Fulfilling guest grocery requests?

Hi from a new host from Boston ("Bawston!) Do any hosts have experience in providing groceries upfront for guests–stocking a kitchen with wanted items? If so, do you use a concierge service or do it yourself?


That is an interesting idea. I think it could be a great perk for more urban areas. For me, guests drive right by the grocery store to get to the property.

I don’t grocery shop for guests. It may be because I’m in the U.S. where we have so many choices about every consumer good that grocery stores have at least 20 brands of cereal. I would be concerned that I wouldn’t buy exactly what the guest wanted so they wouldn’t reimburse me and/or would write a negative review.

I have one exception. I have a regular guest who likes a particular flavor of granola bar from Trader Joe’s. When she books I buy her a box of granola bars.

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Would I do it? Probably – I’m a Personal Chef and I know how to shop. Also, I’m nominally retired (my partner still works), so I have the time to shop for guests. Why pay someone else to do something I’m good at?

Would I charge for the service? Heck yes $50 or more – it takes me an hour if I’m shopping for an entire week’s worth of food, and I have a shopping list in hand (never grocery shop when hungry or without a shopping list). Buy no more, or less, than is on the list.

Any US based guest has access to many online shopping services, so I am not sure why they would need me to purchase anything for them. The online services allow the end user to choose exactly what (i.e. brand, quantity, etc) the guest wants. To date, guests that want to purchase food for their stay have been very happy with the Market Basket which is located within walking distance. And the really excellent beer selection next door has made some of them very happy.


No we have lots of online grocers they can use and 18 shops within two minutes where they can pick up food in person.

Its a 60 mile round trip to a big supermarket so guests order online at Tesco or Asda a day or 2 before arrival, gets delivered a couple of hours after arriving.


Makes sense, thanks. You think you could make money doing it for them before hand?

No, they wouldn’t want to pay what I would want to charge. Plus I like my lifestyle and would not want to run round in circles doing someones shopping.


One option would be online, Kroger for example, you can order online. Guests could complete the order to be picked up at local store. You would just need to pick up and have at rental for them. Would be fairly simple.

I don’t know. Why has renting a room or sharing a home turned into guest concierge services? I know vac rentals that used to do this and it’s crazy labor intensive. Charge a LOT for this. Don’t do it free or for $50.

Remember time is money!!! The more you work for free the less you make.


Depends how much your time is worth. How much would you charge to manage this, drive there and back, do the shopping, queue at the tills, pack and unpack. Likely to be two hours work.

Would a guest pay for it when they can get a minimal delivery charge from a supermarket.

I am sure there are easier ways for you to make money.


We have a service called Fresh Direct in our NYC area. If you refer someone and they order, they get a deal and you get a bonus. Find a service near you and send each guest an invite through the service’s website link. This way you are helpful but not responsible for the details and any problems.

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Perfect wish we had something like that.

I agree and what if the guest was unhappy because you didn’t get the specific product he/she wanted or because you didn’t go to the store that had the product on sale or in your area it cost so much more than they’re used to.

I am more guest then a host on the Airbnb platform. I do not like when hosts leave some food/wine/sweets for me. I do not eat a lot of things, I am a wine specialist and never got a good bottle of wine to my taste and I do not eat sweets. Would be difficult to shop for me, but I never ask such thing from my hosts. And as a host never offer to my guests such option.

I leave a few bottles of water. Wine, chocolates are expensive and may nit suit guests.

@Louise, can you translate? I am sure that there is a typo, but I am not clever enough to figure it out.

I think this could also depend on whether your guests are travelling within their own country or internationally. None of our guests are from Spain and I think one of the pleasures of travelling is discovering local shops and markets etc. I will buy basic breakfast stuff if guests are arriving late, and I stock the basics anyone would want (coffee, tea, sugar, salt, olive oil, pasta, rice etc) but that’s it…

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You’re nit-picking now @smtucker :slight_smile:

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