Thankfully every detail concerning guest care was well covered at the butler academy in a four-part course. So here goes with the first of a four-part series on how to deal with this vexing problem.
The first topic: "How do you fulfill your guests' dietary needs, restrictions, or favorites?"
First of all we have a Guest Registry Log that details a previous guest's needs or requests. This might include such things as Splenda instead of sugar, a gluten-free diet, tea rather than coffee, a soft boiled egg instead of scrambled or fried and on and on until your eyes glaze over. Since I intensely dislike our chef, I'm always delighted to pass along these annoying little notes just to get him all stirred up and crazy.
If it's a first-time notable guest headed our way, there's no problem at all in calling their office, their personal secretary, or their house manager to find out any personal needs or requirements. Sometimes there's a form letter these people email right back, itemizing any special idiosyncrasies. Some go so far as to specify what magazines are appreciated - which I don't appreciate one bit. The most I'm willing to do is put gender-specific magazines in a guest's room. But to run all over town to find a certain title? Forget it.
If the guest is way up there on the fancy-pants list, like European royalty or some significant politician from Washington, you can bet that
And finally, if we have no notice or information regarding the plague that's about to hit, there's no problem at all in simply asking the new guest "Is there anything we can get you while you're here?"
Which we may or may not do, depending entirely upon their uppity stature or the threat we face if we don't. I'll admit that on rare occasions it's actually fun having house guests, contingent upon their pleasant nature or entertainment value. But generally speaking it's just drudgery and extra work.
Thanks for dropping in this evening,
PS: This post is dedicated to Liz, Stacy, Butler Fan, Jeff, Molly and Jason, who all asked this very same question about seeing after a guest's dietary needs.