Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Day in the Life of an Innkepper

Our guests are here for a short time. They enjoy weekend evening wine and snacks. They go out to dinner, come back and watch a movie (at least they start to watch a movie before falling asleep), relax and get a good night sleep. They get up, have some coffee or tea, eat breakfast and away they go for their day's adventure or return home.

I thought some of you might be interested in what goes on the rest of the day.

Breakfast is served from 9:00 to 10:00am. I am up 6:30ish, shower and dress, and am usually in the kitchen by 7:00.

I am emptying the dishwasher, like I do mornings & afternoons. I am also wearing an apron one of our guests gave me. I really like it and I appreciate the gift.

Hopefully I have done some prep work the day before (mixed dry ingredients for baked goods, chopped veggies and fruit, etc.). I finish the prepping for baking muffins, scones or whatever, then I move on to the egg dish. Although we have some casseroles that can and are prepared the day before and refrigerated, in general I prefer to assemble and bake these in the morning. If we are having Country Eggs Benedict (Daryl's dish he concocted and his to cook) I need to time the baking of muffins with the time to bake the pastry shells -- they usually are not baked at the same temperature. Daryl sets the tables while I continue the kitchen work of cooking, baking and putting the food in serving dishes. Although we try to have the food out for our guests promptly at 9:00 am, sometimes casseroles take a few minutes longer than anticipated. After our guests arrive for breakfast, I pour coffee and explain what is being served on our buffet bars while Daryl goes to the computer to prepare guest checkouts. During breakfast one of us answers questions and helps guests with their plans for the day. (Being a personal concierge is a big part of what makes our place so special.) Most people are here for wine tasting; we talk with them about our area wineries and their individual wines. Some people prefer to do some shopping in nearby towns or go to Apple Hill for fresh apples and other produce. 

Here I'm slicing fruit for a fruit medley, a prep job.

After our guests have finished breakfast I begin the clean-up process. This can be quick and easy or very time consuming, depending on the number of guests and what is being served, We like to have Daryl cook omelets to order, but there is a lot of prep time and about a million dishes and utensils to be cleaned up! We clean off the tables, putting the salt & pepper and the other condiments into their storage places. Then all the placemats and tables get sanitized.  Once the hand-washing is done the dishwasher gets started. I'm ready to start laundry. Napkins with food stains need sprayed and soaked before going into the washing machine. We have two sets of washers and dryers. The sheets and table linens are washed upstairs. The towels are washed downstairs. When we have a full house both set are going non-stop for a couple days.

Once the kitchen is cleaned up and laundry started, we move on. If guests are staying more then one night we "fluff" their room -- empty wastebaskets, replenish snack items, etc. Rooms that have been vacated need to be cleaned and santized. Silva, one of our wonderful neighbors, takes charge of cleaning rooms. When we opened the Inn, Daryl & I did all the cleaning. Now, I don't know what we would do without Silva. Some of you may have met her and enjoyed her great personality. Depending on what time of year, plants need trimmed or watered, patio and deck cleaned -- the outdoor chores get completed.

Daryl does the check-out and check-in duties. Once he has processed the credit cards for the last night's guests he does the check-ins for our new arriving guests. Daryl stays on top of our website needs and changes, Webervations (our online booking and reservation system), writes his blog and helps me publish mine (I'm still learning the process). He also does the business accounting and annual taxes. After all he worked for the California Franchise Tax board and he cheats by using Turbo Tax.

Mid-afternoon -- whoa. This is getting way long. I'll stop her for now and give you the rest of my day in another post. As soon as I learn the process.

'Til next time...