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Morticia

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NOT in the morning, but at time of reservation. If a repeat loves something you make do you try to make it for them? If a new guest reads great reviews about something that has been made and requests it, would you make that? Do you have any kinds of 'house rules' about what you make for a certain number of guests?
Obviously we don't commit in advance because we don't know how many guests will make a request like that for any given morning. But we do take requests under advisement when we're planning breakfast.
 

Proud Texan

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We've haven't had that come up yet, but we advertise breakfast as "Cook's Choice". However, if we had a repeat that we especially liked, we probably would accommodate them.
 

seashanty

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Yes! i absolutely made certain breakfasts because guests asked for them. had guests who told me they booked with me because of breakfast pictures. didn't read about 'cook's choice' they saw the pictures and figured they'd be offered what was there.
they wanted waffles one day (one of the easiest things really - but only two at a time)
wanted blueberry pancakes another day. also easy.
one elderly man stayed a week, wanted a waffle every single day. with blueberries, strawberries, home made whipped cream. every day. i did it.
i was happy to make them happy.
breakfast is half the happy part about a bed and breakfast.
 

Morticia

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Yes! i absolutely made certain breakfasts because guests asked for them. had guests who told me they booked with me because of breakfast pictures. didn't read about 'cook's choice' they saw the pictures and figured they'd be offered what was there.
they wanted waffles one day (one of the easiest things really - but only two at a time)
wanted blueberry pancakes another day. also easy.
one elderly man stayed a week, wanted a waffle every single day. with blueberries, strawberries, home made whipped cream. every day. i did it.
i was happy to make them happy.
breakfast is half the happy part about a bed and breakfast..
Basically, it's the photo of the waffle that pulls the guys right in, women not so much. And I guess we've gotten some reviews about quiche. I think this person just doesn't want 'bread' for brekkie so they asked for an egg dish.
 

Penelope

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Yes! i absolutely made certain breakfasts because guests asked for them. had guests who told me they booked with me because of breakfast pictures. didn't read about 'cook's choice' they saw the pictures and figured they'd be offered what was there.
they wanted waffles one day (one of the easiest things really - but only two at a time)
wanted blueberry pancakes another day. also easy.
one elderly man stayed a week, wanted a waffle every single day. with blueberries, strawberries, home made whipped cream. every day. i did it.
i was happy to make them happy.
breakfast is half the happy part about a bed and breakfast..
seashanty said:
every day. i did it.
i was happy to make them happy.
breakfast is half the happy part about a bed and breakfast.
I really love your attitude. You truly embody the heart and soul of being an innkeeper.
 

seashanty

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thank you. you are sweet.
just don't catch me on a bad day ~
 

Samster

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Absolutely! For repeat guests, definitely. Some examples: Had a guest here for 11 days in the Fall and then 5 days in the Spring. On her first visit, she never had the same breakfast twice. She had a myriad of food allergies. When she came back, she asked for a couple of repeat breakfast items. I just incorporated it into the planning with the other guests. Some folks here for 4 days loved their buttermilk blueberry pancakes so much, they asked for them again. Because other guests were new, I made them again and just changed up the other brekkie items. Easy to make them happy!
Or when they get here often if they're the only folks in the house, I ask if they want a sweet or savory (egg) dish. Then, I surprise them with a "innkeeper's choice breakfast of that type.
But I only have 5 rooms with a max of 14 guests.
 

gillumhouse

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I have one lady who wants oatmeal every morning. She also loves to sit on the glider and read. Since she is usually here during the week and in summer, I set up a table on the porch - just the way it would be in the dining room - with her carafe of coffee, a cup for her cofffee an a cup for her tea (swhe does want both, a dish of oatmeal, a dish of blueberries (separate from the fruit dish), butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup, and of course muffins and juices. She just sits there reading and eating and is happy as a clam.
Repeats do get to tell me what they particularly liked (but I do not ask what would you like) - they have to mention it.
Edited to add: Only the country of origin of the coffee is by guest request.
 

wendydk

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If a guest (repeat or not) mentions a particular item in advance, I note it and D. will make it...but for everyone. So if someone mentions the Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, everyone will get it one morning on the stay.
Repeats make me laugh....while I always try to make sure they get something different each time they're here, they always like to have their "favorites"!
 

