Guests complain because I don't serve breakfast - Not a true Airbnb they say

I know there have been many discussions here about who serves breakfast and who doesn’t and whether it’s a good idea or not, but I’d like to know if many other hosts have experienced guests complaining because there’s no breakfast? Despite the fact that it’s clear (to me anyway) in the listing.

I provide a kind of welcome pack but cannot provide breakfast on a daily basis. The space is self-contained and has mini bar fridge, toaster and kettle.

So, I have two elderly English guests checking out today. The small digging complaints have been continuous. Most of them I can brush off, but the breakfast one got to me.
After their first morning, they came and told me they’d run out of Apricot Jam (yes they probably still had, blueberry, blackberry and marmalade left). So i just gave them some more. Easy and better than having an unhappy guest.
Next morning. Could we have some more of that orange juice, and some more butter, and bread, and coffee?
So, I said sure, but were they aware that I didn’t serve breakfast. The supplies in the room are to get them started. I could give them some long life orange juice boxes, but not the organic chilled bottle they had on arrival.
Then it started. Why wasn’t it in my listing (it is, in the 1st para). Clearly I’m not a true Airbnb. BnB in the UK means breakfast. Wasn’t I worried about misrepresenting my accommodation and then getting bad reviews from people? Why did Airbnb call themselves Airbnb if they weren’t going to insist hosts serve breakfast? I’ve tried to be polite, but could tell I had that very pissed-off tone creeping into my replies.

They are first time Airbnb ers. They are the kind of English guest who likes to look down on their lowly Antipodean cousins as the uncouth convicts. Do I alert Airbnb of their complaints before they trash me in a review?


I heard this as well once… from newbies who thought because the name had BNB in it, it means breakfast should be expected. Eye roll. And yes, the Basta*d left that complain in a review.

Sounds like you are going to get a smackdown. I explained in “response” to the review about the name and the lack of breakfast, that it was the name of the platform he booked through, not MY name. Clearly anyone who read the review can see he was a dumb bunnie newb. You can leave your own review you know… And I would tell it like it is. Wait until the last review day to do it. Midnight in the guest time zone is your deadline.

If they review you first, anything goes and hit em with your best shot! :slight_smile:

Even if you’d served the same breakfast Queen Elizabeth gets every day, I bet they’d still complain. :slight_smile:

This kind of entitled guest is not wanted by those of us out here and we would like to know about them. Review them as such!

PS. Alerting Air will do nothing. They won’t help you unless the review violates their guidelines.


The supplies in the room are to get them started

That was my original plan, but I quickly decided it was fairly cheap to just replenish the food every day. And we’ve had quite a few guests complimenting us on the breakfast (it’s continental - we don’t cook anything; they have their own bar fridge, toaster, kettle & coffee maker).

The core problem is the name of the service. Everybody knows what a B&B is. So it’s quite normal to expect that a company called “AirBnB” deals with B&Bs. It seems like the name has been a misnomer since its early days. I used to be a technical writer, and poorly named product features were always a source of constant irritation and confusion for users (and made documenting the products hair-pullingly frustrating). It’s a problem we’re stuck with.

Of course you’re also currently stuck with a pair of thick-headed complainers, which can happen no matter how well the product is named. Best case scenario: they won’t be able to figure out how the star-rating system works.


Does your listing say no breakfast provided? If it does then you need to let them know that what you offered was a welcome gift and most self-contained homes do not even provide more than the essentials after the first day. Their complaints are BS


The only 4 star reviews I’ve received came from first time Airbnbers who I know had no comparative baseline for a review. I guess it’s just part of the game. We have lots of breakfast things available but do not offer breakfast in our listing for exactly these reasons…I don’t want the expectation of a cooked to order breakfast or bunch. We’re not a restaurant. Sorry.


HEAR HEAR!!! Well said.

And as I mentioned, if you cook eggs for them, they’ll want to know why it’s not organic, GMO-free eggs benedict. If you offer champagne, they’ll complain if it’s not Moet. And on and on…

Just best to not offer any provisions. especially in the self-contained rooms like I have.


I’m a copywriter by trade also and I think the name has become a globally recognized brand and has more than made up for the confusion it might have engendered at the beginning of its tenure. Now EVERYONE has an AirBnB. Just like everyone has a gmail address. :slight_smile: Unless you are new to the platform or living under a rock, just about everyone now knows that you can rent a treehouse, hammock or palace on AirBnB and it may or may not include breakfast. :slight_smile:


Guess I’ve been running into a lot of people that have been living under rocks… :slight_smile:

I wonder what rent they’re paying? :wink:

A little more seriously, the platform has been exploding just in the past year, and there have been a whole lot of newbies trying it out.

1 Like

Yes, but I have honed the review process into waiting until the last minute (midnight in the guest time zone) so it doesn’t prompt them to leave a smack in return. More often than not I don’t leave a review, unless the guest is truly terrible (for which I wait) or we have both pretty much decided we loved each other and both of our reviews will glow. :slight_smile: I’ve been lucky recently… most guests have loved their stays! :smile:

1 Like

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But lots of first time, newB guests don’t get it. As others have said, they expect a Ritz Carlon experience, at Motel Six prices. Very frustrating!


Gently explain to them that unless indicated then breakfast is not part of the deal, and in future if they want breakfast, they can select that amenity in the filtered advanced search.
They may also note that places that offer that are often more pricey!
What have they been doing for lunch and supper?
In our area, the places that offer breakfast are the exception, and not the rule!

