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Guests coming down really late for breakfast?

I serve breakfast at 9am. It is a mixture of fresh fruit salad, yoghurts, pastries & cereal. Plus a couple of cooked options including a “Full Cornish”. It says in my listing, in at least 2 places, that breakfast is served at 9am, but I am happy to do it a little earlier or later with a bit of notice. You can come down at 9:15 or even 9:30, I am not a time maniac!

So, young couple staying, yesterday was their first brekkie. They came down at 9:30 and just had the cold buffet. Seemed very nice we chatted blah blah. Yesterday I had another couple arrive, so full house now. This morning the new couple came down at around 9 and I made them both full cooked, and we chatted and they are also super nice. By 9:45 still no sign of the other guests. By 10 o’clock I start to clear everything away and do the dishes. The new couple have already finished and gone upstairs to get ready for their day. At 10:15, the young couple come down and ask for full cooked breakfast. I told them sorry, kitchen is cleaned but you can help yourself to fruit salad, and all the rest. There was still tea and coffee left.

Would you have made them cooked? Should people realise that hosts may have things to do, people to see and cannot hang about for the entire morning waiting for them? Do they not understand that the washing up has to be done and the kitchen completely cleaned after breakfast?

The End :wink:


Your place, your rules

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According to what I’ve read in this forum, cooking for guests is illegal in a lot of places, at least without some suitable license. What is your location?

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This used to be one of our biggest bugbears when doing “proper” B&B and a reason we changed to Air and are thinking of converting our en-suite room into a studio with kitchenette. We served breakfast from 9 till 10, and, especially since it was served on the pretty terrace above the pool, our guests’ long lazy breakfasts could stretch until mid-day. Great for them, not so good for our “lost” morning!

I think it might be a good idea for you to specify a time period (say 8.30 - 9.30) It could be good for you if not everyone arrives at the table at the same time and I think there’s also a psychological advantage here. If I read “9 am breakfast” I’m pretty certain that you don’t actually need me there on the dot of 9, but I don’t actually know what your leeway is, so if I haven’t made it downstairs by that time I might as well arrive by 9.45 as 9.15. Whereas if I have a specified breakfast period then I know that if I arrive later than 9.30 I can expect breakfast to have been cleared away and the kitchen closed!

And incidentally I think your “young couple” had a nerve coming down over an hour late and expecting a cooked breakfast (Entitled Millennials, hey?) and it was very good of you to offer them anything at all - should have sent them out to buy a pasty instead!


Yep, I think I will add a caveat, breakfast between 9 and 9:45. I like to be done and out by 10:30, so that should be enough time!

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They were rude, don’t feel bad, although we often do when we are assertive. I stped doing go,essay as I got sick of doing meals.

I supply breakfast but I don’t make it now, such a difference to my life. I supply 6 boxes of cereal, Jams, peanut butter and vegemite (of course), butter, toast and milk. I also have a very large fruit bowl they can eat from whenever they want. All the cereal and condiments sits on top of their separate bar fridge I have in the kitchen and I put bread and milk in their fridge 1-2 per week. If they don’t eat it, no sweat, if they eat it at 1pm I don’t care either as I’m at work. I’ve only really every had a couple of guests abuse it and expect to eat ‘breakfast’ for three meals a day and I just started replacing stuff with really cheap stuff so they got the hint. If I’m feeling generous and have the time I leave fresh eggs, bake cakes and slices. I just made an apple pie from scratch for my Tiawanese guests that arrived today and he nearly cried. I don’t advertise the extras on top of my basic breakfast.

I would consider if you really need to be cooking for anyone except maybe as a special weekend thing and jack up your prices then or charge $20pp and they order day before (that’s what my sister does in France). Less stress

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Your actions were correct. You are not a full-service $500 a night hotel. Every hotel I’ve stayed in that provides breakfast has an end-time.

Perhaps a little sign in a frame in your guest area “Breakfast is served from 9-9:30 every morning. Please join us!”


I would have done exactly as you did. Pointed them to what was available, and that’s it. It’s one thing to be 15 minutes late, another to be and hour and 15 minutes late.

Yep – best bet is to post "Breakfast Between 9 and 9:45. Don’t be late!'
Kerensa – we’ll have to get together off-site and compare breakfast menus…


Haha, I’m going to advise you to specify breakfast ‘hours’, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to come down at 10:15, I mean, it’s holiday and you sleep in, I personally have been known to sleep until noon.

And this comment:

And incidentally I think your “young couple” had a nerve coming down over an hour late and expecting a cooked breakfast (Entitled Millennials, hey?) and it was very good of you to offer them anything at all - should have sent them out to buy a pasty instead!

Come on! If the listing offers breakfast I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect breakfast.

Specify your times, you’ll do yourself a big favour.

Really? Even though her listing says breakfast served at 9? Lol I would have already left the house and most hotels would have shut the kitchen

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Yes, but she doesn’t say that is written in her listing. At a hotel, if I want breakfast, I go at the specified times, and I know that if I’ll sleep until 11 I’ll miss out. That’s why I advised that she should write it down.

Yes, she does state in her listing…

Ah, my bad, in this case it’s on the guests.

It shows the difference between today’s guests and guests from days gone by. In the eighties I ran a traditional B & B in my home and told guests ‘I serve a cooked breakfast between 8 and 9.30. What time would you like your breakfast during your stay?’

In other words, I was telling them that if they were staying for a week, and wanted breakfast at 9, then it was ready for them at that time every day. That way, I could plan.

For anyone who wanted a later time (and I truly can only remember one guest who did) I’d leave cold breakfast items in the dining room. A different era of guests!

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I point to a cheap box of granola cereal - and let them help themselves - I do make or provide nice coffee/espresso. I work full time and cannot be on my guests schedule.

My listing does say breakfast is at 9am and I am happy to do it a little earlier if required. I think an hour and 15 mins past that is very rude frankly. But I have changed it to say breakfast is between 9 and 9:45am.

Yeah, it’s a bit late

Unless you have a legal B&B license with a separate kitchen you are not allowed to make a warm breakfast for guests. You are also not allowed to charge for breakfast.You are however allowed to give guests breakfast. That being the case it is up to you how to handle it since it is a “gift” from you and it is not something they have the right to have. I have a legal license but since i don’t have a separate kitchen i have to follow the law. I ask them what time and it is 8, 8.30 or 9 the latest. If everything is cleaned up and cleaned out when they come down late they can only get coffee, tea and sweets and if i have other things to do and i need to leave after breakfast they will have to get breakfast out. Never had any issues and people seem to understand that with you being the staff you can’t sit and wait all morning.

wencheJohanne51 – no need to come down so hard on the Cooking issue. Besides, you aren’t giving the straight facts.

It is NOT universally required to have a legal B&B license or commercial kitchen to prepare food for guests.

This has been discussed over and over here – certain countries/states/ counties/cities allow hosts to prepare all kinds of food, under a wide variety of conditions. Others do not.

Each individual host needs to check his/er local regulations before providing any sort of cooked foods at any time of day.

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