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Guests eating meals in bedroom


#1

I’m a fairly new host and I’ve noticed that most of my guests prefer to eat in their room rather than use the dining room table. It’s not my preference as I don’t want to attract ants or roaches or risk stains to the bedding or furniture, but I don’t want to require someone to eat at my dining table if they don’t feel comfortable in the common spaces. I haven’t set up the room for eating as I never expected guests to not want to use the common spaces, so they are either eating in bed or on the upholstered bench at the foot of the bed. I’m not even home most evenings due to my work schedule, so guests really could eat at the dining table and have a private meal if they wanted.

How should I handle this situation? Should I let them do what they want with meals? Should I put a small table in there so at least crumbs can be better contained? Should I not allow food in bedrooms?


#2

It’s a tricky one to manage. I have it in House Rules “no food or drink in bedrooms”, and have a large guest dining room with mini-fridge, kettle etc. My main reason is that I don’t want red wine stains on bedding. Almost without fail I find empty packets of crisps, biscuits, chocolate in the bins after people leave. By having it in my HR, I can at least call people out if there’s any spillage or other stains, but they either don’t read, or don’t care. Like the man who came down to breakfast last week, with a glass of red wine. Yes, he drank it with breakfast, in front of other guests, and his mum! I found a stained sheet and pillowcases, for which he has coughed up.


#3

I like the idea of placing a small table for their use with a lidded trashcan large enough for carry out boxes (emptied daily)

Hosts can manage their property as they wish. I would have trouble abiding with a no food or drink in the bedroom rule. I tote my morning coffee with me everywhere for the first hour in the morning. I keep water by my bedside.

I would feel more comfortable eating my carry-out food in my room while watching TV or on a patio for several reasons. 1. I am an introvert. 2. I don’t want the host to feel the need to socialize while my tired probably grouchy self is trying to eat then go to bed.


#4

I only allow cups of tea etc. In the bedroom, no food. Apart from the risk of stains to the expensive bedding, it’s also a risk of smell. I like my room to smell fresh and if people eat in the room it clings to the soft furnishings and carpets. Eating in bedrooms is a massive disgusting no no and it’s in my house rules. If they break the rule they get low stars. Likewise I have a dining room table for breakfast and evening meal and expect them to eat there or out. If they’re so introverted they want to be alone for the 10 minutes it takes to eat a take away then they shouldn’t be in a homestay, they should get their own place.


#5

It may be a “common space” to you, but often the guests feel like outsiders, and even mild introversion will make them want to eat in private. “Breaking bread” together was an ancient ritual which may be imbedded in our genes somewhere, and the casual visitor may just not feel comfortable doing so. Breakfast especially hard for some people as they’re not fully functional until they had a couple cups of coffee or tea, etc.

We serve breakfast at poolside, outside the cabana, and always leave the guests to eat in peace for a few minutes, but like a good waiter, I go out after a bit to ask how they slept, how the food was, etc.


#6

This is my house rule as well. Food can spill, stain things and leave lingering smells. I provide a private dining table in the downstairs area and allow use of my dining table upstairs.
I had to stop a recent guest from bringing breakfast in bed to his wife. We had served it at the private table but she was too lazy to come down. These are the people who asked for breakfast at 8 and showed up at 10:30. When I pointed out the house rules he said, oh that’s a good idea!
The rules are clearly posted on our welcome note in the room and in our listing.


#7
  1. No, it’s your home.
  2. No table.
  3. Yes, no food in bedrooms.

#8

I do have a mini desk and chair in the room though, but that’s more for working at.


#9

And BOOM!!! Oh well, maybe the next comment will be that I’m not suited for hosting because as an introvert, I ask guests to call or text me if they need something.

Actually I did really enjoy my room-service meal at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta. The food was good and they let me dine in my room.


#10

I don’t like dealing with food or stains or smell but my room is separated from my space so guests have no choice. There is a small desk and chair but I suspect most guests eat while sitting on the bed. I’m not a fan of rules that I can’t enforce so there’s no way I’d say “no food in the bedrooms.” If they were still coming into my part of the house I would try to discourage them from taking food to the bedroom. When I offered breakfast (my first 1.5 years of hosting) everyone ate in the common area kitchen/dining or out on the back patio.


#11

I totally agree that hosts have the right not to allow food or beverages in bedroom, but as a guest I always prefer staying in the places where I’m allowed to eat inside my room. I occasionally like to have some popcorn or other snack while watching TV before going to bed, so I want to have that possibility, especially while on vacation.

Also, some hosts are rather “present” in the common spaces and I feel like an intruder if I’m there. We cannot really have a conversation we want to have in front of them etc. Don’t forget that from the perspective of a guest, their room is their whole unit, not just a bedroom, which also changes perspective a bit. In my apartment, I almost never eat in my bedroom. But I have a comfy, private living room at my disposal there.

I rent out a whole apartment so I have no way of knowing where my guests eat. Judging by the crumbs, I guess some of them eat in bedroom, but as it will be cleaned in any case after their stay, I have no problems with that. If I had general issues with ants or roaches, I guess I would try to enforce the rule of cleaning up after oneself, regardless of which space people are using.


