Upped the Game a Little

With the onset of Covid we eliminated a few of our amenities, we now dispose of EVERYTHING left in the fridge, and have taken out everything except salt and pepper in our kitchen. When we did offer spices we stuck to garlic powder, oregano, seasoning salt, vinegar and olive oil. I may re add those items now, as guests have started to leave them and we have stopped throwing them away now.

I feel that as I have started to use the new tricks in our properties the most popular by far is the letter board that welcomes guests by first name, it is mentioned literally every stay if not publicly certainly in private notes. For some reason it is special to our guests.

I do have small snack sized baggies with 2 q-tips and 4 cotton balls in the bathrooms for each stay, as well as a few tampons and a couple pads just in case it hits at night, as nothing is open 24 hours anymore.

It’s so hard to know these days what guest will feel about things left in the kitchen, I had a private note from one guest that was shocked that we had sugar cubes in the coffee area and suggested we take them out because it is a risk with Covid, and I had others that suggested that we stock basic condiments in the fridge, like ketsup and mustard etc.

We are playing it safe right now and slowly adding some things back in.


I would never tell guests you have all that stuff. You are setting yourself up for someone to use that as an excuse to be disappointed or ask for money back.

“I’m so disappointed you didn’t have Honey Ginseng green tea. I deserve a refund of $50 a night”.


I do agree! We don’t tell them we have anything out of the normal! We mention a well stocked kitchen with what you need to prepare and serve meals.

TP, Shampoo,conditioner, body soap, trash bags, hand soap, dish and dishwasher soap, and about a half a roll of paper towels. Most condos in our area provide one roll of TP we always supply 3 rolls, we also typically provide 1 trash bag per day of stay, and enough dish soap and dishwasher soap for their stay.

I also charge $10-$20 more than some of the other properties in the area, but we have newer furniture, higher end appliances and we repaint and touch up continuously. We get a lot of repeat stays because they see value in what they we not promised but found in the home. One of our recent guests noted that they have stayed 3 times and every time they see something new, or we step up our game to welcome them in a new way! That just feels good. This guest was in town for a tournament with their daughters softball team, I added good luck at the games!! They loved it!


While I agree that food left can be a turnoff for guests, that guest’s private message shows an ignorance of how Covid is spread. You can’t contract it through food- it is transferred through the respiratory system, not the alimentary tract- you have to breathe in the virus particles.

The outsides of containers could be a source of transmission if they aren’t washed down with soap or sterilized, but that is an extremely slim chance- you’d have to touch something that had virus particles on it, there would have to be enough of a viral load to make you sick, and then you’d have to put that hand up to your nose or mouth and breathe it in. Almost 100% unlikely.

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I agree that Penzey’s is excellent, most likely better than what I am providing. The advantage to the brand I selected is that I can go to the grocery store and replenish it instantly whereas I get Penzey’s online.

Robin I don’t put this list in my listing. It is a paper document on the kitchen counter they see after they’ve checked in. If I see something that is empty or near so I can replenish instantly or edit the one page document that’s on the counter. → The idea is that when they are grocery shopping they can take this piece of paper to know what is at the house so they don’t need to duplicate purchase anything we already have.

@muddy The paper document explains why this is provided, so they have a reference when they go grocery shopping. I’m hoping that they see if for what it is, a thoughtful and considerate action to make their life easier when grocery shopping. So far our guests have been appreciative of our intentions to make their stays comfortable, enjoyable, easy. We’ll see and keen our sense for anyone who feels ‘turned off’ by this as you say you would be. Would it be better to you if it did not include the brand names? [I don’t think ‘Frontier Co-op’ is some premier pretentious name. Or is it? Actually, @PitonView I think Penzey’s is better in name and in fact, but not convenient for me to replenish instantly. But even Penzey’s is not, in my view, high brow, just really fresh and good.]

Robin, I’m with you. We dispose of everything in the refrigerator, which is why we don’t stock mustard and ketchup, though I have read that if you get the squirt bottles of ketchup that that should be OK. What do you think? I’m on the fence. I like your letter board idea! Do you possibly remember where you bought it? Is it like a chalk board or literally a letter board that you just insert the letters? I thought of the tampons but don’t know which ones to get.

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It’s pretentious and pointless to include brand names, period. Who cares? If the purpose is to let them know what they wouldn’t have to buy, that there is already maple syrup provided is all they need to know. Do you really think they’re going to go, “Oh, that’s not the brand I prefer, I’ll spend another $15 on an entire bottle of “my brand” of maple syrup” ?


