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selecting breakfast times

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MooseTrax

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if you request that your guests choose their breakfast time, what do you do if they won't? an example is a walkin who was told the breakfast hours are from 8-10, what time in that range would they like to eat? the response was, 'that works.' innkeeper pushes, 'what time in that range? 8:30? earlier, later?' response back, '8-10 works, we'll eat between then, we're not deciding now when we'll eat tomorrow.' period.
 

happykeeper

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Hmmm.. we offer breakfast between the hours of 7 am and 9 am and ask guests the night before.
Some things about that are...
I usually include something in the first sentence like...
...and we ask folks to let us know the night before when they would like to take breakfast.
We often hear them say... When are the others eating..
We clarify that they get to choose the time that works best for them.
I would say most guests are trying to be polite. Once we are clear that we cater to all of guests individually, they will usually tell us what they prefer.
When we get someone who wants to leave it open, we will usually fill in the blank for them by saying something like...
No problem- we'll look for you somewhere in the middle and we'll make sure there is coffee or tea in case you pop down sooner.
 

gillumhouse

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As you all know my time frame is a bit wider - 4AM to 10AM. I tell them they need to let me know before they turn in what time they want breakfast.
I also get a lot of whatever time everyone else is eating and I tell them they are not tied to any other room time. We often have 3 different times, no problem. I admit to doing a Victory Dance when all choose the same time.
If they have not told me by then, I intercept them when they come in from dinner and ask what time.
 

Morticia

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As you all know my time frame is a bit wider - 4AM to 10AM. I tell them they need to let me know before they turn in what time they want breakfast.
I also get a lot of whatever time everyone else is eating and I tell them they are not tied to any other room time. We often have 3 different times, no problem. I admit to doing a Victory Dance when all choose the same time.
If they have not told me by then, I intercept them when they come in from dinner and ask what time..
We do only 8-9:30, come when you want, and rarely ask when someone would like to eat, unless they are the only ones in house at the time. I'd be peeved if they refused to tell me and I HAD to get up at 8 and they showed up at 9:30.
There's not much I can do at 8 AM while waiting that wouldn't disturb the guests! So, I would sit and wait. Or, I'd come here and complain!
To use your example, it would be tough to be told, 'Yeah, that's fine,' if you told them 4-10 and they would NOT pin it down!
In MooseTrax case, what if they don't even show between 8-10? I'd be livid! I don't think I'd wait around for them to come back from dinner to ask again. Altho it is a pain, I wouldn't want them to think I was stalking them!
Didn't MooseTrax say she was rototilling new garden beds? THERE'S something to do at 8 AM while waiting for breakfast arrivals!
 

Don Draper

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We also do 8-9:30 and come down anytime. When we have 8 or fewer people I'll shorten that to 8-9.
For 4 or fewer I usually ask if 8:30 works for them. I guess my answer is that I try to steer them to a particular time but then offer earlier/later based on their reaction to 8:30.
I understand people are on vacation and they want some flexibility but they could have been considerate enough to narrow that range down for you, especially when you tried to get a specific answer. People just don't get that they are tying up your whole morning.
 

gillumhouse

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As you all know my time frame is a bit wider - 4AM to 10AM. I tell them they need to let me know before they turn in what time they want breakfast.
I also get a lot of whatever time everyone else is eating and I tell them they are not tied to any other room time. We often have 3 different times, no problem. I admit to doing a Victory Dance when all choose the same time.
If they have not told me by then, I intercept them when they come in from dinner and ask what time..
We do only 8-9:30, come when you want, and rarely ask when someone would like to eat, unless they are the only ones in house at the time. I'd be peeved if they refused to tell me and I HAD to get up at 8 and they showed up at 9:30.
There's not much I can do at 8 AM while waiting that wouldn't disturb the guests! So, I would sit and wait. Or, I'd come here and complain!
To use your example, it would be tough to be told, 'Yeah, that's fine,' if you told them 4-10 and they would NOT pin it down!
In MooseTrax case, what if they don't even show between 8-10? I'd be livid! I don't think I'd wait around for them to come back from dinner to ask again. Altho it is a pain, I wouldn't want them to think I was stalking them!
Didn't MooseTrax say she was rototilling new garden beds? THERE'S something to do at 8 AM while waiting for breakfast arrivals!
.
In my case, Madam La Farge is in the Library at the computer anyway and the door and stairs is just to my left. No stalk - just doing what I always do. Heh-heh-heh! I have yet to have to do it, but I could - if they do not say a time - tell them OK, breakfast at 4 then? I bet that would get a response!
 