Breakfast Diva

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If a guest (repeat or not) mentions a particular item in advance, I note it and D. will make it...but for everyone. So if someone mentions the Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, everyone will get it one morning on the stay.
Repeats make me laugh....while I always try to make sure they get something different each time they're here, they always like to have their "favorites"!.
Little Blue said:
If a guest (repeat or not) mentions a particular item in advance, I note it and D. will make it...but for everyone. So if someone mentions the Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, everyone will get it one morning on the stay.
Repeats make me laugh....while I always try to make sure they get something different each time they're here, they always like to have their "favorites"!
It's happened a couple of times where a repeat guest will write on their online reservation that they love the caramelized french toast, or blackberry cobbler and during their entire stay I've got a diabetic and/or someone who doesn't want sugary breakfasts. I don't want to make 2 different breakfasts, so what would you do?
 

Morticia

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If a guest (repeat or not) mentions a particular item in advance, I note it and D. will make it...but for everyone. So if someone mentions the Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, everyone will get it one morning on the stay.
Repeats make me laugh....while I always try to make sure they get something different each time they're here, they always like to have their "favorites"!.
Little Blue said:
If a guest (repeat or not) mentions a particular item in advance, I note it and D. will make it...but for everyone. So if someone mentions the Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, everyone will get it one morning on the stay.
Repeats make me laugh....while I always try to make sure they get something different each time they're here, they always like to have their "favorites"!
It's happened a couple of times where a repeat guest will write on their online reservation that they love the caramelized french toast, or blackberry cobbler and during their entire stay I've got a diabetic and/or someone who doesn't want sugary breakfasts. I don't want to make 2 different breakfasts, so what would you do?
.
Breakfast Diva said:
Little Blue said:
If a guest (repeat or not) mentions a particular item in advance, I note it and D. will make it...but for everyone. So if someone mentions the Cherry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, everyone will get it one morning on the stay.
Repeats make me laugh....while I always try to make sure they get something different each time they're here, they always like to have their "favorites"!
It's happened a couple of times where a repeat guest will write on their online reservation that they love the caramelized french toast, or blackberry cobbler and during their entire stay I've got a diabetic and/or someone who doesn't want sugary breakfasts. I don't want to make 2 different breakfasts, so what would you do?
This is why we don't promise but just say, 'We've made a note of your request.' We don't want to make multiple breakfasts, either. However, it's obvious (from previous posts) that we'll make someone scrambled eggs if they can't eat what we're serving. And a lot of times the 'problem' diet is a one nighter and we've got a plan for brekkie for the overlapping 3-4 nighters.
 

Country Girl

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I had a business woman here every other week for 6 months. She always wanted blueberry pancakes and bacon. That was fine with me if it was fine with her. She was a great guest and very easy to please.
When we have guests that have stayed a few times I try to mix up the menu so I don't serve them the same thing they had last time they were here but a lot of times they'll ask for something in particular. Usually it's not a problem to fix it for them as long as it's something we can fix for everyone else.
 

ginocat

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I have repeat guests who get the breakfast they love. It doesn't happen that often but I make sure I work it into their stay.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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New guests rarely know what is on the menu in advance, but occasionally will have read somewhere about one of our signature dishes and ask for it.
Repeat guests almost always have their hearts set on something and they always get it.
We can accomodate any dietary restriction and willingly do so if notified of it in advance. When folks spring on us, she'll do her best and is usually prepared, but we don't just drop everything and run to the store due to our rural location for some obscure items.
We don't do lots of substitutions of ingredients as she cooks the entrees but will omit anything someone doesn't like.
As someone else stated very aptly, breakfast is half the equation here and we don't want a single guest to go away not feeling totally satisfied with our efforts.
There is some risk to the way we offer breakfast, but considering my wife once owned a breakfast/lunch restaurant that served over 125 breakfasts each morning, the six to eight guests we host many days is a piece of cake for her.
One drawback we encountered just this morning is that some regulars can't ever decide between the two entrees so she'll make them a combo in smaller portions. We don't like doing it because it uses lots more pans, cleanup and juggling on the stove, but she does it and grumbles under her breath to me only a little.
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
In fact, this past week has us really wondering just how valuable the handful of repeat guests we get are that receive a generous discount each year, but put us through our paces every minute of their stay and aren't very grateful or appreciative of the extra effort we expend for them.
Let me be perfectly clear, the overwhelming majority of our repeat guests are not like this, just a small handful.
When any of us get the same folks year after year doing the same thing every year and are less gracious, appreciative and in a few of our cases not even very friendly than brand new first time guests are, one has to wonder if being all booked up the next year isn't a sound approach on a few fronts.
For one, if its a really busy time which in this case it is for us, we stand the chance of booking the rooms to possibly much nicer, friendlier first time guests and probably not affording the size discount these folks have taken for granted. Second, we might enjoy the experience so much more than we have the last four years with these same folks which means a lot to us.
We're not in this just for the money and why fill up rooms in the busiest part of the high seson with folks you really wish would just go elsewhere?
These aren't "bad" guests, just not our preferred type of guest and not at all friendly or appreciative of all the extra effort they make us put out. The problem has always been that they book for an August stay in January in the dead of the winter and we've been gunshy to refuse them a room.
 

