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It really depends on how much you have budgeted for guest kitchen supplies. What is your cash limit to still make a profit?
Guests who are renting entire homes realise that the provisioning will be up to them. In our entire home we supply arrival treats (crisps [chips in the USA], apples and bananas and a bottle of Trader Joe’s wine).
There is also their first breakfast - croissants, milk, mini cereal, yogurts and chocolate. Plus bottled water in the fridge. After that, they are on their own. We also supply coffee and tea.
In the kitchen cupboards there are items such as salt and pepper, olive oil, rice, herbs — but these are mostly items left by previous guests.
If I was a guest, I wouldn’t expect the kitchen to be stocked with food.
We supply coffee, tea, sugar and individual creamers. We leave a basket with a couple of pieces of fruit, as well as a combo of small sizes of chips, nuts, a couple of good granola bars (thinking they. An take them with when they go out for the day) a piece of local chocolate, an inexpensive bottle of local wine, a couple of local beers & or soda and water in the frig. There are a few spices (slowly being left by guests), and olive oil. I spend about 10-12 per booking, but only about 1/2 even use much so it goes to the next guest; fruit comes home for us to eat. If I were in your location I would probably remind them of the distance and hours of the nearest store so they can stop on the way.
Don’t stock the kitchen with food other than coffee, tea, spices and something like olive oil. The rest is up to them! You can let the guests stock it up eventually… remember you are renting a home or room, not providing meals. If you do you’ll have a hard time making much of a profit!
I started out providing basics: a bottle of water and Milk in the fridge, Individually wrapped butter, a packet of biscuits, tea, instant coffee and granulated coffee, olive oil, salt and pepper. I’m a budget accommodation, entire apartment at around €50/night.
I am now thinking about dropping the milk, cookies, butter and granulated coffee. Reasons being:
they eat out more from the profits. Considering the AirBnb Fee - tax - Water and Electricity it all adds up!
they are often wasted or unappreciated: Milk left in fridge half full, they eat only 2 cookies and leave the rest in the packet, and most of my guests preferred instant coffee over brewing granulated coffee in the mocha pot. So far no one ever mentioned anything about these extras I provide. Perhaps they take them for granted?
Alternatively to cut down the waste I considered: creamer instead of milk and individually wrapped croissants instead of biscuits.
Put yourself in your guest’s shoes and imagine what you would like to find when you arrive. When I’m travelling I like to find: coffee, tea, milk (longlife milk is okay), olive oil and salt and pepper. Everything else I expect to buy myself.
I rent an (entire) apartment and I leave for each arriving guest/guests one dozen eggs, bread, milk, bottled water, and, if guests are arriving late at night, some sort of sliced turkey and perhaps cheese. I also have coffee, tea, condiments and leave a basket with an assortment of snacks such as individual bags of potato chips, etc.I usually spend about $12 per guest/guests. Most of my guests mention the food in their feedback, so I suppose it’s appreciated and not taken for granted.
At my price point, $12 per guest would cut heavily into my profit! Most traditional VRs are self catering. How come suddenly Airbnb guests have seemingly pressured us into providing these kinds of meals for guests?
Yes… which is such a waste. If it were me I would stop doing this. You have to look at what results in payback. It’s mostly a lot of money invested with very little payback. I used to do this too when I was a new host and stopped after about the fourth guest, and REALLY stopped when guests started critiquing what I had left.
I agree that it is not worthwhile (for many reasons) to go overboard and provide food for guests. However, the essentials (tea, coffee, milk, condiments, oil) are hugely appreciated. If you want to go a teeny bit extra for guests that arrive late and possibly hungry, maybe a pack of pasta and a jar of sauce or some tinned soup? I know that would have been a godsend when I’ve arrived late at a remote rental. It doesn’t cost much and will keep for a long time if not used. And yes, cereals are good too - they last for a while too. But do be sure to check what guests have left and remove old stuff between changeovers. It’s nice to have access to stuff previous guests have left behind but off-putting when it’s well out-of-date.
But basically I decided food wasn’t worth it, and that I couldn’t make everyone happy with their choice of food. There would be waste and expense. For my pric point even coffee is a stretch but I do it.
I stock salt, pepper, sugar, asst spices/herbs and a dozen bottles of water. Too many people are allergic/intolerant or only want organic. My pantry is available if people have forgotten items. Mind you it’s a self-catering cottage people drive to. Different markets, different needs. When I travel I take my own tea bags and pick up snacks before checking in.
That’s what I find; many guests don’t eat or drink anything. But they all seem very appreciative of what we’ve offered. The only perishables we leave is the fruit, and we I swap it out and we eat it. So far none has actually gone to waste.