Maddie, My kichen is in view as well but haven't had a problem. Only once someone saw I was making omelots and asked me to be sparse on the cheese. I state chef's choice and accomodate those who have told me in advance of thier preferences.We're ok being flexible as long as people don't expect us to bend over and kiss their butts with off the cuff 'can't haves and won't eats'.Maddie, I think for some reason that because your kitchen is actually visible to the guests, that it somehow makes them feel entitled to "order" breakfast. Do you think this is part of it? This is the only explanation that I can come up with because I think most of us have handled guests requesting something else than what is on the menu for the morning pretty much the same way that y'all have.We don't have anything out except the juice, coffee & tea. And the cereal, which is out all the time. If bread is part of the meal it's plated along with the entree. We have been telling the guests, 'This is what is for breakfast,' when they arrive. That way, the assumption was, if there was an issue they forgot to mention, now's the time.Okay, I guess the discussion should start with how you are doing breakfast that they feel that they can do this to you. I've had only one or two people try this, ever. So, something in the way that you set up breakfast is making them feel entitled to do this...Don't tell me you can't eat that when I set it in front of you. You knew the day before what was for breakfast. (We're getting a little more aggressive on this during the year. Asking again on arrival so there is NO reason for ANY problems in the morning. )Odd, I have found the bedskirts are too long and I am hemming all of them this month. I will say that I got a great bedskirt at JCP that actually has added matching fabric where it drapes over the boxspring so on that one bed I never see the muslin part of the bedskirt.
Peeve 5- One 50 gallon trash container's worth from one room on a one night stay.
Peeve 6- Please don't show up on the wrong day and blame me.
My peeves are pretty standard-
Don't tell me you can't eat that when I set it in front of you. You knew the day before what was for breakfast. (We're getting a little more aggressive on this during the year. Asking again on arrival so there is NO reason for ANY problems in the morning.)
Don't show up 6 hours early and expect to check in..
You really think this will solve this? It won't, I can attest to that!
.Note I said 'no reason'. Anything that comes up in the morning is unreasonable.copperhead said:Don't tell me you can't eat that when I set it in front of you. You knew the day before what was for breakfast. (We're getting a little more aggressive on this during the year. Asking again on arrival so there is NO reason for ANY problems in the morning. )
You really think this will solve this? It won't, I can attest to that!
I really need to think that thru now. How to handle the morning breakfast issues they neglected to tell us about after all the opportunities to do so.
I guess what really gets me is the guest then expects us to make what they want. 'I can't have that, but I can have this...' something not at all on the agenda. There are days we really, seriously do NOT have whole wheat bread to make toast with. This is considered a crime of some sort by some guests.
'OK, then, I'll have a muffin. No muffins??!! How about some banana bread? Really? No banana bread??? What exactly are you running here if I can't get breakfast?'
The list of things I've been asked for when a guest doesn't want what's being served is amazing.
I'll explain how we have things set up and they maybe we can look at how you do it.
When a guest arrives for breakfast we have both a table of 6 set up and a counter for 2 set up. (We can push it to 8 and 3 if we have to.) On the table is the orange juice, milk, water. There is also usually a plate of something like muffins, danish, cheese or meat on the table as well. The first dish (ie yogurt, fruit, etc) is set up for them as well. In the centre of the table is jam, honey, nutella, etc along with spoons so that they don't cross contaminate. Sugar and cream are there as well. Coffee is in a carafe on the table and labelled. (I've never had anyone ask for other juices, either, but then we don't stock any other juices, really.)
On the far wall are two stations. Station 1 has cereal including oatmeal with bowls and packets for hot chocolate. Station 2 has a hot water dispenser, our coffee maker (coffee has been poured into the carafe to keep it hot, but the coffee maker is set up to make another pot in an emergency. And next to this is a pod brewer in case we need decaf or they want flavoured brown water. On the mantle is a selection of teast including green, decaf and black. On the counter next to the two spots are bagel and bread and the toaster. Then we usually announce saying "... and today we are making..." and that's that. We leave no room for orders, we don't ask. If they have an issue they will usually tell me that they don't want what I'm serving and at that point I simply say "enjoy the other items." or if I have time, offer a plain omelette or french toast.
If I have someone who is gluten free, I usually point out the items we have and tell them that if they want bread or toast to tell me, since we keep it frozen. If I have prepared for them, I have usually done it, first, so nothing cross contaminates and I can rewarm or reuse what is left for the rest of the guests.
If they tell me a food issue at the breakfast table, I'm attentive, but if impossible to accomodate I simply say that I'm sorry they didn't tell me ahead of time so we could prepaer something and offer the alternatives that are available. I don't take orders and I don't ask them what they want, ever! When you ask question you invite people to fill them in as they wish... and eggs benedict can be a possibility and it's too many steps! Can I make you a plain omelette instead?
As for bread, we usually only carry a whole wheat and not white, we carry bagels (sliced in half) and we can pull frozen bagels out of the freezer in an emergency. But they don't get a selection of bread either. It's what's next to the toaster. They make do.
We may stop that and announce breakfast in the morning, as has happened to us everywhere we have ever gone!
What makes guests think they can request anything is not my asking them what else can we get for them if they can't eat what we're serving. I don't know what it is. If someone suddenly discovers at 8 AM that they are gluten intolerant on a day we have FT then I will offer, if it is at all possible, scrambled eggs. But I ask the cook first if there are enough eggs for that. And if he feels like going out of his way.
We've had parents say to their kids, 'What would you like honey? Pancakes? Eggs? Waffles? FT?' I have to stop them right there and say, 'The breakfast is this...' A lot of times the parents will say, 'Then just a bagel for me.' WHERE did they see a bakery sign anywhere in my house?
Lots and lots of spouses will come to the kitchen after they see someone else being served and say, 'My spouse can't eat that.' Why the spouse didn't mention it when told what was coming is always a mystery.
Another one is someone saying they'll have bacon with the breakfast when sausage was given to them.
I had the patriarch of a family of 4, when a potato pie was set in front of them (after they were told what was coming) tell me, 'We do not eat potatoes for breakfast.' Period. Dad pushed the plate back at me. We were new at the time so we made that family a whole different breakfast. (Same family demanded we handle their lost luggage claim while they went out for the day and dented my car. They were just in the wrong place.)
My guess is that guests of all kinds were able to order breakfast to suit at other B&B's. Or the only other B&B's they've ever stayed at have a menu. (There are 2 of them in my town...just about anything you want is available every morning.)
We really do not keep frozen anything except breakfast meats.
The backup plan is scrambled eggs for gluten-intolerant guests and cereal and toast for egg intolerant guests. Everyone who wants it can have the breakfast meat with those choices.
The problem really lies in treating these complaining guests differently than other guests who are still sitting there eating something they may not have wanted either, but being 'good sports' about it. I don't want to delve into someone's medical problems in front of other people, but there are times I do. 'So sorry you are not able to eat bread, here are your scrambled eggs.' Or, 'My dad is allergic to eggs, too, I know how annoying it can be at breakfast to have to eat oatmeal when everyone else is having eggs.'
The only other thing that might be different is that you shop very often and don't keep much on hand, which might affect your flexibility?
I actually stopped posting the next morning's menu the evening before, because most guests said to me that they liked being surprised to see what was being served when they were seated. Our average LOS was 3 nights....did this have something to do with it? I don't know.
It's hard to tell...all B&Bs are different - location, types of guests, how we do breakfast, etc. Sorry that this continues to be an issue for you!
A lot of guests expect that we have a freezer full of items we will just thaw out. I pretend outrage that they think I would serve them a frozen waffle, a frozen quiche or a frozen muffin. It's freshly made or it's not on the menu. (Except the breakfast meat, that we do freeze when there's a big sale.)
I'm not sure if seeing the cook at work implies they can ask for whatever they want. Maybe it does. (Of course, if you email me a month in advance of your arrival and request something you love, that we already make, we will serve it.)
Oddly, I would think the opposite. We have an apt-sized fridge in the kitchen so I'm not understanding where they think all the ingredients are going to materialize from!
And it's really not an overwhelming problem. If it were we would really need to ask the guests why they thought it was a 'cook to order' breakfast. (Again, especially as we have told them all what was coming.)
I have a small kichen, too, with a small refrig! We are just alike!