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Request to pick up groceries?

Hi, I’m a host in Brisbane who offers a room with an ensuite for a good price. I just received a message from a Canadian guest booked in for three days next week. She’s asked for a very early check-in (8am, which I can provide) and then asked if I could pick up some groceries for her as she’ll be too tired after her long flight. I feel that this may be asking too much but I don’t like refusing guest requests - how should I handle this?

I hate quoting Nancy Reagan again but JUST SAY NO!


I would definitely not go grocery shopping for a guest. The request is over the top ridiculous and this is coming from a host who does a lot for her guests. Also, what if you didn’t pick up the brand she likes or got white bread when she wanted whole wheat or whole milk when she wanted low fat? She can buy a snack at the airport, then go to your listing and take a nap, then shop for herself when she feels refreshed.


I like to make my guests feel at home, so if it was me, I would fulfill her request. I shop anyway for guest supplies so it wouldn’t take me any longer to buy her groceries too. And she’d probably leave a great review - you can hint as much to her!

I assume that she’ll be covering the cost of the groceries?

So by allowing her an 8 a.m. check in…are you losing the opportunity to rent the night before? - Since now it is closed off for her?


Yeah I agree. She should of done a late check in the day before.

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Since when is personal valet service included in the rent of a room? If you want to do it (and I would not) quote a fee, your time is worth something. I smell a prima Donna here.


It is for me, I am the concierge :slight_smile:

Over the years I’ve found that small extra services go a long way and lead to repeat guests and word-of-mouth recommendations.


Concierge. Interesting. Do you charge a fee?

No. Our rental is a reasonably high price and so there’s no need. I work from home and the rental is steps from my apartment. So guests are free to contact me at any time between 10am and 7pm with their inquiries or needs. Many don’t but they like the fact that the facility is there.

It’s not a problem for me as working from home can be a bit boring and a guest asking for information adds interest to the day and the guests appreciate it. I love meeting people and interacting with them.

We get a lot of repeat guests which I like because ‘better the devil you know’. :slight_smile:

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It’s really your call. If it’s something you don’t want to do, tell her that you are sorry to disappoint her but it is not a service you provide. To soften the blow you can offer to check whether any nearby markets provide a delivery service…then let her contact them if she wants.

If, on the other hand it is something you would do for remuneration, let her know what your parameters are, such as the purchase limit, payment required upon arrival and your service fee (for “extra-ordinary” services). Of course, if use of your kitchen is not included in your rental, easier still ~ just clarify it so there is no misconception on her part.

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Does your area have online grocery shopping? If so, you could refer her there and offer to hold the box for her.

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Another thing I would be concerned about is if the guest cancels last minute and now you have spent all this money on her groceries.

I bought a play pen for a guest once and it is still in the box. They were flying in and asked if we had one. I said we did not, and then said I could purchase one if the guest booked. He did book through Flipkey, and then there was a last minute death (not his family, but a close friend). He did not ask for a refund, and I did send him back money of what I could rebook for him at a last minute discount.

The guest did inquire again but didn’t book. They may be back one day. Of course I will have it if another guest asks…so no big deal. But if you can’t reuse those groceries for yourself…it may all go to waste if you can’t eat them.

I do actually have someone staying the night before but they are leaving at 6am

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What is your normal check in time?

Having just gone above and beyond for a guest only to get a not so great review…I would not do it.

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This has disaster written all over it. 8am check-in? Are you serious?? That’s crazy. Nobody gets to check in at that time anywhere. PLEASE follow SandyToes advice and say no, you cannot offer that service and direct her to nearby delivery options. Or charge her for it. I guarantee you that if you bend over that far backwards on this you will be treated with utter contempt, more demands will follow during the stay and the review will reflect their contempt for you being a toady. Just NO!


If you have these services built in to your price then I see your point but Dean said his listing is a good price which I take to mean it’s a good deal without his doing extra services. I’m sorry I just think this is going to be a really needy privleged feeling person

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Another way to look at this to come to your decision is this: If you had no experience as a host, but were booking an airbnb, would you ever consider making such a request?


I agree, we flew into Dublin to check into the Hilton and arrived early in the morning. We were a group with many rooms rented for a week. They had no rooms ready and invited us to wait in the lobby or enjoy breakfast in their restaurant which of course we had to pay for. We all understood and got to check in early at around 1:00 pm. And this was far more expensive than an Airbnb rental. Let’s not spoil people.

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