Morticia

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New guests rarely know what is on the menu in advance, but occasionally will have read somewhere about one of our signature dishes and ask for it.
Repeat guests almost always have their hearts set on something and they always get it.
We can accomodate any dietary restriction and willingly do so if notified of it in advance. When folks spring on us, she'll do her best and is usually prepared, but we don't just drop everything and run to the store due to our rural location for some obscure items.
We don't do lots of substitutions of ingredients as she cooks the entrees but will omit anything someone doesn't like.
As someone else stated very aptly, breakfast is half the equation here and we don't want a single guest to go away not feeling totally satisfied with our efforts.
There is some risk to the way we offer breakfast, but considering my wife once owned a breakfast/lunch restaurant that served over 125 breakfasts each morning, the six to eight guests we host many days is a piece of cake for her.
One drawback we encountered just this morning is that some regulars can't ever decide between the two entrees so she'll make them a combo in smaller portions. We don't like doing it because it uses lots more pans, cleanup and juggling on the stove, but she does it and grumbles under her breath to me only a little.
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
In fact, this past week has us really wondering just how valuable the handful of repeat guests we get are that receive a generous discount each year, but put us through our paces every minute of their stay and aren't very grateful or appreciative of the extra effort we expend for them.
Let me be perfectly clear, the overwhelming majority of our repeat guests are not like this, just a small handful.
When any of us get the same folks year after year doing the same thing every year and are less gracious, appreciative and in a few of our cases not even very friendly than brand new first time guests are, one has to wonder if being all booked up the next year isn't a sound approach on a few fronts.
For one, if its a really busy time which in this case it is for us, we stand the chance of booking the rooms to possibly much nicer, friendlier first time guests and probably not affording the size discount these folks have taken for granted. Second, we might enjoy the experience so much more than we have the last four years with these same folks which means a lot to us.
We're not in this just for the money and why fill up rooms in the busiest part of the high seson with folks you really wish would just go elsewhere?
These aren't "bad" guests, just not our preferred type of guest and not at all friendly or appreciative of all the extra effort they make us put out. The problem has always been that they book for an August stay in January in the dead of the winter and we've been gunshy to refuse them a room..
Hijacking the breakfast part to say we were told our first year here that a particular group of guests were rough. We decided in advance to not prebook them for the following year but to wait and see how we felt about them once we met them in person. Well, they all wanted to book in advance for the next year when they checked out. We told them we needed to review pricing for the following year and we'd take their emails and let them know in January (this was July).
We raised the rates substantially after taking a hit from the PO's who gave one group $100 off on a prime weekend.
That same group argued (unsuccessfully) for a reduction in their rate the following year. We just had them here for the 5th year in a row. I look forward to their coming now. The other 5 rooms also came back almost every year until this summer.
So, repeats can be heck or they can be a lifesaver in tough times, even with their discounts. I lost a few more this year, tho, with a hard line stance on some issues we'd been having with them over the years. In those cases I'm happy to let them go elsewhere in the hopes new guests will come along who have fewer issues.
 

