Complimentary Breakfast options

I am relatively new as a host only starting in March this year. My location is a 2 bedroom 1 1/2 bathroom apartment entirely used for Airbnb. I don’t live there. When I started I remembered my own experiences as a guest and took some of their better ideas. For example I provide a welcome light breakfast of bread people can toast, butter a selection of jams and cereal.

Given the current awareness of safety I always use cereal in single serve sealed packets and jams in single serve packets. Single serve containers does limit the choice you can provide but appears to be safer.

I am now wondering if I should buy some nice jam jars and fill them up with a better selection each time I guests arrive. My question is if you were a guest and saw jams in a jar that we’re not manufactured sealed would you be hesitant to use them?

Similarly if I bought a selection of cereals and put them in cereal containers, would you as a guest feel hesitant in using them?

I recall on one time the host provided home cooked muffins and croissants and jams in jars. I had no hesitation in using them but perhaps I’m more trusting? Then of course if you’re sharing a room in a house often the host will say feel free to use the food in the refrigerator which isn’t always new from the supermarket.

Just wonder what other hosts think of this?


I’m narotic so I would not consume anything that was refilled in a jar, I would prefer the individual sizes. Also, I think it might be more wasteful. If you put out a selection of jams, guests might open all of them just to use a bit and the rest would not be usable for your next guests.

Personally, no I wouldn’t. And I’ve tried several options in the rentals over the years and it seems to me that our guests have felt the same way. I tried exactly that at one time - jam decanted into lovely little jars but they weren’t appreciated.

I agree that it’s far safer (for you as a host as well as for your guests) to offer everything in containers that were sealed by the manufacturer.

But see other replies (I’m sure there’ll be more) as there are hosts here who offer various options.

1 Like

Go to a restaurant supply store to get the best selection of individual jams, condiments, etc. Or you can order on line.

I serve my guests, so for any given breakfast they get 3-4 Tablespoons of jam, salsa. butter, cane syrup or whatever is appropriate for the dish I’m serving them.;


I host in my home so guests just have complimentary tea and coffee, cream, and they are welcome to use my oil, salt and pepper, sugar. Other than tht, they buy and prepare their own food.
I’m really opposed to single-serve sizes because of the garbage created. But I wouldn’t leave or want to use an opened jar of jam, as someone could have stuck a spoon they licked off into it.
If I had an entire house listing, I’d probably just provide tea, coffee, milk and cream, and maybe a small stick of butter and some croissants, maybe a container of granola for their first morning. A friend leaves a plate of cut-up vegies covered in saran wrap with some dip for her guests when they first arrive, along with some granola bars and a bag of chips and many have expressed how grateful they were for it after a long trip, so they didn’t have to go shopping or out for dinner right away. Of course you’d have to let them know, either with a note, or verbally, that something like a plate of dipping veggies was especially made up for them by the host, not something that got left there by the previous guests.

I have jam etc in the fridge. The are household size jars and they do get used. My view is if you don’t like it, don’t use it. They are replaced when they are about 75% empty. In four years of hosting 4 entire properties I have only had one complaint after the stay and they bleated about all sorts of minor things. My response to them was - if you were so unhappy you should have told me and I would have removed the items causing you distress. I won’t do the single serves as the plastic waste distresses me and I am not a hotel!


I would not be hesitant at all.

I don’t like single servings due to this:

And if you don’t like it my attitude is this:

I think the important thing for a guest no matter what your choices are is to make them very clear to guests so if their choices differ they can stay elsewhere.

Put the jam in jar and picture it in the listing and tell guests you are trying to be careful about how your choices impact the environment. You will attract guests with similar values and then everyone is happier.


It depends on the food item and the “ick, did someone touch all of these or stick their finger or licked utensil in that?” factor. I started out following the norm of what you would find in a moderate-price hotel lobby breakfast, as that is what folks may be used to, then made exceptions based on experience. Cereal & bread in bulk but the spreads individual. I use cereal dispensers and I package the appropriate amount of bagels or breads in a plain plastic bag or closed plastic container, unlabeled so it doesn’t look like “leftovers.” Individual jelly jars, glass & metal recyclable. For short stays I will cut a stick of butter in half and put it in a butter dish in the fridge. You can tell it’s not been used. I started with coffee packets for the coffee maker because I don’t like the mess of grounds, but I recently added filters and a labeled repurposed glass jar with nicer ground coffee, I’d say the use is split about 50/50 packets vs. filtered grounds. I have a small rice cooker and bulk rice mix in its original plastic container.
It just occurred to me that guests might be comfortable with a (refillable) squeeze bottle for jelly – I think I’ll try that.


I think that’s the key- if it is obviously unused I can’t see a problem. I wouldn’t be inclined to use a half jar of jam, but if it was in a small mason jar that had been fully refilled to the top, I’d not have any qualms. It’s sort of like refilling the liquid soap and shampoo dispensers- if they’re full, it doesn’t feel like you’re using someone else’s leftovers.
Then there are some demographics that would be happy to gobble up any food they found, like young men. "Dude, we scored- looks like the last guests left a quarter jar of peanut butter, a half a carton of milk, a few slices of bread and there’s even left-over Chinese take-out! "


Exactly me with food guests leave in the mini fridge. Two nights ago it was 3 tamales wrapped in foil and some raw veggies in a cup labeled “Love’s” which is a truck stop chain. The tamales must have been from there too because they weren’t very good.