1 Like

Right? It’s just a brand for an online service. Anyone who has unrealistic expectations based on the ‘BnB’ in the name is the type of moron who’ going to create headaches for you no matter what. It’s like 'hey, I went shopping on, and they didn’t have apples!’ Agree that you should mention this politely and professionally in your review so other hosts know to beware.


Jackulas - you crack me up!

Wilbur - I like Aquatic’s advice about telling them they can filter in the future under advanced search. And hopefully that will prevent them from saying something in a review.

If I wasn’t in the business myself I probably would never put two and two together - Airbnb translating to B&B. I think the name Airbnb is terrible and not catchy at all.

To be honest, if I really thought all listings served breakfast (and I was a traveler) I would probably want to know ahead of time what the spread is going to be. Wouldn’t most people? I mean…who books a real B&B and doesn’t find out what is served for breakfast? I am going to eat a light dinner if I know in the morning I will be served omelette, fruit, bagels, hash browns, with French Toast and every thing else.

I read a couple of complaints online about travelers being disappointed breakfast wasn’t served. So I bought a couple boxes of instant oatmeal and cheese grits. I set them in a bowl and no one has touched them in over a year and a half. They’re still there, and maybe I will make some oatmeal muffins or something out of them. But I surely hope no one books my place and thinks their family of six is getting fed breakfast for a week. Would they expect me to drive there and show up with loads of food?


Yep, I’m going to get smacked down and it’s very annoying, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to really give them the negative review they deserve because while they were doing all this complaining and back-handed advice, they smiled through it all and were very jolly-hockey sticks.

I could certainly rate them down on stars and would I recommend them etc, but other hosts don’t get to see that and in fact neither do they.

Jackulas - sorry if you get this twice. I’ve been posting replies through my phone and none of them seem to have appeared here.

So, yes I will definitely write the review but am a little unsure. Was thinking something like:
‘This was the first time J & G have used Airbnb and unfortunately were under the impression that all Airbnb properties provide and indeed should provide a daily breakfast. Although they were disappointed, they were polite and made the most of their stay here.’

Feels so rude to me…

No…only got it once, so you’re doing it right!

And, i don’t think your review sounds rude at all. I think it’s clear, straightforward, and balanced. you pointed out the good and the bad, and you did it in a very tactful, professional way. This tells me as another host exactly what I can expect from these travelers. Nicely done!

1 Like

Quite the opposite! It’s too generous.
How can they be BOTH polite and demanding? A little mutually exclusive, isn’t it?

I would replace that with, “I’m sorry they were disappointed” and leave it at that.

1 Like

You could say something like, ‘So and so were pleasant enough, but are a great example of what happens when guests don’t read a listing carefully. There were issues.’


Wilburforce, we had a guest just like this recently from Australia (we’re in New York). And they looked down their nose at us in a similar fashion! They were very upset that we didn’t have a tea kettle so they could make their tea. But we did have a pot which I used to heat up some water for them that I then poured into a mug and inserted a tea bag into! I didn’t even make them do it themselves, because obviously they didn’t want to touch a pot when making tea! They wanted to touch a kettle. (I’m still not sure how hot water out of a pot is any different than hot water out of a kettle…but they were visibly upset about this)!

Anyway, their whole stay they kept making little snide remarks and passive-aggressive complaints. Then I noticed that they had left a scathing review for another superhost - this one in Australia. This girl had an absolutely gorgeous house on the water and every other review she had was glowing. But this guest actually made the exact same complaints about her as she did about us - except for the tea kettle.

So we knew they were going to give a bad review. We decided to leave them a scathing review in advance - to warn other hosts that these people were ninny complainers. After both of our reviews were posted, this woman called us on the phone from Australia to beg me to change my review! I told her it was impossible to change a review. She said it wasn’t! I told her to try to change one of her reviews. The next thing we know, about a week later we get a message from Airbnb saying they were removing our review of her entirely!!

I was so STEAMED about that. So, I wrote them back because they had said our review violated their policies. I asked them what policy exactly it had violated. They said it was the policy that you’re not supposed to talk about anything that didn’t actually happen in your interaction with the guest. I wrote back and said the whole review was about things that happened during her visit.

They wrote back and said they weren’t going to change their minds. I then wrote and told them how unfair this whole review system is and how I can’t trust anyone’s ratings because of all this censorship. They then mulled it over for a few days, and finally wrote back and said that they had reviewed my review and they had looked at the messages between me and the guest. Fortunately, I had had the foresight to put in writing, through the Airbnb messaging system, some of the things she complained to us about in person. So, Airbnb was able to see our messages and see that what I had said was actually true (because the guest responded to my message confirming that it was true, by not denying it).

Airbnb then said that they would restore the review except for my last paragraph. I started the last paragraph with: “WARNING TO OTHER SUPERHOSTS…” Then I told them that this guest was a real complainer and had left great reviews for all non-superhosts but nasty and untrue reviews for all superhosts she had stayed with.

Airbnb said that didn’t have anything to do with her stay… which was true, I guess. Anyway, they put the rest of the review back in its entirety except for that last part. But the rest of the review was enough for any host in their right mind to get the basic idea.

We were so happy about that and laughing so hard! Because for about 5 days this guest had the satisfaction of seeing our whole review removed, and then about a week later it all reappeared!!! We were just thinking how horrible she must have felt - and it made our day!

(Oh, and we have since gotten a tea kettle - which still no one has touched. Two years of doing this, she was the only person who ever asked for one).


An electric kettle is a must for guests from the Commonwealth. :slight_smile: