Naively checked "Breakfast provided" what is the minimum for my budget accommodation?

Hello all,

Shamefully this is my first post and not one in the introductions (that will be second…)

Anyway, I just checked in my 5th guest and I (out of nowhere) asked them what they would like for breakfast. I mentioned cereal and they weren’t interested in that - they wanted something like croissant and toast. I’ve just been to the shop and all they had was old croissants so I bought some hot crossed buns, bread, jam, marmalade, honey, milk and soya. I have coffee and tea already available and there is some fruit also. I just realised the grill isn’t working (shame) and no toaster.

How bad is that? I think I will run and buy some fresh croissants in the morning and also go and grab a toaster.

How bad is this situation and what is the minimum for breakfast? FWIW my room rate is approximately £25 per night so not expensive.

What do others typically include for breakfast?


I think you need to charge extra for breakfast, £5 for continental or £8 for cooked

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You are not going to make any profit on 25 with breakfast, assuming it’s UK

I provide a continental breakfast with a choice, I lay everything out, if they don’t like it, then it’s not my issue, I do provide a good variety and my guests do comment on the variety and range. i bake homemade bread and scones which cost very little and very simple.

For 25 you control the breakfast, cereals , fruits and tea/coffee is plenty for the price you are charging. If I was and you are targeting budget clients, don’t give choices. Invest in a few little containers from Ikea so it looks nice and say there is breakfast if you fancy some.

At 25/night, I would not ask what anyone wanted for brekkie. I would tell them – here’s what you can have. Coffee and tea and milk for it. Toast (2 pieces per guest), jam or marmalade (not both) and margarine. Or perhaps pre-packaged buns/croissants instead of toast.


Why don’t you simply untick the breakfast option on your listing then you don’t have to offer it ) (unless you live in the middle of nowhere, then increase your price and offer a simple continental option).


It would be interesting to know where you are, and more about your listing, but in any case, I think you are in danger of finding yourself seriously out of pocket with such a low rate. Have you worked out your unit cost(s)? Apart from breakfast, you need to factor in laundry, cleaning materials and a % of utilities if you also live in the property. I’m sure others will add to this!

Like Cassid, I provide a variety of things for breakfast, but I don’t/won’t cook; my husband says I wouldn’t be very nice to guests if I subjected myself to frying bacon etc. What I do provide depends on what my bookings look like for the week, to cut down on any wastage, particularly fruit. I buy lovely bread rolls from a local bakery, and croissants from Morrisons (4 x £1) which I then freeze, muesli (kept in a kilner jar), cheeses and charcuterie, also from Morrisons. Butter, never margarine, local jams from a lady up the road, juice, tea, coffee, milk. And if guests have been out on the razz the night before, a jug of iced water.

All costed out and factored into my base rate. I have a lot of foreign tourists travelling around and find by the time they reach me, they never want to clap their eyes on another English fry up. Thankfully!


Our breakfast (in Lancaster, UK) is cereal, (five or six types), fruit compote (frozen from Sainsburys), fresh fruit, dates, fruit and plain yoghurt, then toast (home-made bread) or home-baked croissants with a choice of about ten jams and preserves (mostly home-made). These are all things we would have and eat ourselves, so we’re not normally buying anything extra - unless we’ve guests who want lactose or gluten-free, which is a bit of a pain and quite costly if they want say soya milk and they’re only staying for one night. Although I’ve not yet sat down and worked it out I’d be very surprised if the cost per guest per day was more than £1. We always receive very positive comments about our breakfast in people’s reviews.

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I am not surprised you get compliments. Sounds fab. @southendbootboy

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I am at a similar price point for a single room for 1 person. I have a guest fridge with milk, 50/50 toasting loaf, butter spread, long life orange juice, jam and marmalade. I also offer muesli, granola (both from Lidl/Aldi - excellent price and quality!), cornflakes, weetabix, tea, coffee etc… Bananas are very popular and cheap. To offer any more than this at this price point is madness. Don’t ask them what they want, just let them choose from what’s available!

If you calculated the quantites/prices of ingredients it would be more than £1 - just think of the price of butter alone. Compot is expensive and Sainsbury’s one of the most expensive supermarkets. However as you say you’re having that yourself anyway so you don’t count it and you’re probably charging more than £25 for the room!

Jess - thanks for your interest. The compote costs £2 a packet and we get about eight servings out of a packet. Offsetting this, I make my own bread which is (a) cheaper and (b) nicer than shop-bought. Also all of the home-made jam is given to us free. And we charge £35 for our room, which is about the most we can get away with considering that our guests share the bathroom with us.

Yes, after a couple of years I managed to use Airbnb money to refurbish my own bathroom.(luckily the airbnb shower room had already been refurbished under insurance due to a leak) I would ideally like to have rooms with ensuites in future, we’ll see if I can bear to move!

I provide a “free continental breakfast” mainly because there are no nearby shops or cafes. I provide tea/coffee (inc pods), spreads, cereal, uht milk. Also have a toaster and happy to provide bread if people ask. The idea is no one will arrive late at night unprepared (shops here close much earlier than city folk are used to) and have to go without brekky the next morning. It is a hangover from when I allowed 1 night stays at a cheaper price point and got mostly overnight travellers who didn’t always have their own breakfast stuff. Now it is people coming down for a 2-3 night break and they usually bring their own stuff.

They can always drive 10 minutes into the bakery in town or to the Maccas up the highway. But I am charging USD100-120 so seems reasonable. But I also try to buy everything in bulk: jam etc in jars in the fridge but cereal in individual packets. I wouldn’t be running into town with orders for fresh croissants. If you tell people in advance what to expect then they can’t complain.

I am thinking of one of those hotel breakfast menus where you tick the options you want and in your case there is a last option: “was out on the razz”.


It seems to me that so many hosts don’t factor in their time! From answering the first inquiry online right through to saying goodbye to departing guests, the time spent on just one stay can be huge. Even if it’s factored in at minimum wage level, it should still be considered.


I agree and have mentioned it several times. And also time spent sourcing furniture, food supplies, linens, washing, ironing, cleaning.


It depends on the listing.

Hi Folks,

Sorry for the delay - been a hectic few days.

I haven’t really factored in my costs but it’s just my spare room so largely a profit anyway. For this crew I just bought a few bits on Sunday evening and that is it. I have since unticked breakfast.

They came in yesterday evening and wanted to cook. I think I am going to say no cooking in the listing from now on. For ~£25/30 per night (London, Zone 2) they should just be expecting clean place, bed and bathroom. They should not expect food or probably even the ability to cook meals (i.e. not self catering).

This particular couple are a bit older so not complete go-go people. I guess they would rather chill at home in evenings with some wine and meal etc. They stayed up pottering around until nearly midnight last night (quite time begins at 10pm), which had me a bit miffed.

I think this couple are better suited to a self catering flat / hotel.

For me, Airbnb started as an experiment in March and has been largely successful. These are my first annoying guests but I guess I needed this experience to help me tweak my offering so that it works for me. I am sure the price will work for most guests :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the feedback folks


Bring up your price if in London and don’t allow cooking, not for that price. When you are new, you want to please everyone but you wise up after a few months of guests.

Wherever you are in Zone 2, you sound seriously under priced. It would be interesting to see your listing; would you consider posting it? Apart from anything, The Husband spends the odd night in London for evening meetings etc, and stays in Hotel Rabbit Hutch in Canary Wharf that costs over £100.