Proud Texan

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New guests rarely know what is on the menu in advance, but occasionally will have read somewhere about one of our signature dishes and ask for it.
Repeat guests almost always have their hearts set on something and they always get it.
We can accomodate any dietary restriction and willingly do so if notified of it in advance. When folks spring on us, she'll do her best and is usually prepared, but we don't just drop everything and run to the store due to our rural location for some obscure items.
We don't do lots of substitutions of ingredients as she cooks the entrees but will omit anything someone doesn't like.
As someone else stated very aptly, breakfast is half the equation here and we don't want a single guest to go away not feeling totally satisfied with our efforts.
There is some risk to the way we offer breakfast, but considering my wife once owned a breakfast/lunch restaurant that served over 125 breakfasts each morning, the six to eight guests we host many days is a piece of cake for her.
One drawback we encountered just this morning is that some regulars can't ever decide between the two entrees so she'll make them a combo in smaller portions. We don't like doing it because it uses lots more pans, cleanup and juggling on the stove, but she does it and grumbles under her breath to me only a little.
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
In fact, this past week has us really wondering just how valuable the handful of repeat guests we get are that receive a generous discount each year, but put us through our paces every minute of their stay and aren't very grateful or appreciative of the extra effort we expend for them.
Let me be perfectly clear, the overwhelming majority of our repeat guests are not like this, just a small handful.
When any of us get the same folks year after year doing the same thing every year and are less gracious, appreciative and in a few of our cases not even very friendly than brand new first time guests are, one has to wonder if being all booked up the next year isn't a sound approach on a few fronts.
For one, if its a really busy time which in this case it is for us, we stand the chance of booking the rooms to possibly much nicer, friendlier first time guests and probably not affording the size discount these folks have taken for granted. Second, we might enjoy the experience so much more than we have the last four years with these same folks which means a lot to us.
We're not in this just for the money and why fill up rooms in the busiest part of the high seson with folks you really wish would just go elsewhere?
These aren't "bad" guests, just not our preferred type of guest and not at all friendly or appreciative of all the extra effort they make us put out. The problem has always been that they book for an August stay in January in the dead of the winter and we've been gunshy to refuse them a room..
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
Almost sounds like your dealing with a group of children.
I guess that's just human nature; always wanting what the other one has. Might want to encourage your DW to NOT do that again in the future unless the "special" guests are your ONLY guests.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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New guests rarely know what is on the menu in advance, but occasionally will have read somewhere about one of our signature dishes and ask for it.
Repeat guests almost always have their hearts set on something and they always get it.
We can accomodate any dietary restriction and willingly do so if notified of it in advance. When folks spring on us, she'll do her best and is usually prepared, but we don't just drop everything and run to the store due to our rural location for some obscure items.
We don't do lots of substitutions of ingredients as she cooks the entrees but will omit anything someone doesn't like.
As someone else stated very aptly, breakfast is half the equation here and we don't want a single guest to go away not feeling totally satisfied with our efforts.
There is some risk to the way we offer breakfast, but considering my wife once owned a breakfast/lunch restaurant that served over 125 breakfasts each morning, the six to eight guests we host many days is a piece of cake for her.
One drawback we encountered just this morning is that some regulars can't ever decide between the two entrees so she'll make them a combo in smaller portions. We don't like doing it because it uses lots more pans, cleanup and juggling on the stove, but she does it and grumbles under her breath to me only a little.
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
In fact, this past week has us really wondering just how valuable the handful of repeat guests we get are that receive a generous discount each year, but put us through our paces every minute of their stay and aren't very grateful or appreciative of the extra effort we expend for them.
Let me be perfectly clear, the overwhelming majority of our repeat guests are not like this, just a small handful.
When any of us get the same folks year after year doing the same thing every year and are less gracious, appreciative and in a few of our cases not even very friendly than brand new first time guests are, one has to wonder if being all booked up the next year isn't a sound approach on a few fronts.
For one, if its a really busy time which in this case it is for us, we stand the chance of booking the rooms to possibly much nicer, friendlier first time guests and probably not affording the size discount these folks have taken for granted. Second, we might enjoy the experience so much more than we have the last four years with these same folks which means a lot to us.
We're not in this just for the money and why fill up rooms in the busiest part of the high seson with folks you really wish would just go elsewhere?
These aren't "bad" guests, just not our preferred type of guest and not at all friendly or appreciative of all the extra effort they make us put out. The problem has always been that they book for an August stay in January in the dead of the winter and we've been gunshy to refuse them a room..
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
Almost sounds like your dealing with a group of children.
I guess that's just human nature; always wanting what the other one has. Might want to encourage your DW to NOT do that again in the future unless the "special" guests are your ONLY guests.
.
Proud Texan said:
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
Well, the new first time guests we also fed today saw the combos coming out and after ordering only one or the other, I can just bet what is going to happen tomorrow morning.
Almost sounds like your dealing with a group of children.
I guess that's just human nature; always wanting what the other one has. Might want to encourage your DW to NOT do that again in the future unless the "special" guests are your ONLY guests.
I don't think it has much to do with anyone's maturity level, just confusion over what was explained to them at check in and what they witnessed their first morning.
FWIW, the other guests stuck with one or the other entree' choices the rest of their stay so no biggie.
The folks that got the combos are the very folks we are struggling over deciding if they even as multiple returning guests are worth the extra effort they force us to expend. They have other issues we contend with also, so its all being considered for next year.
Its a sticky wicket for all of us and as your business ages, you'll be confronted with similar choices.
I only know about your situation from what you reveal here. You may not need the money given the pretty hard line you generally describe taking on most issues with guests, but we do so the financial concerns of possibly turning away anybody is always on our minds.
We're all different with lots of variables, financial structures, etc. pushing each of us to forge policies and then decide how strngently to enforce some of them. Behavioral stuff is pretty easy to be consistent on, the devil is in the details on some others though.
Say we were to not offer them rooms next year and while its doubtful the rooms would be empty knowing what we know about the business cycle that time of year here, what if they didn't fill up, or worse we filled them guests who were worse than them?
Ours is a matter of effort versus reward on both the monetary front due to the returning guest discounts they receive and the gratitude front as we do lots of little extras for these folks. That effort never seems to reap us the emotional gratification we seek from these particular folks or a perhaps a gift, tip or bottle of wine for our efforts that go above and beyond our normal high level of effort.
 

