Hi fellow hosts!!!
What are your complimentary beverages and snacks that you extend to guests? How much do you spend on these?
Thanks and ciao,
Roz in South Carolina, USA
I started out leaving a bottle of chilled rose and a packet of olives (this being the South of France), bottled water, tea, coffee, sugar, milk, butter....have given up on the milk and butter as not cost-efficient and the olives were rarely eaten. A choice of coffee for the cafetière goes down well.
I am in the U.S. I have been hosting a large apartment in the lower level of my home for about two years. I did a lot of research and determined that offering breakfast items would help to get me off to a good start. Frankly, I was convinced no one would be the least bit interested in my place. I started off with things like granola bars, muffins, and graham crackers for the kids, plus milk and O.J. in the frig. Also, coffee, an assortment of teas and cocoa. I supplied enough to last for the entire visit. Someone suggested that eggs and bacon was less expensive, so later I went that route, adding bread, mandarin oranges, apples and bananas for a while. I always provided a basket with the fruit. I just couldn't give up on the idea that I wanted those kids getting some fruit in their diets! Guests have been very appreciative. I also provide treats for the pets, though I've learned to be careful due to allergies and health issues. I was wrong about the interest level in my apartment, as the place has been popular. I've decided to cut back on the offerings: As much as it pains me, I only offer "starter" amounts of coffee and breakfast items, which include granola bars, kid-friendly treats, and if it is really hot (it gets in the triple digits, here), bottled water as they arrive. I think it did help me get established and get great reviews, in the beginning. Many suggestions from several different forums helped me get off to a great start.
@Rosalind41- I offer bottled water, one per guest, chilled in the refrigerator. I also have a snack basket on the kitchen counter that has microwave popcorn, individually wrapped crackers or chips, instant oatmeal, water enhancer flavorings, a variety of tea bags, and a few other little odds and ends that vary such as packs of peanuts or cookies. It costs me about $15 to $20 per month, depending on my bookings. Some guests don't use them, but most will have at least one to two items out of the basket.
I provide 4-6 bottled water, small containers of Pringles, Popcorn, and maybe a couple of other items. If a couple are coming to celebrate an anniversary or birthday, I provide a bottle of wine. Is that too much?
I host a private room in our house and include loads of things (which has since transformed my ratings for the positive). I spend about 7 euro on each stay for amenities and include that into the overall price of their stay. I thought about what a traveller might need during their visit, and I put some things in different places around the room ->
For snacks - in a fancy tin bucket:
1. Pocket tissues
2. Instant cup noodles with x2 silver forks
3. Breakfast bars
4. Face masks
5. One type of fruit (usually banana, as it matches colour of our room's accent wall)
6. A chocolate bar, if I remember
7. Postcards with stamps on them (only for guests visiting from far away and are staying for more than 3 days)
8. A lavender sleep spray that I keep refilling with lavender essential oil and water.
On their ensuite door:
Personal robes and single use slippers
High end luxury shampoo bottles that I then clean out & refill with regular shampoo and conditioner.
I also include some OTC travel related medications like remedies for a hangover/muscle pain/ upset stomach... As well as toothpaste, shaving gel, gendered deodorants, dry shampoo, face wipes, hairspray, tampons, pads. I mention everything I provide in my listing, but find that guests barely use any of the amenities because they never read it before booking. They tend to pick up their own stuff in the airport or whatever.. So I only have to refill these every 6 months or so.
Tea and coffee station:
Electric kettle with brown and white sugars, Canderel. Then 10 types of herbal tea and regular Breakfast tea. UHT milk sachets and a mini pot of honey. Then also a corkscrew, some filtered ice water and water cups and mugs.
For extra heat (in Ireland):
Electric heater, hangers, extra blankets and water bottle
Sockets with USB ports with multi-device charging cables already plugged into these. Then two seperate universal travel adaptors on each bedside table.
A letter holder with loads of tourism brochures and leaflets that I've collected around my home city. To add a touch of thoughtfulness, I then made a jar of 150 things to do in Dublin. Little pieces of paper all crumpled up.. organised by colour into day/night/eats.. And then guests can pick at random for some spontaneity. They seem to really like the fun of that and compliment it in reviews.
In the room we have a tv with access to Netflix. then an instruction leaflet on how to turn it on and get to the correct channel (laminated and folded to sit on top of the screen - looks hotel-ish).
On the bed:
I leave a laminated welcome leaflet with the same style as the leaflet on the tv. On the bed leaflet, there's numbers for doctor's, A&E, guards, etc. And then also a list of info about how to book taxis, where to print boarding passes, public transport, tipping etiquette, off licence info.
Finally... A personalised welcome letter board, where I greet the guests in Irish and change their names each time.
So basically, it's a lot, but it's given me glowing reviews and I still manage to make a profit and makes the set up seem more professional. I get all my stuff in bulk on Amazon, so you're spending a quarter of the price on these amenities and they get delivered to your door.. so much less hassle.
I hope some of these tips might be helpful !
@Rosalind41 I'm a new host, and have so far hosted 2 bookings. Because I'm hosting an entire house in a vacation (caribbean) spot, I provided complimentary beverages such as beer, soda, water, and juices to my second guest. This was a plus for my second guest - which they raved about in their review. I'm considering extending this surprise complement for each guest, especially since my guest are primirily traveling internationally, and the stores may be close when they arrive.
Any thoughts or feedback are welcome...since I'm new to this.
@Claudene0 Sure, it's always a good idea to surprise guests with extras that they didn't expect as long as you don't go overboard to the point that it eats into your profits.
As you are new, here's a hosting advice phrase many hosts subscribe to: "Underpromise and over-deliver."
It does tend to lead to good reviews.
It also relieves you of the need to always provide those things if for some reason you can't. For instance, I offer to pick my guests up at the bus depot, which is only a 5 minute drive for me. Guests always appreciate that. But I don't mention that in my listing, only when discussing their arrival details with them, because if my car should need to be at the mechanics, or I find I have a flat tire, I don't want guests to be able to complain that they didn't get a ride.
@Sarah977 Thanks for the feedback Sarah. I truly appreciate it, and will keep my eye out to make sure that I don't go overboard. I want to be a good host, but not giveaway the house. I made sure to keep the complementary drinks out of my listing...which gives me the flexability to choose when/if I want to offer this service.
Thanks again. This community have truly guarded me as a new host.