Picnic Lunch for Guests

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JBloggs

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What would you include and what is the cost? Do you have a list and let them choose and put it together?
How do you present/transport keep chilled this picnic lunch for two?
 

Morticia

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It depends...you want the 'look' of a special picnic basket, but who wants to lug Yogi's pic-a-nic basket all over the place? So, a backpack would be more suitable for hikers, but how to keep everything from getting smooshed. This is a good one!
For food I would want something relatively easy to eat, not overly sauced. I'm partial to chicken salad. But, you could do a 'romantic' picnic where it's not sandwiches but cheeses, breads, fruits & chocolate. Wine if you're allowed. Water definitely (instead of sugary drinks). Maybe iced tea or lemonade?
Does the guest return the picnic basket to you?
 

JBloggs

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Not sure. That was my next question.
Sliced french bread and cheese and meats. Of course there are those in the deli section at our grocery store that are made to travel and the mayo/mustard is separate. For me I cannot ever seem to do this sort of thing inexpensively, it always ends up costing much.
 

NW Natterbug

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Did one this past summer. Home made foccacia bread sandwiches, fruit, pie and juice in the boxes. Wicker basket, real utensils, cloth napkins. They brought back the basket. $20 for two.
 

wendydk

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We recommend on our website that guests visit the town's "Smokehouse" market. Fresh smoked fish and meats, pate, gourmet cheeses and crackers, olives, local wines and beers are all easily packed and eaten on the trails or in the car as you're touring around.
I want no part in packaging them for guests...even with a hefty profit.
 

seashanty

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what about packing the lunch to go in a reusable thermal bag that the guest keeps? if budget allows, have some printed with your inn's name on it. maybe you can recoup the price of the bags in the lunch to go and you'd have your inn name on something they are likely to use again when they go home ... or that they loan to a friend ....
 

JBloggs

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Did one this past summer. Home made foccacia bread sandwiches, fruit, pie and juice in the boxes. Wicker basket, real utensils, cloth napkins. They brought back the basket. $20 for two..
NW a whole pie? Sounds like an Andy Griffith episode with a whole apple pie and the entire town sneaking around in the bushes to get a piece of it! :)
Do you think $20 was worth the effort? Or was it just another added amenity that you offer?
 

MTLLodge

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I'm thinking about doing a picnic lunch.... sandwich, chips, fruit, and a cookie or brownie. Where I use to work this is what they had in their box lunch and charged $15. I also thought about the reusable lunch bags that they could take with them.
 

Morticia

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I'm overlooking some of that great scenery you have on your blog and I'm going to want to eat? Philistine.
OK, I guess hiking up there made me hungry, so I'd want something simple so as not to get a stitch in my side hiking back down. Some fresh fruit (apples, pears, peaches), some nuts (maybe a mixed gorp kind of thing), cheese, bread, chocolate (wait, I think I said all of this!) and something refreshing to drink (which is why I said nothing sugary).
Wine would be nice but I do have to hike back down so one of those small bottles of wine, about 2 glasses in it. But for wine, there has to be glasses, I am past my Boone's Farm days (thank heavens).
Can you fit some sort of tablecloth in there? One of those picnic plaids? Blue & white, red & white. A 'buffalo check' I think is what they're called. Pretty lightweight, easy to fold and big enough to sit on.
 

Morticia

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I'm thinking about doing a picnic lunch.... sandwich, chips, fruit, and a cookie or brownie. Where I use to work this is what they had in their box lunch and charged $15. I also thought about the reusable lunch bags that they could take with them..
MTLLodge said:
I'm thinking about doing a picnic lunch.... sandwich, chips, fruit, and a cookie or brownie. Where I use to work this is what they had in their box lunch and charged $15. I also thought about the reusable lunch bags that they could take with them.
I am assuming where you used to work did this a lot. Therefore they had all the ingredients to hand. Everyday. You will have to buy the ingredients everyday someone wants this so there will be more waste (I would think). Plus, you are probably not buying bulk from Sysco so are paying retail. Keep that in mind.
Also, the lower the price, the less the guests will think it's something special. They were going to spend $15 each on lunch out somewhere, so don't sell it short. It's packed up and ready to go for them, all thought out, no fuss, no muss. That costs money.
I have a friend who does brekkie & dinner at his lodge. You want lunch to go? You get leftovers. He doesn't charge for that, but you get what he gives you. Leftovers. (Very good leftovers I might add!)
 