DaisyMae

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We tell guests that coffee is available at 7:00 am along with granola & yogurt. Breakfast is served 8 -9. they may join us at their leisure between that hour.many guests seem to enjoy having coffe & spending the first hour sitting on the porch, reading newspaper, walking across the street to enjoy the water,watch the news, etc.
 

gillumhouse

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We tell guests that coffee is available at 7:00 am along with granola & yogurt. Breakfast is served 8 -9. they may join us at their leisure between that hour.many guests seem to enjoy having coffe & spending the first hour sitting on the porch, reading newspaper, walking across the street to enjoy the water,watch the news, etc..
The first thing I do in the morning is get some OJ into the innkeeper, then start the oven, and then start the coffee. They have a tendency to turn nasty if they do not get their coffee fix as soon as their feet hit the ground floor. The newspaper is on the porch (or if I have brought it in, on the table) and I put the coffee pot(s) - sometimes multiple countries and decafe chosen and I have 4 coffeepots plus the 24 cup - on the buffet in the dining room. The coffee hounds from the funeral went through the 24 cup (Hawaiian) like melted butter and more than half of a second 24 cup pot (New Guinea)! I am in the kitchen 1 1/2 hours before breakfast time.
 

YellowSocks

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I ask them what time they want to eat when they check in. The fruit is on the table when they come down. If they don't come at the time they picked their meat is cold and the eggs are flat.
But then, we only have four rooms... having a range would be ridiculous for us, and why should I tell them "breakfast is at such-and-such time" when I don't mind doing it earlier.
In the case given, it would depend on a bunch of things. If a large group was eating at one time or another I might try to steer him to a different time.
OTOH, if I go to a place and am given a range, then I'd be surprised to be asked about what time during the range I am going to come. Why have a range, then?
=)
Kk.
 

MooseTrax

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I ask them what time they want to eat when they check in. The fruit is on the table when they come down. If they don't come at the time they picked their meat is cold and the eggs are flat.
But then, we only have four rooms... having a range would be ridiculous for us, and why should I tell them "breakfast is at such-and-such time" when I don't mind doing it earlier.
In the case given, it would depend on a bunch of things. If a large group was eating at one time or another I might try to steer him to a different time.
OTOH, if I go to a place and am given a range, then I'd be surprised to be asked about what time during the range I am going to come. Why have a range, then?
=)
Kk..
the range is given so the guest does not say they will be delighted to eat at 11. allowing them to have a little bit of option unlike some places where it is 8 or 9 and nothing else. didn't work out this time unless they are up and eating at 8. otherwise morning is shot. dh has dr appt and would like to be able to hit the road. i should just have said that breakfast was at 9 and been done with it. usually guests just wander in whenever and if enough guests it all works. when just one room it's nice- only for me- to have an idea rather sitting around for 2 hours. i won't push on it because it is their vacation and i don't want them to feel pressured. just wondered if i missed a better way to ask.
 

mooseberry

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In the busy season I do BF from 7 AM til 9 Am, but like to pin down a time.
The rest of the year we aim for 8 AM, that way Hubby can get it started and I finish when I get back from my other job at 8:15 AM.
Sometimes, when there is only one room, we even give the guest the choice of sleeping in, have BF at 9 or even 10. One room really does not make my day any longer and sometimes we get to sleep in too :)
I did have people tell me one time and they were 20 minutes late....their food was on a plate on the table.....cold.....well, I have things to do too.....
 

Don Draper

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I ask them what time they want to eat when they check in. The fruit is on the table when they come down. If they don't come at the time they picked their meat is cold and the eggs are flat.
But then, we only have four rooms... having a range would be ridiculous for us, and why should I tell them "breakfast is at such-and-such time" when I don't mind doing it earlier.
In the case given, it would depend on a bunch of things. If a large group was eating at one time or another I might try to steer him to a different time.
OTOH, if I go to a place and am given a range, then I'd be surprised to be asked about what time during the range I am going to come. Why have a range, then?
=)
Kk..
YellowSocks said:
I ask them what time they want to eat when they check in. The fruit is on the table when they come down. If they don't come at the time they picked their meat is cold and the eggs are flat.
But then, we only have four rooms... having a range would be ridiculous for us, and why should I tell them "breakfast is at such-and-such time" when I don't mind doing it earlier.
In the case given, it would depend on a bunch of things. If a large group was eating at one time or another I might try to steer him to a different time.
OTOH, if I go to a place and am given a range, then I'd be surprised to be asked about what time during the range I am going to come. Why have a range, then?
=)
Kk.
Everything on our site and posted in the house says we have a time range, but if we are 4 people or less for breakfast then I let them know that they have the house mostly to themselves for the night and we are planning breakfast at 8:30 if that works for them...this way they understand that we have the time range in place to handle large groups, but we can make it a little cozier when it is fewer people.
It just seems to work better for us to start with a specific time and be flexible if we need to be, versus giving them a huge range of choices when they first check-in...they get overwhelmed and can't chooose, like the OP's original question.
 

greyswan

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The first guest checking in usually sets the time when we give them the time frame of 7-9 If the remaining guests can't eat at that particular time, we can offer a second seating. Our military guests usually want to eat at 7 am (or earlier) but non-military will select another time 8 or 8:30
We generally tell our guests when they asked why we need a breakfast time, that the food we are preparing for them will require 30 to 45 mins to prepare (especially the baked items) and will taste the best at the time planned.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Going back to the traditional B&B theme - I know many do their own thing now, but we have one dining room and one big table. Whenever we have split up breakfast times, the guests sitting at the table alone will say "Well I know there were two other couples here last night? Are they not eating?" I explain to them, and they reply "That is part of the fun of B&B's, getting to meet other people at breakfast."
That is the traditional B&B view. THat is what most expect it to be unless otherwise stated.
I am not a short order cook (I say that as really am beginning to think I am. UGH) I prepare and present a beautiful meal to the guests. Here we have one seating and they are all invited to join the others. (IF we have a beyond full house - meaning the one sofa bed is utlized and all other beds then we have two seating and they choose which one).
When there is one room - like I have had almost a steady stream of for the last three weeks midweek, then they pick the time.
I asked them that last night what time, then they went on to think they also picked the meal. I didn't ask about their choice of food. "We don't eat much, what will you serve, oh no no, we won't have that" and on and on. These are, and I proclaim THE NICEST GUESTS right here right now - they think they are helping you by going through all of this to 'not put you out' when in effect I already had breakfast menu planned and organized. I have been doing this day in and day out, I am a well oiled machine. All it did was throw a spanner into the mix and frustrate me. Bless their hearts.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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The first guest checking in usually sets the time when we give them the time frame of 7-9 If the remaining guests can't eat at that particular time, we can offer a second seating. Our military guests usually want to eat at 7 am (or earlier) but non-military will select another time 8 or 8:30
We generally tell our guests when they asked why we need a breakfast time, that the food we are preparing for them will require 30 to 45 mins to prepare (especially the baked items) and will taste the best at the time planned..
greyswan said:
The first guest checking in usually sets the time when we give them the time frame of 7-9 If the remaining guests can't eat at that particular time, we can offer a second seating. Our military guests usually want to eat at 7 am (or earlier) but non-military will select another time 8 or 8:30
We generally tell our guests when they asked why we need a breakfast time, that the food we are preparing for them will require 30 to 45 mins to prepare (especially the baked items) and will taste the best at the time planned.
The other reason I am a stickler about it is JUST what you mentioned. Like I said, I am not short order, the food is planned, prepared and cooked to serve HOT and FRESH. I won't give someone something luke warm, no way no how. It is in their benefit to be there on time. I can't 'hold' stuff, it is cooked to be served. They need to realize it is COOKED FOR THEM, PREPARED FOR THEM. We don't have a restaurant where we cook and serve all day, it is JUST for them, especially for them, they are on our minds as we prepare their meal.
(Not to scare anyone) ha ha
Plus it is just me. I can't be chatting to guests and clearing plates and cooking the next set of guests food and saying good bye to the earlier set who are leaving. It won't happen.
 

