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Snacks. Guests LOVE Them

Or even summer break from school. A teacher I sub for at the high school said, “I drink much less during summer.” LOL. Even as a sub I’ve come home from ragged days where i can’t wait to open some wine. There, I said it.

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I read a story about how the. Two Buck Chuck tested positive for arsenic levels over the regulated amount.

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Here’s a little something I frequently offer



that’s cute. i like it.

How much does it cost in food/snacks for a one night stay?

for me, i maybe spend on average around $12. but guests rarely eat everything, so some carries over to the next group (so long as its not expired!)

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I don’t want to get in your business, but how much does that cut into profit? Along with other toiletries, etc.?

@cabinhost, not sure if you are talking to me or not…the chocolate came from Aldi’s…5 bars in a pack for $3, the nuts are 2 for $1, and the water is 16 cents/bottle (they are mini bottles 8 oz each, I got them on sale obviously). I personally hate bottled water because of caring about the environment and all that, so I let my guests know they can refill those bottles with my tap water which is perfectly safe to drink.
So… 60cents each candy bar x 3 =1.80
50 cents nuts x 3 = 1.50
16 cents each water= .32
Grand Total = $3.62

I do leave, as I mentioned earlier, some homemade lavender body scrub in little containers that they can either leave here or bring home with them, but I make that stuff anyway and sell to a couple of regular customers, and I make a reasonable profit on it.

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for me, it’s hard to arrive at a good ballpark number for each stay because a number of other items i buy in bulk so the cost is spread out. such as dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, keurig pods, bottled water. one thing to note is that my “cleaning fee” is more like a “turnover” fee. The fee is $15 above what my cleaning lady charges me, which covers the directly attributable costs like snacks, water and wine.

Considering total monthly expense averages, including small repairs and other incidental stuff, It looks like I’ll be somewhere in the range of a 70% gross margin (i.e., net profit/total revenue).


I’ve truly never sat down and figured out my profit. I write off all the coffee and these snacks and water. I just added a cleaning fee, not much…only $5, but it should help cover some of these costs.

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I think most hosts eventually determine that the expense of snacks and the shopping and extra trouble they take do not really pay back in terms of better reviews. And I hate to sound jaded, but once they leave and check out, you will never see them again… Reviews are what you are really after…correct?

So doing the extras is usually just not worth it.

What really stings is if you have left goodies and not only do they not acknowledge it or mention it in a review but they give you a nice whack over something else.

That’s when I stopped leaving goodies!

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If you’re in the NW, Grocery Outlet is a GREAT place for wine. Lot’s of good bottles under $5, and they have week long wine tastings, with an extra 20% off. The wine clerk can tell you what’s he/she thinks is good. It’s also a great place for cheap organic snacks, yogurt, etc., though the stock is ever changing, so you never know what you’ll find.

I also usually provide yogurt, fruit, juice, and snack bars, (along with coffee/tea). I’ve learned that guests don’t always eat/drink the food, so I always buy (the easily spoiled) items that I would eat, and keep the non-perishables for the next guests. (I keep the receipts and still use the write off) I generally spend less than $12, and if that gets spread out between guests, or it supplements my groceries, the cost is even less.

I do charge around $110 -125, so the snack costs is nominal, and it does make guests happy, and feel more at home.


Our private room has a small fridge and microwave. We stock the fridge with water, juice and mineral water. We have an electric tea kettle for coffee, tea and hot cocoa, I have a French Press for coffee and a hand coffee grinder. That way they can grind their coffee without waking everyone up with a loud electric grinder in the morning! As for snacks we put out bags of nuts and chips, fresh fruit, and occasionally I’ll put some fresh cupcakes in the fridge if it’s a returning guest. For the most part everybody loves the snacks; sometimes too much as one recent guest cleared out everything we had during their short stay! Most will drink all the water and have a couple of snacks. I normally get all my snacks from Costco. My sister has a unit in Los Angeles and she’s big on the Dollar Store for her stock. In the bathroom we stock disposable razors and single use toothbrushes. Our dentist buys the toothbrushes in bulk and gives us a great deal on them. The shower has a soap dispenser with body wash, shampoo and conditioner. We have a $30 cleaning fee that goes towards the “perks” that we offer. We also keep a full set of plates and utensils as a lot of our guests will order in. Check out our room snowpeakscozycottagedotcom.

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Just my opinion but I think you are going waaaaaay overboard.


Almost every single 5 star review we get mentions the snacks! We shop at Costco every couple of weeks so picking up a few items for the room is just part of our routine. We’re happy to do it!


@konacoconutz well if you can put a $30 upcharge and spend $5 a night on “perks” and be booked as often as you want, then that’s smart business. @David_Smith if you aren’t getting as many bookings as you’d like I’d suggest cutting back on perks and lowering the price. Here if a guest asks about a razor or toothbrush I have disposables on hand. But I don’t put them in the bathroom for the taking.

There are so many factors to be taken into consideration here.

  1. How much is the guest paying? If they are spending $1000 with you then $20 for snacks is more than reasonable.
  2. Where are the guests coming from? If they’ve just had a long haul flight from Australia or somewhere the last thing they want to do is worry about feeding themselves when they arrive.
  3. What time are they arriving? Same as the above. If they are arriving at midnight after a long flight or drive, they’ll love having something to eat and drink.
  4. What is the accommodation? We have a self-contained rental with full kitchen but nevertheless guests appreciate ‘starter’ snacks.
  5. What is the price point? If you’re offering accommodation for $30 per night then spending $15 on snacks would be crazy. But $200 per night is different…
  6. How long are they staying? Again, if they are staying for three weeks and hosts are earning good money then it hardly eats into the income.
  7. How much ‘goodwill’ do you want? Do you want repeat guests and/or great reviews? Then guest snacks can help.

Yet another example about how all hosts and all accommodations are different :slight_smile:


When our mandarins are In season I will pick some and leave them in a bowl. They hardly ever get eaten. Who doesn’t like home grown fruit?

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I rent mostly to millennials and yet 4 out of 5 groups leave the two-buck-chuck untouched. Most eat the Trader Joe’s snack bars, though!

I’ve had a few guests asking for bottled water lately… I am not that fancy! (We live in a city with good tap water, and we are eco-friendly so I don’t want to promote the extra waste.) I’m surprised and relieved none have helped themselves to the bottled water I keep in my natural disastor kit.

I am getting about a hundred a night, so I don’t mind spending a few dollars on light snacks. I learned early on to ration snacks and instant coffee to one per guest per night, or they take it all with them when they leave. Yet they always leave the cheap wine! It is funny because I’ve even gotten reviews saying they appreciate the wine from those who did not drink it.

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Very interesting Xena - that 4 out of 5 leave the cheap wine. When you say a few have been asking for bottled water - care to elaborate? Is this a suggestion in private feedback or how exactly are they asking for this? What kind of set up do you have?

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