#12

Yep and the Ritz charges a fortune so can afford to replace stuff and spend hours cleaning after people who eat room service, in a budget listing I can’t offer that.
Nope I ask guests to message me on the app as well if they need something. Even though we’re in the same house there have to be boundaries or you’d go insane letting hundreds of people right in your space. A guest barged in my private living room once without knocking - thumbs down and clarification on the app straight off.
I am saying if people want to eat in their room, just because they don’t want to be in a dining room for 10 minutes, they need to pay more or go self catering. 10 minutes of loss of privacy/solitude, versus hours of airing/cleaning/stain removal and £s wasted replacing stuff. It is a total no brainer! They don’t have the right to trash linen etc if they’re not paying enough to replace it.


#13

They don’t need to pay more but simply find a place that has house rules that suit them. That shouldn’t be that hard. I stayed in many Airbnbs and not in a single one there was a rule of no food in the room. Not even in the cheapest places. So the problem is not the price, but disrespect of the rules.

For me, having a meal is more than simply stuffing myself full in 10 minutes, if I travel with my partner or a friend I want to be able to speak comfortably and to eat at my own pace. Therefore, in the case that Arbnb in question has “busier” common areas, I prefer to have an option to retreat in my room for my meal.


#14

The idea that food can be eaten in bedrooms with no cost to the host feeds into a race to the bottom mentality. I guess you could have cheap bedding and low cleanliness standards, otherwise the price would have to go up.
It seems to be all part of the drive for hosts to offer like an hotel without being paid for it.
Yes if I were on holiday I would prefer self catering or all inclusive. However if I were on a budget travelling in the UK I would be delighted to get 100% cotton linen in a private room for the price of a youth hostel and eat out! Otherwise I would pay more!


#15

Well, you can, as there are obviously places where the non-eating rule is enforced. So no problem there. Although I’m not really sure that this rule necessarily translates itself in a nicer set of linen or anything else. :wink: I guess many hosts just want to make cleaning easier and cheaper for themselves, and I understand that completely.

Some guests would rather have average linen and possibility of eating in their room. To each its own. That’s the beauty of Airbnb.

I find it a bit exaggerated to claim that hosts who allow eating in the room encourage the dumping of prices and standards. There are hosts like me to whom cleaning extra crumbs presents no cost at all and I can assure you that it has no impact whatsoever on my price formation and quality of my linen. Or whatever else I offer. And I have to clean the bedroom after the guests in my separate unit as well as someone who rents it in their shared space.


#16

As for the food accidents, I was really pissed off when I once found tomato seeds and water splashed over the bedroom walls. It was obvious that they didn’t even try to wipe, as otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed it, since tomato is so full of water and it’s really easy to wipe off. And it was on a very visible spot. Of course it was much harder to clean it after it got dry.:unamused:

However, the situation would’ve been completely the same for me if it had happened in some other room of the apartment.


#17

This! I agree 100%. I’m not sure how much longer Airbnb will tolerate it but for now…this.

I don’t get that British thing about 100% something linens either. And needing to be ironed! Maybe it’s a holdover from the colonial days in India because cotton is not grown in the British Isles.

As long as the host makes it clear what the expectation is a host should be able to hold any standard they want. As a traveller I see very few listings with any information about the listings and almost none about eating in the room. There’s plenty to choose from, no need for anyone to be uncomfortable.


#18

The problem is that guests often think that what is important to them is a general rule. So for example, two of my friends told me that any sort of non-white linen and towels are a big turn-off for them, although I had virtually no guest ever bringing it up as an issue in all the years that I rent. I have my colorful linen on the pictures, so I guess ppl bothered by it simply decide to skip my place. And that’s their right.


#19

Eating in rooms is not necessarily just a few crumbs, and if you don’t have the rule you have no recourse. Even an egg or ham and picalilli sandwich have the capacity to stink a room out or stain linen.
No it’s not just about making life easier, I genuinely could not AFFORD to spend more time cleaning even at the minimum wage or replace the quality of bedding I have for £25 a night! I am saying it’s not choice, it’s hard economics. Airbnbs race to the bottom is about providing hotel standards on backpacker money. It just doesnt add up. There’s a jolly good reason why hotels charge what they do.


#20

As I said, all fine. I believe you cannot afford it, you have your reasons, your rules and guests should respect it. However, I also believe that for many hosts, like me, this is simply not a cut in our profit margins and there’s no need to enforce such a rule. Even if there’s occasional stain on the bed linen or bad odor. I sometimes had superstinky smells, but they were always created in the kitchen, by cooking. The answer was washing all the textiles. As I don’t have that many, it wasn’t an issue for me, especially since it happens maybe once per year. However, I understand it can be a huge issue for someone who has carpets in their rooms. The settings of host’s homes are very different, and what can be an issue for someone will be a no issue whatsoever for someone else. Like staining the carpet for me.

Honestly speaking, before this discussion, I never saw allowing to eat in bedroom as part of the hotel standard. I think most hosts allow it because it’s just not a problem for them, not because Airbnb made them do so. Or because they were afraid they’ll lose guests otherwise. Unlike, for example, it makes them provide linen and towels starting from July 1st.


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