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Is offering breakfast worth it?

I have been thinking of adding the amenity of breakfast to my listing. Offering self serve things like milk, juice, eggs, fruit, cereal, oatmeal, breads and spreads. I currently have a little beverage station with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
But i was wondering if adding breakfast amenity will help me get more guests. Do you think there are guests who looking for these kinds of things being offered and influence thier decision on booking a place. I know offering breakfast might open a whole new area for a bad review but it can also get good ones.
I dont want guests to expect a full gourmet meal but rather something to snack on in the morning

What do you guys think
And if you do offer breakfast items do guests mention it in the reviews ?

I had very different experiences with serving and not serving breakfast. I don’t think my listings are effected by me not offering breakfast right now.
When I am myself looking for hotel or Airbnb when I travel I rarely pay attention if they offer it , because I am not a big breakfast person, and I would rather go to a caffe and do people watching then stuff myself with breakfast buffet.

When I just started hosting 10 months ago, I offered breakfast. My first guests were 2 tall and muscular young guys. It was also self served, and o, did they self served themselves. Food was going so fast that almost everything had to restocked every other day.,
After that I stopped. Then started again, only to see that no one touched anything. My bagels were intact In a fridge, I still have cream cheese that I bought a month ago.
Now, I don’t advertise it but offer here and there some treats. Like now I am offering everyone Christmas cake that we got from a clients. It’s huge, no one will eat all of it. These 2 girls that are staying here for 4 days, are having it everyday for breakfast along with coffee and milk.,
I am thinking just to have in a house always something like that. It doesn’t cost much, but it’s a nice gesture.

Hello Gandyv8

You are wise to ask this question. As I as was reading it Yana immediately came to mind as our experiences were very different!

My love language is food. I have only one group at a time. I fix breakfast for my kids anyway. There is no convenient breakfast place for my guests - they are going to walk 2/10 of a mile to the bus stop, and then take a 2 mile ride to the metro station - the only thing very convenient at the metro station for breakfast is a Dunkin Donuts. My family has three kids that must be fed so I DO look for a place that has ‘free’ breakfast.

All those factors added up for me so that I serve breakfast. I prepare something and have it ready at the time the guest requests. I set a pretty table with special plates, etc. Many of my guests take a photo of it. I have everything stocked and ready so it takes me just a few minutes to set the table the night before, and about 30 minutes to prepare the food the morning of. I have it priced and analyzed so I know it costs $2 per person. I heat up croissants or potato cakes or frozen rolls that cost .50 each but the guests feel like is luxurious. I set out cheese or fruit.

My guests rave about it in my reviews, and when asked to complete a survey the guests do mark the breakfast as being a key factor that caused them to select my place.

There is a thread on here about a guest who was outraged as they expected breakfast but didn’t get it. It’s not that old - you should scan the old topics and find it - you’ll get some interesting opinions there.

But the bottom line is - it works for me to provide it, I enjoy providing it, and my location makes it very helpful to my guests. I think in Yana’s situation there is a cafe very close that offers a simple breakfast at a moderate price.

So think through different factors

Will you enjoy offering food?

What food can you offer that 1) will be convenient to your schedule 2)won’t eat up your profit? 3)follows the rules of your local health department? 4) you are happy to eat, or are able to store, if the guest doesn’t eat it

Where can you place it in the kitchen so it’s clear that THAT is what’s for breakfast, so they won’t be confused and eat through a week’s worth of groceries

Is it more sensible to direct them to a convenient cafe?

What does your competition offer?

Let us know how it works out!

1 Like

Hi everyone,

This is an excellent subject as this came up in my new years resolution.
As a host that doesn’t serve meals, I kind of lose my connection with my guests when directing them to a good restaurant.
I feel that even a basic breakfast shows a warmer hospitality and your guest can begin the morning at ease rather than start searching for a nice place to sit outside. As dcmooney says, food is another way of showing love, as well as receiving it back. I completely agree that a bad breakfast is alot worse than not having a breakfast at all, but then again- how hard is it to make a basic breakfast? Plus- let your guest decide if they want to eat in or out. I bet that eating a simple prepaid breakfast provided by you will win in most cases.
To summarize:
On the up side:
Your points as a host increase from the guest perspective
People make critical decisions in life based on food :wink:
Your guests can be more relaxed in the morning

On the down side:
More logistics and preparations that can be a hassle

The risk here isn’t so big. Give it a shot, and see what you get.

In my county, I can heat-up, not cook. I can make hard-cooked eggs, but I can not peel them. I can put pastries, etc., in the oven to warm them up. I don’t even cut fruit. I give them fruit and a small knife.

Just for what it’s worth - which may not be much, but I’ll bet it’s very much like this in other areas.

I don’t offer it on my listing but I do provide coffee, tea, sugar, sealed half and half little containers, mini jellies and mini butters, plus oatmeal packets and English muffins. My guests don’t expect anything and then they are pleasantly surprised. of course I have a Aldi that I get most of the breakfast foods really cheap and the mini jellies and Butters that are seal I get in bulk from amazon. Some guest eat the breakfast some don’t but I am a entire place studio apartment so I do have little interaction with the guests so for me it is worth it to add these little touches.

