Fruits, snacks and chocolate are in the living room. I cannot ask to pay for

We live in a big apartment (4 rooms) and we rent 3 rooms.
All guest are free to use the living room and the kitchen and usually we socialize in a warm family atmosphere. On the bar and the table my wife has bowls of fruits and of chocolates.
We always offer some to the guest but I noticed that some guest continued to “snack” here and there without asking.
We are trying to find a solution, without asking for money, so we have been thinking to hang signs like this:
"Please feel free to enjoy the chocolates and the fruits. Just remember that other guests will come and they will appreciate your contribution"
What do you think?

You are in a no win situation.
Once offered you can’t withdraw your hospitality.
Up your night price to cover these costs or let it go.
Your sign makes no sense.


Remove the chocolate and fruit from a common space if guests are not welcome to eat at will. Instead, move the amount you have allocated for a guest into their room, or remove this. I can’t imagine that this is all that valuable to your guests and yet, it is a real expense for your AirBNB.

If you are selling fruit and chocolate, then you have to be far more direct. Your sign idea is very passive-aggressive and won’t get you the results that you want, I don’t think.


Don’t put the snacks in the common area, even your family snacks, or they WILL be eaten. Make up a Snack Plate for each room, and keep the family snacks somewhere other than in the common area.


I don’t like this wording, it feels like you are offering me a disingenuous gift and seeking me to refill the office Lollie jar. I would not expect the guests to refill. Either put affordable items in a small qty on your bar and expect it to all get eaten daily and cost into your price or don’t offer st all.

Perhaps a token small welcome packet of chocolate on arrival in each room is better.


I am imagining reading this as your guest. It makes me frown.
Am I supposed to put some fruit and chocolate in there too! - would there be a jar for “donations”?
It would be off putting to me.
Good that you asked for advice. I get that it is a nice gesture to have some treats out but I would budget it into the nightly rate if I felt compelled to leave something out.

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It is completely understandable that a guest would think that snack food that is out in common areas and which had been offered to them is free for them to eat. I think you should put out the amount you want guests to eat. Chocolate and fruit are fairly expensive snack food to give to guests. Maybe a better choice would be crackers or pretzels and nuts. These cost less and don’t spoil as fruit does.


so how much can they take, before it counts as too much?


(asking for a friend)


Thanks for the suggestions.
You are very helpful

Just adding another voice to the ‘no-win’ in this situation. It’s so nice to be generous to guests and most of the time they understand and don’t take advantage. But when they don’t, you start to feel peeved and begin watching how much each guest takes and thinking mmh, they were a bit greedy… So it’s no longer a nice feeling of being generous but an ever-downward spiral of negativity! Eventually, you will be sitting in your living room at 1am dressed in black, wearing a balaclava just waiting for that guest who sneaks down to take a chocolate. And then you’ll be arrested.

Seriously though, like others have said, just give what you’re willing for people to take. If you don’t want people eating in your rooms so a basket in there is not an option - just don’t do it at all! You sound like very hands-on hosts and, in my experience, guests will appreciate your innate hospitality, local knowledge, help getting around etc. far far more than any chocolate.


Wish I could be more helpful. But I really don’t see how you can win in this situation. I’m assuming the guests think they can help themselves because it was offered once, and it’s sitting out in bowls.

On top of that, people tend to get a little greedy when there are more people around. You know what I mean? Like the office hog who grabs a bunch of free snacks to take home as he is walking out the door. Nobody sees him doing it because he’s not eating all those snacks at his desk.

Not sure what kind of chocolates you are providing. Are they expensive individually wrapped ones? Could you put out a small candy dish of Andes mints or maybe even buy those jumbo bags of M&Ms and just pour out a little bit each day? Guests love individually wrapped items, and will likely eat less of something if it is not individually wrapped.

But keep the bowls small and don’t keep topping them off. Get rid of the fruit. Agree with Ellen in maybe getting some nuts or something else instead. Just pour some in a bowl like they do at the bar.

It’s quite likely that after this guest leaves it may never happen again. I’d forget about it.

I bake bread and offer it to guests. I had a guest who made meals of it. I was a bit peeved at that. Then he left and not only did it not happen again but some guests eat none of it. So it all evens out in my mind.


Or the people that come to my desk complaining that I haven’t filled up ‘the’ Lolly jar or dared to buy something they don’t like. Do you mean ‘my’ Lolly jar I generously share with you all? The complainers NEVER make a contribution and these are also the people taking home the ‘free’ snacks after a function they contributed nothing to; whining about the perceived lack of value/cost/catering/parking at the Xmas party (they didn’t help plan); walking away from the photocopier paper jam etc etc

This is why I work from home sometimes as my Airbnb guests who occasionally eat too much bread and cereal are usually much less annoying:slight_smile:


If it was offered to me at check in, and then continued to be in the same spot throughout my stay, I would assume I was free to snack from it. Remove it all together, put less out, or just accept the cost. In my opinion, asking for donations is tacky after it was originally offered complimentarily.


Here is your solution, put price tags on everything beyond the free food and put out a money/cash jar with some small bills for change.

Put a single high quality chocolate on each pillow and optionally a piece of fruit per person in a decorative basket or bowl in the room. That makes it seem thoughtful, personalized and is a nice surprise.

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I would not advise you to use your wording. You are asking people to guess at how much is too much and to save some for others.

I don’t like putting food in the bedroom because it can draw ants I live in California so it’s a real problem.

It’s completely up to you to manage this either put a smaller amount in the dish or put a cute note that says please limit yourself to one or two chocolates daily so that there is some for other guests.

We leave one pre-packaged two piece local chocolate set (packaged in plastic, we have ants too!) in their room, and two bottles of water in their room fridge. Itʻs a nice welcome refreshment as sometimes they come in on a long flight. Nothing more. All totaled itʻs about $1.75 per room. That is good for us. Some guests ask for more bottled water (itʻs not a hotel!) we tell them itʻs only for the first night – the tap water is fine for drinking or there is a grocery store in 5 min walk, some donʻt use it at all. I wouldnʻt assume that they would moderate, just give them what youʻre willing to part with.

my guests sign a form to say they won’t take more than 11 peanuts (or 39g) in any less than a 130 minute period.