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New Inn Design: Breakfast Table Size and Shape

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Barliman

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While trying to envision traffic flow and effeciancy, I'd like to ask an obvious question... My Dining Hall is large and quite long. We will be able to accomodate wedding parties of up to 50 seated guests. But kitchen access is from one end. Is a long table say 5' wide by 35' long (rectangular) the best way to lay it out? or would a "U" shape be better? or even an oblong, sort of round table? I've even considered some kind of "open" kitchen with bar stools to watch the chef, ala Beni Hanah's.
 

gillumhouse

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Why not have smaller tables that can be put together when a bigger table is needed. It would give the flexibilty of offering a table for two or four if that is preferred by the guests or with a bit of push/shove voila a table for 6 or 8 or more, It would also allow for whatever layout os required - U shape for a reception or seminar or a long table if that is preferred. Versitility is best if you have that available to you. JMNVHO.
 

JBloggs

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Whatever you do, make sure there is a break in the middle if you have one long table set up so you and others can get around efficiently not having to walk the length and around each and every time. I would buy tables I could put together in any configuration. I mean if you can find a hotel catering/function website you will see the different layouts they offer for say "conference" vs "hosted dinner" vs "group plated meals" vs "buffet" etc. It would all depend on what you are offering there. Will you need side tables for refreshments, will people be standing around pre the meal and after or only sitting?
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Why not have smaller tables that can be put together when a bigger table is needed. It would give the flexibilty of offering a table for two or four if that is preferred by the guests or with a bit of push/shove voila a table for 6 or 8 or more, It would also allow for whatever layout os required - U shape for a reception or seminar or a long table if that is preferred. Versitility is best if you have that available to you. JMNVHO..
Ditto. Flexibility is best if you're planning to do both events and regular overnight guests.
 

Barliman

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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.
 

JBloggs

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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..
Barliman I think there was a poll on here a while back asking that question. Asking what we all had, and asking what we all preferred as a guest ourselves. I think it ended up being about 50/50. Then we had the breakfast delivered to the room option as well. :)
If I had a ton of space I would like individual tables for two on a four-top. Day two a couple who chatted day one might sit together.
Recently sitting at two diff tables with an ocean view was like this - a rectangle for 4 so we basically had to look across at each other and not out the window, and then there was a square table for 4 sitting like a diamond shape toward the window so the front two seats could look out at the water view (or the only two if that were the case). The angled square table was so much more appealing to me than these rectangular tables all in a row. I was always drawn to those tables diamonded in to the window view.
Just mentioning as I would have fun moving the them around, I think it is a good choice. But whatever feels right for your place is what you go with!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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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.
 

Morticia

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I like the idea of getting different sized tables to make the most of the space. If you've got the room. I know that I wish I could have a large table for groups (families of 5 or more members) so I could give them their own table rather than having them spread out and take all 4 tables all for themselves.
What we found this weekend was we can put our 4 tables together into one, long table and seat 16, which was a great help with the group booking. Usually, 16 would have meant multiple seatings for one family, which would not have worked. This way they all ate at once. Together at 'one' table.
 
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