has ben such an interesting conversation but we have an appointment this afternoon and have to get some things done before we can go." That not only ends the converstaion but gives a gentle hint it is time to hit the road.
 

Hillbilly

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If you have a smart phone, download a fake ringer app. Set it for a certain time and problem solved..... I have never tried this, but it would work. You could also get up and say "I can't believe how late it is! Are you going to need help carrying your luggage to your car?" or something like that. Get the topic moving in a direction of check out. If they are stay overs , you probably won't want to use that one. You and your wife will have to come up with a last call kinda code for eac other when you need to finish up!
 

Madeleine

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Guests think if you're still there chatting then it's ok to hang out. We have had this happen many times in the winter when there's no one else here. If we absolutely have to get a move on it's DH who looks at his watch and shouts, 'Look at the time! I have to leap into action!' and then he gets up and walks away.
Sometimes guests follow him to the kitchen but as long as he can work he'll still talk. It's when he brings out the cleaning supplies that they generally take the hint.
 

Generic

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I start talking about how nice it is outside and all the things to do outside. Subtle but it usually works.
 

Joey Camb

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I politely ask that they move up to the lounge as we have to finish tidying up before helping the housekeeper - I don't but they don't know that!
 

seashanty

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so funny!
but i do remember being crazy annoyed and not knowing what to do when someone followed me into the kitchen ... yes, i told them please don't come in the kitchen ... health dept rules blah blah ... followed me right down into the basement to the sump pump!
that morning, i ended up locking myself in the bathroom to get some PEACE. while the woman stood outside the door talking. i turned on the shower ... and got in ... midmorning!!!
it is funny now ... back then i was ready to pull my hair out ... or hers.
 
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