Breakfast included in your vacation rental: pros and cons

Breakfast included in your vacation rental: pros and cons

Attention to detail is crucial if you want to successfully manage one or more Vacation rentals. Simple touches such as freshly scented sheets, a small welcome gift and a quality breakfast can make all the difference for your business as a vacation rental host. Not only will you make your guests’ experience more pleasant but, thanks to possible positive reviews, you are more likely to stand out from the crowd. 

Have you considered offering breakfast? Providing breakfast can have lots of upsides, however also a lot of downsides. In this article, we carefully weigh the pros and cons you should consider before deciding whether to include breakfast on your listing and your properties’ website. After all, breakfast is the ‘most important meal of the day’, right?

Breakfast included: English or continental?

The first aspect to take into account is that not everyone expects a breakfast like you do in the UK. A traditional English breakfast includes bacon, sausages, eggs, black pudding, baked beans, some form of potato, tomatoes and mushrooms, with some variations depending on the area.. In Italy or France, however, a black coffee, a croissant and some fresh fruit would suffice. Guests coming from these countries might prefer a light breakfast. So, unless you have a passion for cooking, adapting to your guests’ eating habits may prove hard in the long run.#

What are the alternatives for your vacation rental property? Is it better to offer a proper English breakfast, which requires some level of cooking skills, or to go for a continental breakfast, light and sweet? We recommend two options:

1. Offer an English breakfast with local products

When traveling, guests are usually happy to taste something typical. One tip: offer local products and make sure they are fresh. Whether it’s Cumberland or Lincolnshire sausage, fry your eggs, bake the beans and don’t forget to add a Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea bag, or whatever brand you like the most. Your guests will start their day on the right foot. If your holiday home has a backyard or nice garden where breakfast can be served (weather permitting), even better. You’ll be able to offer your guests a simple but unforgettable experience.

Be sure to inquire about possible dietary needs of your guests. The typical English breakfast is not very suitable for coeliacs, or people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Luckily, you’ll probably be able to find some vegan sausages in most supermarkets.

2. Let your guests choose

Offering only one option may not be enough for the most discerning guests. 

If you have the time, opportunity and a fully equipped kitchen, you can let your guests choose what they prefer to eat. You can offer them two options (English or continental) or a list of products to choose from.

Remember to contact your guests well in advance! Via Smoobu’s Channel Manager you have the possibility to set up automatic messages, which will be sent to your guests at the date and time you set. No matter which booking portal your guests have chosen to book your holiday accommodation (, Airbnb, HomeToGo, etc.), both your contacts and bookings are easily viewed in one place. You can even create a template with the menu options and to send the email a few days before your guests’ arrival. In this way, you’ll have plenty of time to purchase necessary products for your quality breakfast.

A good breakfast has its advantages

Whatever type of breakfast you decide to offer your holiday home guests, including this service has several pros for your vacation rental business. Let us look at some of them.

Improves the relationship with the guest

The reasons why a guest would prefer to choose a holiday accommodation with breakfast included are many. A person on holiday might prefer a relaxing breakfast in their pajamas before venturing to the beach, mountains or day of sightseeing. If, on the other hand, your guest is a nomad worker, they’ll certainly enjoy having a meal ready before getting to work. In any case, offering breakfast will allow you to create a friendly relationship with your guest.

If you decide to serve breakfast in person, you can chat and offer some advice on the area, restaurants and activities available. In any case, we recommend that you collect all your tips in your digital Guest Guide to your holiday property, so that the guest always has all the information at hand.

It allows you to offer something unique

A tasty breakfast, prepared according to guests’ needs and with quality products, could become one of the key elements of your vacation rental property. If competition in your area is high, you could differentiate yourself from the competition by providing a unique breakfast.

Choose the products you offer carefully and remember to take photos to include on your short-term rental property’s website and on your social media.

Increase positive reviews

Nowadays, positive reviews are essential for any business. Whether it’s a restaurant, a dentist or a villa with a sea view, few would book a property with a low rating.

Offering a positive and pleasant experience will increase the chance of receiving a positive review from your guest. Of course, it will not be enough to offer a quality breakfast if the room is dirty or lacks clean towels. You ‘ll need to pay attention to all the details to ensure that your guest leaves a positive review of their experience.

Breakfast included in your vacation rental: pros and cons

Possible disadvantages of offering breakfast

For many holiday home owners and hosts it is worthwhile to include breakfast as part of the service, as there are many advantages gained. Before deciding whether it is right for you, however, it is important to weigh the cons as well.

More time and attention to devote to your guests

Breakfast is a task that requires time and attention. First, the owner of the vacation rental or the person in charge will need to find out about possible food allergies and preferences of guests. Then they’ll have to assess a menu that is suitable. If you offer an English breakfast, someone will have to take care of cooking it. If guests opt for a continental breakfast, fruit and bakery products should be bought no more than one day in advance. In any case, including breakfast is quite a commitment and a possible cost, for instance in cases where the host does not live in the area and has to use a third-party service to take care of breakfast.

A poor breakfast will lead to negative reviews

Let’s be honest: if for whatever reason you are unable to offer a quality breakfast or find someone to take care of it for you, better not include it in your offer.

Many guests might decide to leave a negative review if, after paying for a room with breakfast included, they find themselves in front of a packet with two crackers, supermarket juices and a single-serving jam (not to mention expired products!). So, if you want to maintain a good rating on or Airbnb, consider carefully whether you want to include breakfast in your service.

In conclusion: breakfast included yes or no?

Now that you are aware of the different pros and cons, it is up to you to decide whether you want to include breakfast in your holiday home’s offer. In general, this additional service has a number of advantages for the host. A quality breakfast can allow you to promote and improve your vacation rental business, increasing guest satisfaction and the number of positive reviews. You may also be able to attract regular guests and secure future bookings.

However, many holiday home managers may not have time to take care of breakfast, especially if they manage several properties. If managing several properties and holiday accommodations takes up a lot of your time, Smoobu’s Channel Manager might be for you. This platform allows you to synchronize all your booking portals in real time, helping you to save an average of 3 hours per week. Maybe that time could be spent thinking about breakfast!

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