MooseTrax

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This has been a good thread for ideas. We have always done a set entree with variations such as adding or subtracting ingredients (no tomatoes, yes asparagus). After reading through this we are going to offer the menu option on a trial basis. We'll do this in September and see how it goes.
There will be a default entree for those guests who do not tell us what they want, but we will have a printed menu and the guests will tell us by 9 PM what they want for breakfast. Late arrivals will be able to leave their menu on the desk for morning pickup.
They will be served what they asked for, no substitutions in the morning so that should solve the problem we have had of being asked for different breakfasts than what was planned. That will save having to ask in the morning if they want this or that in their omelet. We will start off offering 3 different options: pancakes, french toast or omelets with some sort of meat. It will save us a lot of baking time as we will do away with quiches and casseroles. We have purchased a stove-top griddle and will run the electric griddle as well to keep up with all of the orders.
It feels like a weight is lifted. No more worries about what anyone will grumble about in the morning. They will choose, we will cook, they will eat- or not- but it will be entirely their choice whether they are happy or not.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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This has been a good thread for ideas. We have always done a set entree with variations such as adding or subtracting ingredients (no tomatoes, yes asparagus). After reading through this we are going to offer the menu option on a trial basis. We'll do this in September and see how it goes.
There will be a default entree for those guests who do not tell us what they want, but we will have a printed menu and the guests will tell us by 9 PM what they want for breakfast. Late arrivals will be able to leave their menu on the desk for morning pickup.
They will be served what they asked for, no substitutions in the morning so that should solve the problem we have had of being asked for different breakfasts than what was planned. That will save having to ask in the morning if they want this or that in their omelet. We will start off offering 3 different options: pancakes, french toast or omelets with some sort of meat. It will save us a lot of baking time as we will do away with quiches and casseroles. We have purchased a stove-top griddle and will run the electric griddle as well to keep up with all of the orders.
It feels like a weight is lifted. No more worries about what anyone will grumble about in the morning. They will choose, we will cook, they will eat- or not- but it will be entirely their choice whether they are happy or not..
MooseTrax said:
This has been a good thread for ideas. We have always done a set entree with variations such as adding or subtracting ingredients (no tomatoes, yes asparagus). After reading through this we are going to offer the menu option on a trial basis. We'll do this in September and see how it goes.
There will be a default entree for those guests who do not tell us what they want, but we will have a printed menu and the guests will tell us by 9 PM what they want for breakfast. Late arrivals will be able to leave their menu on the desk for morning pickup.
They will be served what they asked for, no substitutions in the morning so that should solve the problem we have had of being asked for different breakfasts than what was planned. That will save having to ask in the morning if they want this or that in their omelet. We will start off offering 3 different options: pancakes, french toast or omelets with some sort of meat. It will save us a lot of baking time as we will do away with quiches and casseroles. We have purchased a stove-top griddle and will run the electric griddle as well to keep up with all of the orders.
It feels like a weight is lifted. No more worries about what anyone will grumble about in the morning. They will choose, we will cook, they will eat- or not- but it will be entirely their choice whether they are happy or not.
The beauty of this thing we have all chosen to do is that we can fully cusotmize things to best suit not only our guests, but our own comfort zones, proficiency levels at various tasks and the unique infrastructural qualities of our kitchens, dining areas, etc.
Nothing is set in stone and the only guests who would know you were tinkering with things a little are the repeat guests. They might actually embrace any changes you make, so why not try something that you feel will make for a better quality experience for all involved. You both included.
There are a couple of things that we feel make our style very enjoyable for our guests. The anticipation factor of not fully knowing what is on the menu until they come to the dining room and seeing our little chalkboard menu written out is fun for most people. We all like some surprises in life and on vacation even more so. Especially when they are all done well.
Variety, flexibility and options are three things we insist on for ourselves when we travel, so it feels very natural to offer the same to our guests.
I think you've zeroed in on some human nature things that can't or shouldn't be ignored by innkeepers. People are endowed with free choice and we should work to allow them to make those choices without gnashing our teeth too much over what the rare picky eater or hard to please guest is going to reject. They all have the choice to NOT eat anything they don't like just like we have the choice to structure our places to NOT go to extremes to please somebody who can't be pleased or won't tell us exactly what they want.
 
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