Got it at Hobby Lobby! 50% off when wall art is on sale, which is usually every other week. It is the boards with slats on it that you can stick plastic letters in, we leave the word Welcome and the Wi-Fi password/is on it and just change names.


I still would not put this all down on a piece of paper. If anything, leave a little note that says “there is a choice of tea, coffee, spices and seasonings in the pantry. We hope you find something you like there!”.
This the scenario that just saying you have “stuff” avoids: Guest A loves your ginseng tea so much they take it all with them. You (or your housekeeper) do(es) not notice it’s gone, and Guest B, arriving after Guest A has left, reads the list and really wants the ginseng tea. They search for hours and can’t find it. Finally, they give up at 1 AM and text you to ask where you hid it. When you say “I don’t know, we must be out of it”, Guest B gets grouchy.
I just switched to these little stands for signs - they are very attractive and the bottom is a good weight: 5 by 7 clear acrylic stands for signs


@Robin, I greatly appreciate the comma after “Welcome.” So few people know the niceties of direct address any more.


Isn’t pride one of the 7 deadly sins?

The Costco medium roast is better than any of $tarbuck$ overpriced overroasted pods. My guests usually appreciated the Keurig, and since my rooms were low-mid budget, having decent hot coffee in a few minutes was a real plus.

Now that I’m shutting down, I’m using the best Keurig instead of the backup (both cost $15 at garage sales) but I use a reusable pod with locally roasted coffee.

I tried offering the reusable pod to guests, but after they inserted them incorrectly (in a Keurig?) and ruined 2 of them, I reserved them for myself.

I know some folks don’t like Keurigs, but for a shared AirBnB kitchen they are perfect. Very little mess or fuss. I also had an electric kettle, pour through filter holder, thermal carafe, and filters for those wanting to make a pot of coffee, as well as a giant jar with a variety of tea bags.

French and Flemish women preferred jasmine green tea.
Folks from the upper midwest drink Earl Grey tea.
Californians drink non-dairy chai or plain green tea.
Pacific NW guests wanted quick hot coffee.
Southerners want sweet iced tea.
Italians wanted to use my Krups espresso maker, but I sent them to our artisan ice cream shop with a great barista just a 5 minute walk away.

The only time I offered anything fancy was to pick roses off the rose bush in the front yard to welcome a couple that I knew were honeymooners. Because of allergies, I avoid bringing many flowers indoors, but somehow I knew that their room door wouldn’t be open very much. :wink:


Oh the irony of saying sugar cubes are a covid risk when traveling. :roll_eyes:

And all of this is in the context of pod coffee being the worst, least fresh, coffee period. Anyway I was only commenting on how impressed people are with name brands. No surprise to anyone here I’m sure. I stock the room differently depending on how much the guest paid. If demand is high and I raise prices they get more and better amenities.


I appreciate all the spices, but wouldn’t use them. I don’t trust that past guests didn’t taint them.


The panda bear “Eats, shoots and leaves!”


And the wombat! 202020


And I appreciate you appreciating the comma :slight_smile:

It’s good to know that someone is looking after them. As I’m sure you’re aware, I look after the quotation marks, @JohnF tends to the paragraphs and @KKC manages the run-on sentences.

We still need volunteers to take on affect/effect, ambiguous modifiers, clichés and tautologies; furthermore, it would be of great assistance if someone would run a PR campaign for colons and semicolons as they don’t get used as often as they could. Perhaps we can transfer people over from the BS detectors or word-choice monitors as those departments are generally overstaffed.



Here is what I do for spices:
I bought a bunch of spice jars from Amazon and labeled and filled them. Put in a dessicant packet (we’re in the tropics). Then seal them with a band of Parafilm stretchy paraffin). That way I can tell if someone opened them and used them or not. Then I put them on a copco 3-tier Organizer so they were easy to manage.

My tea bags go in a bamboo tea box. I put in packets of Splenda, stevia, TruLemon and TruLime, too, in the tea box.


I’m volunteering!

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Thanks for the tip on the acrylic stands- I have looked for just such a thing since I started hosting! Seems like a small thing, but I have been hand making something similar with cardboard and tape - sounds tackier than it looks - but, still😏

Those acrylic stands are sold at stationery stores like Office Depot, Staples, etc. I have one on the guest bathroom counter with septic/ what not to flush/ please don’t waste water instructions.

@JJD I want to be in charge of the incorrect apostrophes before an s in a pluralized word, and using the past tense where the past participle belongs. :crazy_face: