As hosts we try to give our guests good value. Obviously there is a limit to what we can provide but by judicious shopping you would be amazed at how much value it is possible to put into a listing. All my guests (except those few who simply want to clean me out by taking whatever they can lay their hands on) will make a comment in the review process about what is supplied here.
Here is what I offer to each guest in the fridge, (apologies for the freezer section which is in need of a defrost) for their use and enjoyment……..
And here is a bit of stuff from the restock store.
I don’t know whether it is my upbringing but, I am a scrounger, I never like to see a bargain go begging, so let’s look at the cost of these things.
The Millers Chill and Carton Draft beer came from Dan Murphy’s, a large liquor chain who have a branch here in my town. My last purchase was for 3 dozen of each which had been there some time and were nearing their shelf like and were already on special…..but I got them for $1.05 per can/bottle (under half a normal carton price…so every guest gets one of each.
That 36 carton can of Coke original came out of the Aldi dumpster….The local supermarket dumpsters are an amazing resource for non-perishable goods! That carton did not cost me a cent, and because of our deposit legislation here, I get back 10c per empty can, so I actually make $3.60 on the carton….every guest of course gets a can.
The Dove soap I bought on eBay, I got over 700 cakes at 8c per cake….every guest gets one.
I have a relationship with Julie (purely professional) the manageress of the local Woolworths supermarket. When cheeses get within a few days of the best before/ use by date, she does not want to know about them! I never pay more than 50c per cheese….every guest gets a cheese plate with three nice cheeses and possibly a paté.
Eggs are from the chook house, we get around 7 per day, I don’t know quite what the cost of hen food is per day, but it is insignificant to a bowl of eggs!
The only things that really cost me market rates are fruit, Bacon, milk, butter, coffee, tea…..but my spend per guest night is never more than $6.50.
You can turn on a nice spread for guests on a shoestring budget, and they sure do reward you in the review process!
Not every host is in a position to do this but, I find it as a bit of a challenge to see what I can stuff in out there...and it's a challenge which I enjoy.
@Rubén correct - hadn't thought of that!! good point for certain! I think folks would throw stuff in the trash - and if its opened FOR SURE it would be thrown out. So many interesting questions and ideas. Best to you Ruben, Clara
@Robin hey, there's something I have wondered. With all the books and personal homey stuff in your cottage/garage............how much stuff walks out with guests? Do you get alot of dissapearing items? Or do you even check it often?
If you had that over here in the USA - folks would empty it out pretty quickly I think.......that's my take on it. Our wonderful entitled country - if its not nailed down - its likely to take a walk. Pretty bad.
Theft has never been a problem, quite often a guest will start reading a book and not have time to complete it before they leave so ask if they can take it with them and that's fine. There are hundreds more in the house to replace the odd one a guest may want.
I have also had guests who have asked if they could buy some of the older ones........
There are a few of these books that go back to the 1800s, but they are old family books that I thought would be worth keeping and I just tell the guest there is a certain sentementality attached to them so, I don't want to sell them, and that has been received ok, none stolen to this point!
We have a few books that have been personally signed by the author which we do not put in the listing.
The main issue with books is, they smell, and they give the cottage a slightly musty smell. The air filtration unit keeps it under control but we only run that when guests are there. If there is ever a break of five or six days when we don't have a guest we do turn the filtration off and, it does smell a bit like an old library walking in there and I hope incoming guests don't find that offensive!
Interesting topic and good tips. I am not fond of giving too much free (and bonus) things. My welcome kit is somewhat modest, them the guest will feel comfortable to accept it as a courtesy.
I have a question if you do not mind, that consider cultural aspects.
Do most of the guests drink and eat many things you offer for free or as a bonus?
In my country, it is not polite to take lots of thing that are giving for free or offered as a bonus.
If one take everything that is inside your fridge, (here im my country) one can be seen as a kind of person that likes to take advantage of other. In other words, one should not abuse others kindness.
However, if there is a price for each item (offered in the fridge), kind of price menu in a hotel, everyone would feel comfortable to take whatever they want. Even if one would like to take everything.
Hi José, some guests use nothing at all, or maybe just a bottle of water, some will use almost everything that is there but, I very rarely have to replace everything I supply from one guest to the next.
I would say about 25% of overnight guests will use nothing at all, and another 30% would use less than $1.00 in cost value of what I supply, so I am not running a food warehouse here keeping the cottage restocked. That carton of beer will last me for an average 60 guests before the case runs empty.
A 24 pack of bottled water will last for 35 guests and at 30c per bottle the cost per guest works out to be about 15c.....why wouldn't I do it!
Obviously it all has to be fresh and things like the cheeses are nearing their 'best before' date when I get them, so I would never leave those in the fridge for more than a week without them being consumed. But sealed bottles of water, sealed fruit containers I will leave in the fridge until they are consumed.
José I understand that what I do is probably going a bit far but, as hosts we all have to have a 'signature'....and individual thing that keeps the guests wanting to book, and almost all my reviews make mention of what is supplied and that is where my future bookings come from. I am accumulating reviews at over double the average rate for this area. I have had more in two years than some who have been hosting for five years.
Guests are appreciative but where we probably differ from your culture José we have a 'gift' culture and we will all gladly accept and appreciate something for nothing! It is not a matter of abusing a kindness it is seen as a nice gesture!
I like what you have said - "we all have to have a 'signature'....and individual thing that keeps the guests wanting to book, and almost all my reviews make mention of what is supplied and that is where my future bookings come from."
You have a point ! Thanks for sharing!
Get a refillable milk container - I was throwing out endless plastic containers at 99c each.
Water get a small brita filter that will fit in fridge
I leave out some Costco individually packed cookies maybe 40 for $6 so 15c per
Add individual packets of cereal also about 15c small box
Tea and coffee.
So maybe 60c per day :) looks very elegant in a small whicker basket. Don't want anything that goes off quickly.
@Rhonda who were you directing your post to Rhonda?
If you wish to direct your comments to a specific contributor Rhonda, such as I hasve done here with you, hit @ key and a drop down box will appear and you highlight the person you want to respond to from the available options and that person will them know who your question is directed to.
It all depends on the location. For example, we are in the city center and there are a lot of restaurants near by. Our guests usually book for just 2-3 days and spend them exploring the city so they eat out. They will make a -coffee/sandwich/ bake eggs.... but that's it.
Only Chinese and Indian guests arrive with bags full of groceries and they often cook a lot, maybe they don't like European food.
I left few individually packed marmalades in a fridge and 6 months later they are still there. From time to time I have to throw away half-empty bottles of oil and vinegar because they are not good anymore.. and cereals, packed crackers, coffee.. because the date expired, so no, it wouldn't work here, it would be a waste of food and money
Yes I know Branka, it is not for every host, but it has become my 'statement piece', the food and the bed! And the hospitality side of what I offer is mentioned in every review.
This is why I do it.......
With so many things being stacked against us these days Branka we need to go that extra yard to keep things rolling along.
Reviews like this are money in the bank to me, every day or two there is another booking and the money that these reviews bring in gives us a really nice life.
Not for everyone but it's great for me!