egoodell

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MooseTrax said:
if you request that your guests choose their breakfast time, what do you do if they won't? an example is a walkin who was told the breakfast hours are from 8-10, what time in that range would they like to eat? the response was, 'that works.' innkeeper pushes, 'what time in that range? 8:30? earlier, later?' response back, '8-10 works, we'll eat between then, we're not deciding now when we'll eat tomorrow.' period.
We only have two rooms but do have a set time which we'll adjust if the first couple wants it later. We have to have a time as we need to finish and get out of the house if we have wine tours. If the guests are our tour people then it's no big deal, but often we have outside tours.
We tell them we put out the coffee at 8am unless they want it earlier, which is rare. Then we tell them breakfast is at 8:30 unless they would like it later. Usually they say it's fine.
I think this works because they usually want to get out and go see Monticello or somehting like that.
When we have all five rooms I will have five tables for two, and will still try and shoot for something like 8:30 - 9am for breakfast, and for the occasional couple who want to sleep in the continental portion of the breakfast will be left out, or we'll hope to have a part-time person with us that can do a late breakfast as we prepare for wine tours.
This is also why I don't attempt a souffle or anything like that. We do pancakes, herb scrambled eggs, etc so far. Something that can be done just before serving. I would attempt a casserole on a second morning when I know if they show up on time from the first morning.
Riki
 

MooseTrax

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arrived at breakfast a little after 8. gone by 9. one of those couples where he does all the talking, arguing, stating of opinions and rapid-fire questioning of every little detail about the town, the state, the economy, illegal immigrants, taxes, and on and on. time to clean.
thanks for the opinions. i almost decided to sleep in but dh nudged me and asked if i was getting up. no getting back to sleep after that. but next time with just one room it's going to be, 'breakfast is at ____,' and wait to see if there are any complaints.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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arrived at breakfast a little after 8. gone by 9. one of those couples where he does all the talking, arguing, stating of opinions and rapid-fire questioning of every little detail about the town, the state, the economy, illegal immigrants, taxes, and on and on. time to clean.
thanks for the opinions. i almost decided to sleep in but dh nudged me and asked if i was getting up. no getting back to sleep after that. but next time with just one room it's going to be, 'breakfast is at ____,' and wait to see if there are any complaints..
MooseTrax said:
arrived at breakfast a little after 8. gone by 9. one of those couples where he does all the talking, arguing, stating of opinions and rapid-fire questioning of every little detail about the town, the state, the economy, illegal immigrants, taxes, and on and on. time to clean.
thanks for the opinions. i almost decided to sleep in but dh nudged me and asked if i was getting up. no getting back to sleep after that. but next time with just one room it's going to be, 'breakfast is at ____,' and wait to see if there are any complaints.
That is the time my innkeeper tourettes gets let loose.

 

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