I offer a private room, shower-room next door and breakfast goods, to which guests help themselves. I list the breakfast goods multiple times throughout my listing. On their arrival I greet and show guests around. This includes the kitchen where I highlight the location of breakfast goods (yet another opportunity to make it clear!).
My issue is that on more and more occasions now, guests are helping themselves to my food.
This morning I discover that packs of ham, prosciutto, and expensive cheeses have been opened and the prosciutto and ham finished off completely! I’ve had worse, where all eggs, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, etc have been used up.
I have no wish to put locks or signs all over my small house, or to confront guests who are otherwise very pleasant. I’m very aware that people are on a holiday which is important to them. There are always other things which show that guests are not reading the listing, including house rules, but this one is really getting on my nerves. I’m considering a cheery leaflet in the room ‘Enjoy your Breakfast’ listing what is available in the kitchen. Any other ideas?
You do point this out clearly in your listing AND in your house rules.
A recent guest ' Guoliang' reviewed you stating "and we can cook breakfast in kitchen." And your review of them stated "Lovely, friendly family. Easy to have around the house and very lovely with my dog. Everything was left beautifully clean and tidy"
Why did you not mention; Guest broke house rules and cooked in my kitchen ?
If guests are so annoying that you need to search advice on how to deal with them, at least you should help yourself and be honest in your reviews of them when they boast at breaking your rules? Not doing this will encourage more guests to just do the same. It seems, 'they did it, I'm not bothered' could be the perceived attitude.
A reply to their review would be beneficial to you in order to point out to other guests this is not allowed, although how you will word it after you have not already mentioned it makes the task a little more difficult.
Your breakfast supplies include eggs. Eggs would need 'cooking'. It might be beneficial to remove them as you don't allow cooking in your kitchen? That might help you to avoid the cooking issue.
From a hosts point of view reading your review of Gaoling would lead me to believe that they were excellent guests without issues. With your emphasis on the no cooking aspect of your listing their transgression was pretty major. Those other guests who you mention helped themselves to your own food should have been reviewed in the same way too.
Maybe a sign only on the Guests breakfast cupboard might be beneficial?
This would annoy the hell out of me too!
I completely understand why you like to offer some supplies - it seems like a nice, friendly, considerate thing to do - I also do this
I have found that a security deposit makes a lot of people awfully interested in reading the house rules and doing the right thing. I reckon if you really wanted to go on offering the food, to add a deposit as well as a rule in your house rules about consuming food not intended for guests might help quite a bit.
(I find it hard to believe that all guests have genuinely misunderstood. Sounds like accidentally on purpose to me.)
A sign on the fridge to highlight wouldn't go astray either. It needn't make the things look too regimented.
As @Kath9 suggests you could also stop offering altogether, but I wouldn't put it past some guests to help themselves to your supplies regardless. But they'd think twice if they thought their account was going to be debited, I bet. Just a thought
@Rowena29 The "Security Deposit" doesn't really exist as such on Airbnb, as guests are not charged it at time of booking and hosts do not directly control whether they can make a claim. A guest who has not read the rules will certainly not be deterred by a misnamed # deposit, and nobody believes for a minute that Airbnb will fulfill a claim for purloined prosciutto.
@Kate640 if the times when you feel guests have overstepped the boundaries are outliers, it may not be a problem that really needs a solution. On the balance of things, the profits should make up for the odd loss. But there are many ways to remove the refrigerator from the whole equation without taking up much space or compromising the guest's experience.
Almost everytime you post something I agree 100% with what you say, but I'm afraid this time has to be an exception.
I charge a substantial security deposit so of course I am fully aware that it is not actually charged or the money directly held by airbnb. However I also have had direct experience that airbnb does ensure that there are sufficient funds available on a guest's credit card to cover the security deposit when they make a booking. I personally have experienced airbnb cancelling 2 guests stays, because although they had paid for their stay in full, they did not have sufficient funds to cover the security deposit. Both these instances were less than 6 months ago.
I'm also fully aware that my actual ability to claim the security deposit is pretty limited - especially for items such as FOOD - anyone reading these boards for just a few days would quickly realise this.
However I can't agree with your statement that a guest who has not read the rules will not be deterred. EVERY guest I have had stay with me- many of whom have clearly NOT read the rules - have been fully aware of the security deposit - even though I never mention it myself (other than in the house rules.)
I'm certain of this because guests specifically mention it either on check in, and ask what they need to do to ensure they "get it back" - (their words) and many more on check out, assuring me earnestly that the house has been left clean and tidy, that there are no breakages etc.
I agree it's more or less toothless, but my experience has been that there are still a high proportion of guests who don't KNOW its toothless. and are heavily influenced by it. I also think that just having a security deposit in place automatically helps to deter a certain type of guest. I base this on talking to other hosts in my area with similar listings and comparing experiences.
Of course its very far from absolutely foolproof - but in my experience, which I acknowledge is still quite limited, it helps substantially and I personally find it a very useful tool in encouraging appropriate behaviour.
Essentially, there are "Host-Required Deposits" (which aren't deposits at all, because they're not charged at the time of booking) and "Airbnb-Required Deposits." Airbnb does charge the latter, based on (their words) "things like the timing of a reservation or the listing’s features," but hosts are not informed about whether the algorithm has selected any individual booking for an actual deposit charge - therefore, it isn't wise for any individual host to assume they've made the cut.
One way I can surmise that Airbnb doesn't verify available funds for "Host-Required Deposits" is that on several occasions, guests who have needed a payment adjustment (added nights, etc) below the value of deposit have been unable to get their payment method cleared by Airbnb at the time of accepting the alteration.
What is a matter of certainty is that Private Room hosts are not the beneficiaries of Airbnb-required deposits. As an Entire Home host with a relatively large property, you might actually be among the few that gets the real deposit backing you up. That would definitely explain why your guests have been aware of the deposit, and none of the hundreds I've hosted have ever mentioned it.
@Andrew0 Yep, recently when I had the “guest whose payment for adjustment failed” fiasco, I asked “how can I have a SD if you can’t even clear $120 adjustment?!?
”well.... that’s not how it works...”
I offer continental breakfast only which I layout the night before, definately I do not offer a cooked breakfast .... too much red tape with the local council and kitchen inspections.
I see that one of your feedback is "we can cook breakfast in kitchen" ... no matter what, they will help themselves to everything and if they want their moneys worth they WILL have everything.
Unfortunately in your listing "You will have access to help yourself to your breakfast goods only - bread (toast), jams, butter, cereal, eggs, fruit juice, milk, tea and coffee." ... breakfast goods will mean ham, cheese, salmon, caviar, and the full works. ... =:-(
I would take more control and be hands on when they have breakfast. My times for breakfast is 7.00am to 9.00am and am strict on those times, I am there to serve breakfast, make tea, coffee and the toast and thats it. 9.01am and the table is cleared.
Opportunists still arrive, not often but when they do then I find the fruit basket in their room is emptied, tea, coffee and milk sachets are taken and anything else that they feel is fair game, they will have. (Including the spare toilet roll)
After a time I have learnt not to be over generous, but supply enough to keep them happy.
Thanks Chris. Sadly I cannot always be ‘hands on’ as I’m often away to work by breakfast. I think I’ll try a leaflet in the room, and another on the fridge door.
You might want to set up a guest basket on the kitchen counter with muffins, cereal bars, fruit, and pop-tarts. Let them know what's in the basket is for them plus tea and coffee. That's it. Easy to keep track of and easy to replace. Won't break the bank.