Innkeeper To Go

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JB, I've done all manner of picnics for guests, ranging from gift certificates so they could get their own from the best organic deli in the area to packed sandwiches (always in printed reusable lunch bags so they never forget who gave them the fab memory) to the grand and luxurious lunch, packed in an antique picnic basket.
For the grand and luxurious, my favorite things to include are:
Chilled Soup of some kind. Usually I like to do a Cucumber Frappe for Spring/Summer, a Vichyssoise for Fall/Winter
Pickled Shrimp (especially in the South) or Dungeness Crab, cracked and clean (if in Northern California)
Vegetable salads (whatever is fresh and local and fabulous)
Cheese, olives, bread
Brownies and fresh fruit for dessert
Champagne (if the inn can supply alcohol, otherwise a gift certificate and local recommendation)
Including silverware, dishes, linens, teawarmers to heat the butter for the crabs, and silver candelabras for the grand and luxurious picnic, I've charged as much as $200 for the whole package. Folks have smiled and smiled as they happily paid.
I've also done the sandwich picnics (in imprinted reusable lunch bags) as specials in the shoulder season, with no additional charge but as an added value to encourage longer stays, ie. stay 3 nights in a suite and get the free (sandwich-based) picnic.
I find guests love them all. But for a truly grand presentation for a special occasion, going all out creates a memory for life
 

Samster

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I had no takers on this and we have a great riverwalk that I thought folks would want to hike or bike and stop for a lunch :-( I guess too many places to eat just up on the river banks. haha!
Since we can't do lunch under our license, I had a choice of a couple of kinds of meat sandwiches (ham or turkey), a side salad, a dessert that I could order from a local place, and bottled water from me. Nothing with much mayo to worry about. $15 for 2 which basically covered the cost with an extra buck or two. I have the picnic baskets or thermal containers depending on where they're headed. They didn't keep the picnic hamper. We couldn't do wine here but I personally would like that ;-) At an increase cost, of course.
 

JBloggs

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I'm overlooking some of that great scenery you have on your blog and I'm going to want to eat? Philistine.
OK, I guess hiking up there made me hungry, so I'd want something simple so as not to get a stitch in my side hiking back down. Some fresh fruit (apples, pears, peaches), some nuts (maybe a mixed gorp kind of thing), cheese, bread, chocolate (wait, I think I said all of this!) and something refreshing to drink (which is why I said nothing sugary).
Wine would be nice but I do have to hike back down so one of those small bottles of wine, about 2 glasses in it. But for wine, there has to be glasses, I am past my Boone's Farm days (thank heavens).
Can you fit some sort of tablecloth in there? One of those picnic plaids? Blue & white, red & white. A 'buffalo check' I think is what they're called. Pretty lightweight, easy to fold and big enough to sit on..
Morticia said:
I'm overlooking some of that great scenery you have on your blog and I'm going to want to eat? Philistine.
OK, I guess hiking up there made me hungry, so I'd want something simple so as not to get a stitch in my side hiking back down. Some fresh fruit (apples, pears, peaches), some nuts (maybe a mixed gorp kind of thing), cheese, bread, chocolate (wait, I think I said all of this!) and something refreshing to drink (which is why I said nothing sugary).
Wine would be nice but I do have to hike back down so one of those small bottles of wine, about 2 glasses in it. But for wine, there has to be glasses, I am past my Boone's Farm days (thank heavens).
Can you fit some sort of tablecloth in there? One of those picnic plaids? Blue & white, red & white. A 'buffalo check' I think is what they're called. Pretty lightweight, easy to fold and big enough to sit on.
Ok so we have two scenarios - those out hiking for the day and those out romancing and taking in the scenery. So two diff menus would be required. Yes a tablecloth could easily be stowed in something and a nice touch.
Inn2-go what is pickled shrimp? I have never heard of it before.
All of what you suggest and some of the others is a definite BOOK WELL IN ADVANCE to prep and plan for. Which is fine if I get a set menu I could go with that.
Now we have a gourmet caterer on the corner and I could of course pack up whatever I buy from him - he has a supremo range from Moroccan to southern gulf fare, but it would not be cheap, but it is a good "box lunch" idea, like mentioned. He would also have some of the little containers for the sides too. No hurt in trying.
So I could make this a Sat only picnic package (most would be weekends I am guessing who would splurge on this little extra).
Good ideas everyone! Thanks...I will read on...
 