We offer individual organic steel cut oats packets (Big Lots!) , pancake mix measured into zippy bags noting 1 cup and returned to box. Open bottle maple syrup. 4 eggs. Challenge offers 1/8 lb. butters, I use those, still wrapped, on a butter dish in the refrigerator. We have offered some nicer little jars of jam, but they went unnoticed. Coffee in a jar. Individual mini cream buckets never get used, I get the littlest bottles of flavored creamer, they get used and are opened. I also provide powdered creamer. Guests get a (short) list of what we provide:)
Personally, I might prefer a little refilled jar…
White sugar we have in a jar and packets of all kinds also, seems to be unused. I just noticed our spices are getting low after a whole season, not a rack of them, but a few.

Me too. My guests have left some yummy stuff. An entire package of home-smoked salmon, entire blocks of cheese, and my last guest loved to cook and made a big pot of fish and vegetable soup which I ate for 2 days after she left.
Wouldn’t it be funny if you left a review saying the guests’ choice of tamales wasn’t really to your liking, and if they are going to leave tamales in the fridge again, they should really buy them at XX instead of the truck stop?


The packages with individually wrapped half sticks of butter, when you can find them, cost a ridiculous amount more than packages with the full sticks.


I’d love to leave reviews like that. Their review of their night here was OTT nice so I won’t complain.

In a similar vein in terms of “how do guests feel about this?” I posted about almost always putting a fresh roll of top in the bathroom. I think it sends a subliminal message about bathroom cleanliness. Of all the things I don’t really want to touch in a bathroom is the tp roll that other people sitting on the toilet touched. I do it but…

Plenty of people told me I was ridiculous. Then I read a few days ago about people washing the soap dispenser and no one…not one person criticized it. So having clean soap dispensers makes sense but having clean TP is silly. And in case anyone asks, I take the partial rolls and use them in my part of the house so there is no waste.

I don’t really have a point, just making an observation. Silly humans.

1 Like

My listing really isn’t practical for individually-packaged servings of jam and such. I can see it for 1 or 2 guests for 1 or 2 nights, but I average 5+ guests for 4+ nights. I tried regular size jars of jam, peanut butter, mayonnaise, tubs of margarine, etc. Almost no guests used them and that’s basically what I expected. However, squeeze bottles of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and jam get used by about half of my guest groups.

I do what @gypsy does for butter, except I use a 1/4-lb stick. I like the idea of the 1/8-lb half-sticks, but they are also twice as expensive, so no real benefit. Occasionally, a guest opens a stick and uses very little, so it goes back to my house to use for cooking.

Also, to be fair, I don’t list anything except cooking essentials as an amenity, I’m just trying things to see what works and what direction I might go with my amenities in the future.

1 Like

We stock our kitchens very well. The oils and condiments and such are regular sized containers. They get used plenty and no complaints. The giant jar of Nutella goes first, which shocks me because everyone knows that Nutella is best eaten straight out of the jar with your fingers :laughing: People seem to like free stuff. LOL.


As the OP I always think it’s great how much traffic a post on this forum will generate. Clearly we are a group of passionate hosts.

Lots of good suggestions and of course many conflict. My takeaways are

  1. Butter - I will continue to use single serve. That’s because I have a whole box of them and plus in my country, butter is sold in 500gm blocks (sometimes you can find 250gm blocks) so I would have to cut the blocks and make it look like it’s “new”
  2. Jams are more interesting. Since I am running out of spreads, I might trying using refills. At some hotels they serve at the buffet, spreads in glass containers like this. Egg in the picture just to give folks an idea of the size

I can reuse those, clean them out and fill to the top so they look “new”. Then I might label them with a label maker as to the contents. I think that is kinder to the environment as single serve things are very wasteful and you have little choices (well at least in my neck of the woods you don’t)
craigs jam
As somebody else has noted, nobody is forcing guests to eat the snacks you provide. If you are really worried then don’t eat it. There are two supermarkets within a 5 and 10 minute walk from my apartment so guests can go buy their own food.


As I have mentioned in other posts…in the US you need to check with your local health department to see what is allowable.


I had a guest who inventoried my entire food/drink supply and provided me an itemized list of everything beyond its “best by” date, in a private message. They explained they do this in every Airbnb they stay in!
I didn’t bother to tell them I freeze everything ('cept yogurt as that would make the texture weird); I just thanked them for their efforts and moved on.

[quote="Terryathome, post:18, topic:38069, full:true"]

As I have mentioned in other posts…in the US you need to check with your local health department to see what is allowable.

don’t live in the US. And one Airbnb I stayed at it was on a farm but in a separate farmhouse. They actually left raw milk in the fridge for us to use but didn’t tell us until the day after. Luckily no one in our group was allergic to raw milk and the host told us they’ve never had any problems in this area