Serving breakfast

we are using several website for our hosting and one of them (homestay) force us to serve breakfast to our guests. We don’t have a licence to do so and we don’t want to take any risk, but if we don’t do so they will remove our listing.
Is this legal?

You can still serve breakfast by providing only items that are in unopened packages from the local cash & carry or restaurant supply store. Pastries, muffins, bagels, etc. and individually packaged cereal, milk, juice, jam, butter etc.

I think (but I’m not sure) that you don’t need a licence to provide fresh, unpeeled fruit too. Or tea/coffee.

A place I stayed last year set out a buffet breakfast every morning for all the guests (there were ten apartments) and it was very popular. Because it was a buffet, and available between 8 and 10 am, it meant that guests could just help themselves at a time that was convenient for them.

Added in edit: Be sure to put your prices up to cover the cost :slight_smile:

Do I need a licence to sell unopened packages? we already serve coffee and tea in sealed single bags but they are asking us to provided bread and butter.
We hosted hundreds of guests and we never had a problem also because we have a store in front of our house where guests can find any kind of breakfast.
We keep our price low for this reason, but a guest asked for a refund because there was no breakfast.
There is a fridge a kettle and a microwave in the room and the guests we had they organize their own breakfast.
We are thinking for guests that want breakfast asking them to pay an extra and tell us what they would like to buy in the store. They will have to pay for they own breakfast so we are not going to take any risk
we don’t want to break the law

What country do you host in?

we are based in ireland

Not if you incorporate the cost into the price and say that you offer ‘free’ breakfast. :slight_smile:

thanks, so I need to write in the listing breakfast is free to avoid any problem?

Yes, make it into a great selling point!

After all, whenever we get anything ‘free’ from a business, we know that we’ve paid for it somewhere along the line. Because you’re on various platforms, I think it’s something that all your guests will appreciate and it’s pretty easy to lay out a buffet breakfast. At the place we stayed, we really appreciated it.

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I don’t think you need to say in your listing that breakfast is free. I believe it’s implied that it’s included in the room rate. However, to be on the safe side, I’d check your local rules and regulations.

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thank you, I will check with the the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, I know that it would be rare having a guest that is serious ill because for the food we served, but bad things can happen


I think you only need a level 1 food hygiene certificate if not preparing food, available online
Hygiene courses

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Fwiw, in New York City there are tax implications if you’re running a “real” B&B- and part of that definition is advertising that you serve breakfast.

No idea what the rules are in Ireland, but since we only offer rooms in our home (went live Thursday night with our second room, ahhhh!) We are careful to stay below the threshold to get the tax man’s attention.

i totally forgot that homestsy requires breakfast!
i hosted few people this winter from homestay and did not provide any breakfast and they never asked

(Should clarify- we don’t want to be considered a real B&B, since they aren’t allowed in our neighborhood, so we cannot offer breakfast)

How did Homestay find out you are not serving breakfast? Really that is a stupid requirement that is going to cost them hosts. You could always do as Jaquo suggested and offer prepackaged. Such as instant oatmeal or muffins. And definitely raise the rate to compensate. Or just get rid of homestay. They sound like a nuisance to me!


because a guest complained and asked for a refund, we don’t work so much with homestay and after this definitely we are going to raise the rates