gillumhouse

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I found a backpack for picnics that I gave middle son for Christmas one year. It had 2 plastic wine glasses in it and a space for the wine bottle. That would solve your container problem for a fancier picnic.
My daytrip packages include a packed lunch for 2. I get "brown bag" size insulated lunch bags with a carry strap that close with velcro and include a chilled bottle of water (this keeps the lunch cool until ready to eat), a sandwich on my homemade bread (filling depends on what is on sale at the deli but is usually turkey and cheese w/my special topping (if vegan the filling IS my special topping)), a small container of Pringles (the only chips in a hard shell container), a few baby carrots and cuke spears, and 3 muffins from the morning breakfast plus napkins and one of the lunches gets a .5 oz bottle of waterless hand cleaner. Each part (except chips of course) is wrapped in waxed paper (ECO). I get the bags from my local Sheltered Workshop @ $5 each printed. I sell them in my gift shop for $10 each (and I have sold some). They have my logo, name, web site, and toll-free phone number printed on them. I charge $20 each built into the package price. Guests hav ecome back telling me they did not need any dinner after having one of my breakfasts and then my lunch.
Forgot to add: I tell the guests the bags are theirs as a gift of the G House. I am not sure of the reuse requirements so I factor cost of the bags in my price. Guests are pleased they got something they did not expect and many tell me later they use it for lunch for work (what it is intended for so co-workers might see it).
 

Morticia

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I'm overlooking some of that great scenery you have on your blog and I'm going to want to eat? Philistine.
OK, I guess hiking up there made me hungry, so I'd want something simple so as not to get a stitch in my side hiking back down. Some fresh fruit (apples, pears, peaches), some nuts (maybe a mixed gorp kind of thing), cheese, bread, chocolate (wait, I think I said all of this!) and something refreshing to drink (which is why I said nothing sugary).
Wine would be nice but I do have to hike back down so one of those small bottles of wine, about 2 glasses in it. But for wine, there has to be glasses, I am past my Boone's Farm days (thank heavens).
Can you fit some sort of tablecloth in there? One of those picnic plaids? Blue & white, red & white. A 'buffalo check' I think is what they're called. Pretty lightweight, easy to fold and big enough to sit on..
Morticia said:
I'm overlooking some of that great scenery you have on your blog and I'm going to want to eat? Philistine.
OK, I guess hiking up there made me hungry, so I'd want something simple so as not to get a stitch in my side hiking back down. Some fresh fruit (apples, pears, peaches), some nuts (maybe a mixed gorp kind of thing), cheese, bread, chocolate (wait, I think I said all of this!) and something refreshing to drink (which is why I said nothing sugary).
Wine would be nice but I do have to hike back down so one of those small bottles of wine, about 2 glasses in it. But for wine, there has to be glasses, I am past my Boone's Farm days (thank heavens).
Can you fit some sort of tablecloth in there? One of those picnic plaids? Blue & white, red & white. A 'buffalo check' I think is what they're called. Pretty lightweight, easy to fold and big enough to sit on.
Ok so we have two scenarios - those out hiking for the day and those out romancing and taking in the scenery. So two diff menus would be required. Yes a tablecloth could easily be stowed in something and a nice touch.
Inn2-go what is pickled shrimp? I have never heard of it before.
All of what you suggest and some of the others is a definite BOOK WELL IN ADVANCE to prep and plan for. Which is fine if I get a set menu I could go with that.
Now we have a gourmet caterer on the corner and I could of course pack up whatever I buy from him - he has a supremo range from Moroccan to southern gulf fare, but it would not be cheap, but it is a good "box lunch" idea, like mentioned. He would also have some of the little containers for the sides too. No hurt in trying.
So I could make this a Sat only picnic package (most would be weekends I am guessing who would splurge on this little extra).
Good ideas everyone! Thanks...I will read on...
.
Using his stuff, you could (and would have to) charge more. But play up the connections. Maybe plan these lunches for Sunday as well, when many are on that LONG drive home and would appreciate being able to stop somewhere scenic along the way home (make suggestions?) instead of the McD's on the interstate. These would need to be in containers you don't want back, but easy enough to do.
Those reusable 'ice' packs are pretty cheap. (Cheaper to buy than to mail back as I found out!)
 