1 Like

Interesting. We have a bar fridge that includes butter, jam, peanut butter and honey, but all in normal family-size containers. We’ve been getting surprisingly little uptake on any of those, although a few guests have ripped through the jam. I was just wondering today whether guests are concerned about sanitation. The household brands are far better quality than you get in those stupid little packets that hotels provide, but maybe guests just aren’t comfortable with containers that have already been started. Actually, I’m not sure anybody has even started the honey, so it might be people simply aren’t interested. Or maybe I need to elevate the fridge so it’s easier to look into.

Our current guests, who are here for two weeks, just bought their own jar of peanut butter. Their English is non-existent, so I can’t ask them whether they didn’t notice the jar in the fridge, prefer the sugar-packed brand they bought to the all-natural brand I provide, or just don’t like using a jar somebody else has started.

I think it depends whether the jars are the type where people stick their knives into. For example when I clean out the fridge after guests have left the rental, I will leave for the next guests squirt bottles of mayo, ketchup, mustard, jelly that others purchased and left - because most guests assume nobody’s used silverware was dipped into it.

How is the butter and peanut butter packaged?

Stick-the-knife-in jars. I rather foolishly figured that that way the guests would see that they were getting good quality jams, etc. But if it’s good quality and they’re afraid to touch it, it’s pretty pointless !!

Can you scoop out enough for the group into pretty little individual glass containers with a tiny lid? Or for cereals…open a new box and then set out so much into a plastic container with a small lid so it can pour out. Of course some kid can take the top off and eat right out of the container with their nasty little hands. But you can at least choose to eat what is leftover and supply new guests with just so much.

1 Like

Little jars crossed my mind, but I got a bit stuck on labeling, and we’ve had bigger issues to sort out. Funnily enough, we haven’t had any problem with cereal or juice, and so far we haven’t had any little kids. No guest has ever mentioned the issue, and I make a habit of asking departing guests if they can think of anything, however big or small, that we could be doing better.

I always provide sealed containers of any food products not only for legal reasons, but I simply think guests want sealed and that no one else has touched it. the bulk pricing of the minis is far cheaper for me since a lot of my guests might not use them and it saves me the cost of a real jelly/butter. When I first began I noticed that guest didn’t use the full jar of expensive jelly or even the butter, now they seem to use the minis more.

Interesting. I wasn’t even thinking about cost really - we’re still trying to figure out what moves and what doesn’t. For example, drinkable yogurts are fairly popular, but spoonable ones aren’t (and both are individual servings). Also, I think the packaging of the hotel jams is really wasteful, and the portions are tiny.

for us the sealed jellies are used almost all the time and the cost is very little. The guest of course never expect it and when they see it they are happier.

I offer a basic breakfast of cereal, yogurt, fruit, pastries, coffee and tea. I also have a few pre-packaged nuts and granola bars. Guests are welcome to have them any time of the day, and so far no one has exploited that.

A few points:
I doubt you will get more bookings by offering basic items versus not offering them. If you advertise a full-course, homemade, hot meal then that might change some people’s minds, but simple self-serve items probably aren’t a game-changer.

Even though basic self-serve breakfast foods won’t have a direct effect on your bookings, and it will cost you $, I think it does translate into happier guests. On a human level, it allows people to start the day off with less stress and one less item on the “to-do” list. For travelers in a new city I think that’s important and shouldn’t be understated.

From a business standpoint: happier guests = higher ratings = more/higher priced bookings.
AND happier guests = their continued use of AIrBnB & their word-of-mouth to family/friends to use AirBnB

1 Like

I’m with you on this one, G-host! Our offerings are basically identical :blush:! Just a few staples that will keep well, don’t cost the earth, can be bought in bulk and that guests can easily help themselves to. I’ve read stories on here were some hosts have been wiped out - but I have to admit it hasn’t really happened to me very often and normally only around 1 in 4 choose to partake in more than a bit of granola… (at least that’s what it seems like!). I guess personally, I just feel better knowing at there’s something on offer, just in case!

You could distribute a small survey/questionnaire. I do.

Hi @Carmen,

How do you seal them? Do you use a machine?

I offer a continental breakfast in the kitchen from 7:30 to 10 am. I do this as I ‘do not allow’ access to any food preparation in my kitchen. I present a welcoming presentation of fruit, warm pastry, a protein (hard cooked egg or yogurt), juice and coffee or tea using cloth placemats and napkins setting each guest a spot at the table. It’s takes me about 15 minutes to do all this as I’ve been doing it for two years.

The guests rave about it in reviews and even take photos for Instagram. It costs me very little as I buy my bagels and croissants at Costco, ($5.99 a dozen. Heat them us and they are delicious). I charge a few extra bucks for the rooms but people are saving a ton buy not having to purchase one more meal and I’m booked an average of 29 days a month, April through Oct. (I have three guest rooms in my home). I totally believe it pays off if done with a touch of love and class…

BTW, I often leave for the day by 7:30 and the guests clean up their dishes and turn off the kettle. I also take Sunday and Monday off but put out a biscotti with coffee on those days…

Love your reasoning, I’d stay with you :-))!

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