Guest helping themselves to family food

Guest arrived yesterday and is staying for a week.

She was making some lunch in her room and I told her to go to the breakfast room and use the table as it’s more uncomfortable and as she was eating fish, I thought it could smell the bedroom for her.

As soon as breakfast each day is finished, I set the table, and I stock up for the next morning.

I noticed that she had eaten some banana’s, 4 mini chocolate brioches and 2 yogurts sadly I know the exact amount but thought it was a bit cheeky as she already had her breakfast.

She is staying in for the full week and has not brought any food. She is staying in the house 24/7, am thinking she will empty my presses after her weekly stay.

Do you say to her directly not to eat the food or just lock the door which I can,

Strangely, I had a guest behave similarly a couple days ago. We had a couple stay for one night. When they arrived I gave them the house tour including showing them the muffins and granola which are what I offer for breakfast. They got up early so my husband saw them, but I didn’t. Last night I saw that I only had five tomatoes although I’d bought six. My husband told me that they grazed from our kitchen counter. He said they ate some maple coated walnuts and took a bunch of fruit, the tomato, some muffins and a package of plastic disposable cups with them when they left. I wish he’d told me right away as I wouldn’t have written such a nice review.

In your case, I think you should tell guests who are using the breakfast room post breakfast that the food that is set out is to reserved for tomorrow’s breakfast and that they aren’t to eat it now. I could easily see myself making the mistake of thinking it was okay to eat food that was laid out in a dining area I was asked to use.

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In some cultures if the food is on a table it means everyone can help themselves. She might thought that.


I would stop putting out the food 24 hours in advance. I can easily see that someone would think if the food is out, it is available. What has told her otherwise?

How can you leave the yogurt out on the table for so many hours?


I made labels that I put on the counter where I leave breakfast food and on the refrigerator shelves that I have milk, juice etc. The labels say “For Guest Use”. It makes it really clear what is accessible and what isn’t. So far I haven’t had anyone raid the family food but I would be upset if they did!


Big sign on the Fridge and pantry "Food in this kitchen in for Family consumption, Not For Guests!

Yes you say to her: “The food you ate was for my family, please replace the bananas, brioche and yogurts you ate yesterday – the market is …”


I have a fridge for guest use and leave fruit and chocolates out for general consumption.

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I usually rent out my whole house so haven’t had to deal with this until my current set of guests arrived two days ago. I wanted to use my house this month so I set up a separate listing with just one bedroom being rented out.

My guests arrived two nights ago and yesterday morning when I got up, the man said how good my fig jam was and that he had grabbed a piece of bread from my loaf and helped himself. Well, this was an unsliced loaf and he had actually ripped a big chunk out of it and opened up a jar of jam that a neighbor had just given me as a gift!! I was speachless!

I wouldn’t even do that as a guest at a friend’s house!!!

You say you were speechless but ultimately did you let him know it’s not a communal kitchen? And will you mention it in the review?

Of course and yes, I will mention it. I told him that it was my food in the fridge but the entire right side of the fridge was empty and let him know where the grocery store was. He apologized profusely. This is only their second time renting an airbnb and the first renting in a shared home.


Ah. That puts it in a different light then. Thanks for doing your part to make Airbnb better.

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I set out the breakfast items each morning, along with a sign telling guests to help themselves to the stuff on the top shelf of the fridge, where there is milk, almond milk, OJ, hard boiled eggs and a yogurt cup for each guest. There is also a fruit bowl on the breakfast table that stays there, that the sign also tells them to help themselves to.

98% of my guests are very good at just eating breakfast. But on occasion, after they have some cereal for breakfast, they will load their pockets with fruit, granola bars and yogurt, I assume so they don’t have to purchase lunch. One couple even made themselves PB & J sandwiches and asked me for sandwich baggies. I mentioned that the food was technically only for breakfast. They told me they were not “very” hungry in the morning, so they had “only” had cereal and yogurt, and were simply taking the “rest” of their breakfast with them.

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Nothing was taking today, I see your point about leaving food prepared for guests. I have my routine to have all my work done my 2.15pm,

I have a lock on my bedroom door and it was broken so I did the bit of paper trick in the door handle to see if someone goes into my room, both yesterday and today the paper was on the floor while I was doing school runs. My room is not that interesting if I am honest, got the lock fixed today.

Her child is here for a year to learn english and she misses him a lot which I understand, but today , I was asked if my son could play with her child every week as her son is lonely. She said he can come up to this house and play on the play station or play sports together. I understand the child could be lonely in the evening but he is not my responsibility, his host family are getting paid to look after him. I would have made sure the host family had children, as it can be a difficult year when your hosts are in their 60’s

Sometimes you think, you heard it all


I don’t see how that matters. Why would anyone assume free food is being provided? Get real. I wouldn’t even go to my sisters and cut open her bread or eat her jam.

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Did you state this in their review?

I hate these guests & I get a lot of them. I eat gluten free and my son likes other fancy bread so now I get a loaf for guests and calculate 2 pieces per person per day and calculate the days and say this is your bread until x day and store ours separately. My current guests are great, 2 girls who go night clubbing like every night 7pm to 3-5 am and sleep all day and don’t eat breakfast (or anything else!) so I have the house & kitchen to myself when I get home from work. My son thought they were working lol

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That’s an uncomfortable situation. I would never even allow people to eat in the room or prepare food in the room I have a very strict rule here in the warm Southern California area it will draw ants. I would talk to a person about the food situation and tell them that you’re lodging does not include food and for her to review the listing. Tell her that if you invite her to eat something then she’s welcome to it otherwise it’s off limits. Sorry you’re having that trouble.

Emily. I am real. If you paid attention to my previous post, you will see that I mentioned I wouldn’t even do that as a guest in a friend’s house.

Because maybe it was at their first airbnb? I know you’ve seen the posts here from hosts who basically say “the customer is always right” and detail all the things they do for guests. They also don’t give negative reviews and so we get stuck with these people again and again.

You weren’t the guest though. Plenty of people would go their sister’s and eat her food. Any there are plenty of families where that would be just fine. Mind you, mine wasn’t one of the them. But airbnb attracts all kinds. We have to train them.


K9K, I agree. We do have to train them. Mine weren’t bad guests. Just clueless and didn’t read the rules, like most people! I did really like my guests and they left a sweet note and a double chocolate salted fudge brownie from one of the best dessert places in town as a thank you (and maybe apology?) for the great stay. I would host them again but would be very clear about my rules.


No need for your insults- I am clearly referring to the guests.