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Method to avoid breakfast no-shows?

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notAgrandma

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This past weekend, I had 2 guests who didn't show up for breakfast 2 out of the 3 days they stayed with us. This is pretty unusual, but when it happens it results in extra effort and extra food that might have to be thrown away if I can't freeze it. I had this happen a lot with booking.con guests who are apparently unfamiliar that staying at a B&B includes breakfast, so I made breakfast an add-on item they had to pay for which guaranteed they'd show up! I don't want to make breakfast an add-on item for guests that book through our site, though.
The worst incident of breakfast no-show was 2 couples traveling together who decided in the morning that they really needed to get home to their kids 30 minutes earlier than they'd initially planned. No text to my cell phone (the # is posted in our rooms), no call on the land line, and no note in the kitchen. They sprung the news on me while I was slicing 2 lb of strawberries & a dozen muffins were in the oven. That was a lot of wasted food!
Does anyone have a fool proof plan to virtually eliminate breakfast no-shows?
 

Morticia

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Get up late! Then everyone is in the dining room with their tongues on the floor at 7:30!
That said, no I don't have a plan.
We had a guest who wanted a discount because one person in her group would not be having breakfast. That morning, 6 guests walked out the door without so much as telling us they weren't eating, they just never came back before breakfast was over!
Usually, the fruit course suffers, but I can eat fruit for a couple of days.
 

Flower

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Yes book ing guests do not always understand B&Bs. I always tell them when book ing our rooms and also tell them a pond arrive that breakfast is included with your room. If they do not wish to have breakfast please tell me . No there is not cost difference whether you have breakfast or not! Or you could try and say it on their web site that breakfast is included with your room. Fool proof! no there is always some that just donot understand No matter what you say or do.
As far as your strawberry well I freeze mine and use them is smoothies and baking . Muffins always freeze well.
 

TheBeachHouse

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WE had a housefull of wedding attendees, including the bride. (Avoid whenever possible, btw).
I love weddings so I went out of my way to make heart shaped fruit, heart shaped pancakes, a beautiful egg dish and the whole works.
They all went out to a brunch. All of them. Didn't eat a thing.
I learned to ask wedding groups if they will be here for breakfast the next day. And no, they do not get a discount.
 

Generic

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When they arrive, we ask them what time they want breakfast, they choose 8 or 9. And if they don't show, that's fine. They paid, even if the food goes to waste.
But you could leave a note saying "breakfast is included and it's at ____. It is complementary. But just let it go if they don't want to come. It's not personal... they just want to sleep in.
 

Morticia

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WE had a housefull of wedding attendees, including the bride. (Avoid whenever possible, btw).
I love weddings so I went out of my way to make heart shaped fruit, heart shaped pancakes, a beautiful egg dish and the whole works.
They all went out to a brunch. All of them. Didn't eat a thing.
I learned to ask wedding groups if they will be here for breakfast the next day. And no, they do not get a discount..
Yes! We always ask wedding guests if there is a brunch on Sunday they are attending. However, that's not enough! You also have to ask if they are having breakfast first, before the brunch!
We just had a group that skipped lobster rolls to have breakfast here instead. I think the wedding couple must have had a lot of leftovers!
It's interesting to listen to the conversations, too. The ones that revolve around what things they are going to and what ones they are skipping. They've sent back an RSVP by the time they get here, and they're still planning to skip meals that are bought and paid for.
So, I toss out some fruit or yogurt. Someone has paid a lot of money for all of these family members to have brunch, wedding dinner, rehearsal dinner meals and the guests blithely don't show.
 

Breakfast Diva

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"They sprung the news on me while I was slicing 2 lb of strawberries & a dozen muffins were in the oven. That was a lot of wasted food!"
Annoying, yes, but wasted? No way. freeze the cut berries and muffins or reheat the muffins the next morning.
I don't understand what difference it makes whether people eat it or leave it. It doesn't cost you 1 penny more. They paid for it with their room rate.
 

Silverspoon

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DH does the check in. Part of that process is detailing breakfast times, allergies etc. He makes a point of letting them know that we begin our prep the night before to have a 3 course, complimentary breakfast ready to serve them when they sit down at 8:30. If they know they will not be at breakfast we ask them to please let us know the night before if possible or leave us a note on the tea cart so that we can adjust our schedule accordingly. Seems to work for us most of the time.
 

gillumhouse

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I had to leave the house at 7:30 this morning for a Municipal League Conference. The calledSunday for a reservation and I told her I had to leave that early - she still booked. So I when I sent the Confirmation e-mail, I offered dinner last night in place of breakfast. They accepted and were delightful. They left a lovely note and a nice piece of currency - which in the note said it was forthe Lord's Pantry. That is OK though because the note made my head too big to go through the door. (and I have enough food left over from dinner last night to get me through to the weekend.
In 21 years, I have only had 2 couples not show up for breakfast.
 

seashanty

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Rarely experience no shows for breakfast - more problems with late to breakfast or wanting to bring friends to join in.
The freezer is your friend. Fresh berries - if you have room, freeze on cookie sheets and then pop them right in a freezer bag, inside another freezer bag. Not ideal to use frozen strawberries as fresh fruit but it's do-able. Blueberries are much more forgiving. And I'd freeze those muffins straight away. Wrap each one individually, then pack carefully in freezer bags. Not as good as fresh, but you can thaw at room temp or individually in a paper towel in the microwave. Experiment with what you have so you know what works. They probably are yummy. It can be really helpful to have frozen things on hand when you get last minute guests so I try to turn it into a positive. And I try not to feast!
I would stay away from adjustments to the room rate if they don't eat breakfast. This turns into guests asking for a lower rate because they don't plan to have breakfast, challenging you on the 'price' of the breakfast, or not paying for breakfast and then showing up for breakfast and you trying to get payment. It's just so messy. For me, breakfast is 'complimentary' and built into the room rate. So if they don't eat .. it's annoying but I can deal.
 

