Flexibility....I like that. Fortunately, we will have ample room to do any layout, but I get your idea of staying flexible to accomodate any type of group or couple. Which brings up this comment: In the Inns I have stayed at, most have a "communal" type breakfast setting rather than a "private, intimate table for two" or multiple small tables. I like meeting and talking to new folks. Is this "communal" layout the norm? or what would you say is the ratio 80/20...communal/intimate? Do some Inns have both?
And BTW, does anyone do a buffet rather than a fixed menu? I realize that could cut into the bottom line real quick...just curious..
One thing you'll find is that there is no norm among B&Bs. Each one is different in almost every way.
Personally, while I enjoy visiting with other guests during the social/wine hour, I prefer a private table in the morning for my breakfast. But that's just me. I've also stayed (and worked) in just lovely places that had communal tables but with enough of a spread among breakfast times that guests generally had privacy anyway.
Lots of places try to do both: have a large communal table for the folks who are feeling friendly in the morning and a few smaller tables for couples, as well. I always gravitate to the smaller tables in those cases, but that just might be because when I'm on vacation I don't want to be socializing all the time since I'm socializing when I'm working.
Some of my favorite places bring a hot (and sometimes multiple course) breakfast to the rooms at the time of the guest's choosing. I've also enjoyed some lovely picnic baskets delivered full of all kinds of breakfast goodies, hot coffee, and fresh juice. I've always been a fan of breakfast in bed, so having the breakfast brought to me always feels indulgent.
Whether it's a buffet or breakfast cooked to order, you'll find even among the innkeepers on this forum there is no norm. That's, of course, the charm of B&Bs. They are each different in their own wonderful way.