egoodell

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We pick up often picnic dinner for guests. We have a tasting room area with a wine fridge. we put out the china, silver, settings and food in a basket, and put what must be chilled in the fridge.
If I have dipped strawberries I will put the plate in their room in their small wine fridge. It has I think three levels. We have soda and water on the bottom, the sparkling wine in the middle and there is enough room for the berries on top.
When we have more than two rooms, I'll put the dinner/lunch picnic in their rooms. I can fit the sandwiches and the tart desserts in their wine fridge. They are very small and don't take up much room.
I pick up the picnic at two local spots - one gourmet store and a local bakery. I double the price so my picnic is $80 for two. They get a cheese plate of crostini with a local cheese, each get a salad with dressing on the side, each get a large gourmet sandwich, and kettle chips. Dessert is a beautiful pear tart or right now each get an individual pumpkin cheesecake. Some take up to two days to eat all.
Some have ordered this for two nights with different salad, sandwich and dessert each night.
Riki
 

egoodell

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Joey Bloggs said:
May I ask this question next:
If you had a picnic lunch for two and were sitting atop a vista overlooking God's country - what would you like to have in the lunch? A bottle of wine, beer, drinks excluded - what sort of romantic fare would you appreciate?
I don't want this to be "drive thru" but stylish - doesn't have to be more than something simple and appetizing in the fresh mountain air.
Or should it be just wine and cheese and fruit to keep it simple? Your thoughts appreciated.
Take a look at our local place where we pick up ours (we are only allowed to do breakfast). Her menu is wildly popular and she is also the gourmet food place for Monticello. What makes her sandwiches so popular is that the bread is freshly baked, and her meats are REAL not deli meats. For example, her turkey is actual sliced breast of turkey, not the deli kind. Her website is http://www.brixcafe.com/cafe.htm
The vegetarians love her grilled veggie sandwich too.
RIki
 

EmptyNest

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Gorgeous Pics!
I guess I wouldn't call my picnic a drive through / kiddie one.
Usually included a sub sandwich..their choice of meats, potato salad, chips, asst. cheese and crackers, carrots to munch on, homemade brownies, fruit and their choice of beverage. I have insulated picnic cooler totes with a cool pack in them. I provided a plastic tablecloth and utensils so they could lay it out on the ground or on a picnic table in the park..their choice. I charged $20 and never had a complaint
 

EmptyNest

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My menu was pretty much set...as i told you in my other message.
The only thing I asked them the night before was...what kind of meat and condiments they wanted on their sandwich.
If they were leaving the day they took the picnic, I then just packed it with one of those frozen packs in the bottom in a pretty decorative shopping bag from the Dollar store. They used to have some plastic coated ones but any would do..just put the frozen pack in a plastic zip bag at the bottom. I also got the tablecloths at the Dollar store.
 
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