seashanty

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Also, I don't know what kind of time you have but you can do impromptu marketing with homemade muffins and breads. Walk into some local businesses with rack cards and some of those warm muffins for the staff.
So ... hmmm ... I have no method to avoid this situation. Sorry.
 

notAgrandma

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Thank you everyone for the excellent ideas! Over the years, I've learned to roll with the punches & freeze leftovers whenever possible. My hubby enjoys anything I can't freeze. I was just wondering if there's a way to avoid this in the first place. I ask guests at check-in if they have any food allergies or special dietary needs, which helps avoid surprises at the breakfast table (it's a required field in our res form, but *people don't read* :D ) I also mention our breakfast times and ask if this works okay for their plans. Sometimes they'll tell me at check-in that they need to leave early, or that they're meeting people for brunch, which is helpful. I guess there's only so much we can do!
 

Generic

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Thank you everyone for the excellent ideas! Over the years, I've learned to roll with the punches & freeze leftovers whenever possible. My hubby enjoys anything I can't freeze. I was just wondering if there's a way to avoid this in the first place. I ask guests at check-in if they have any food allergies or special dietary needs, which helps avoid surprises at the breakfast table (it's a required field in our res form, but *people don't read* :D ) I also mention our breakfast times and ask if this works okay for their plans. Sometimes they'll tell me at check-in that they need to leave early, or that they're meeting people for brunch, which is helpful. I guess there's only so much we can do!.
The absolute best thing to do with leftovers... serve them for breakfast :)
http://www.foodinaminute.co.nz/Recipes/Leftover-Frittata
http://www.thejoykitchen.com/recipe/frittata-leftovers
It's amazing the responses that I get to this, especially with leftover pasta. But honestly, cutting up a quiche or another fritatta and putting it in... works great. Basically, vegetables, pasta, etc cut up and added to a batter of eggs, cream and cheese. Heck, even a cut up lasagne will work. Salt, pepper, some herbs and voila.
Other ways to dress it up... zucchini or tomatoes on the edge, hash brown potatoes as a crust, tomatoes on top, an infinite ring of zucchini before you pour in the eggs... anything creative.
 

Lee2014

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No show for breakfast means the staff enjoys a treat!
 

Jcam

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Thank you everyone for the excellent ideas! Over the years, I've learned to roll with the punches & freeze leftovers whenever possible. My hubby enjoys anything I can't freeze. I was just wondering if there's a way to avoid this in the first place. I ask guests at check-in if they have any food allergies or special dietary needs, which helps avoid surprises at the breakfast table (it's a required field in our res form, but *people don't read* :D ) I also mention our breakfast times and ask if this works okay for their plans. Sometimes they'll tell me at check-in that they need to leave early, or that they're meeting people for brunch, which is helpful. I guess there's only so much we can do!.
Honey we have the reverce problem - we take room only bookings with breakfast as an add on - we are very clear if you havn't booked breakfast and turn up we will turn you away to push them to book breakfast if they want it - still they turn up without booking - going to start emailing all room only bookings with this as am getting sick of it.
 

notAgrandma

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Thank you everyone for the excellent ideas! Over the years, I've learned to roll with the punches & freeze leftovers whenever possible. My hubby enjoys anything I can't freeze. I was just wondering if there's a way to avoid this in the first place. I ask guests at check-in if they have any food allergies or special dietary needs, which helps avoid surprises at the breakfast table (it's a required field in our res form, but *people don't read* :D ) I also mention our breakfast times and ask if this works okay for their plans. Sometimes they'll tell me at check-in that they need to leave early, or that they're meeting people for brunch, which is helpful. I guess there's only so much we can do!.
Honey we have the reverce problem - we take room only bookings with breakfast as an add on - we are very clear if you havn't booked breakfast and turn up we will turn you away to push them to book breakfast if they want it - still they turn up without booking - going to start emailing all room only bookings with this as am getting sick of it.
.
I only had a handful of folks who booked "room only" through booking.con. (I no longer list on booking.con because I had too many problems with cancellations & their customer service sucked.) Anyway, I made sure to mention at check-in to these guests that they didn't pay for breakfast in the morning. I only had one person say, "Gee, I didn't know that breakfast wasn't included." I showed them a copy of their reservation, pointed out the difference in our 2 rates on booking.con, and explained that they could add it for $20 per person, per day. They declined.
I'm not sure if spelling it out in an email will help because we all know people don't read! I send out a "see you soon" email that spells out our check-in times in bold font and provides a list of stuff to do if they're early. Folks still show up early. If you already emphasize at check-in that these guests haven't booked breakfast, then I'm not sure what else you could do to avoid the issue. :p
 

Tom

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"They sprung the news on me while I was slicing 2 lb of strawberries & a dozen muffins were in the oven. That was a lot of wasted food!"
Annoying, yes, but wasted? No way. freeze the cut berries and muffins or reheat the muffins the next morning.
I don't understand what difference it makes whether people eat it or leave it. It doesn't cost you 1 penny more. They paid for it with their room rate..
Breakfast Diva said:
I don't understand what difference it makes whether people eat it or leave it. It doesn't cost you 1 penny more. They paid for it with their room rate.
Exactly. People's lives get complicated, there is mis-communication, people change their minds, they sleep late, there is waste. You should see (or maybe not!) what goes on in a restaurant.
 

Morticia

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And then there was this weekend with one room I never met. No breakfast, no contact, in and out.
 
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