To charge or not?

advice and experience please… some guests have just left my b&b after staying just the one night - they (a couple) booked dinner… it’s a fairly elaborate affair - 25 euro’s each - we’d exchanged emails about what they did and did not like to eat… they arrived at 6 as planned (i was in the throes of cooking) and after a glass of wine and a chat with me and the husband went to their rooms to nap and shower before dinner. At exactly 8 one of the couple came down for dinner - saying the other would not want dinner as they were tired… i thought it was pretty rude. I’ve not charged them and they didn’t offer to pay…


La Maison Verdigris

You should have charged them especially if it was a definite reservation !
You must have been seething.
It takes me two days to prepare a nice meal…one thinking up the menu and doing the shopping, and another to prepare, cook the food, lay the table etc, plus there’s the washing up and setting the table for breakfast…it’s hard work and I would rather not do it !

Thanks Finn, you are right - as ever! - while my booking terms do cover this, it is the satisfaction of the client vs the meal charge that i’m aware of… it’s tricky to get the balance right and i wondered what other B&B owners would do if faced with a similar situation

thanks all - for once everyone agrees! i think it’s partly because i’m new and i want everyone to enjoy the stay… it’s a good and interesting, if expensive, business lesson… i should add that they were not europeans

I too would charge. We nearly had this situation earlier in the year with a couple who’d booked in (having previously been with us for a night a few days beforehand) for the night, with dinner, including a meal for a vegetarian. We’d got a very long way towards having the meal prepared when they rang late afternoon to cancel. Luckily I still had their £ booking cheque which I normally return on arrival. This one, however, was posted back to our UK bank and cashed.

I hate to say this, but we’ve found that if anyone’s going to do this sort of thing, it’s our fellow British. I don’t think we’ve ever had a French, Belgian or Dutch guest do the same.


I agree - charge them. I think some people are of the opinion that we do things like B&B & meals for fun. There`s a lot of outlay involved in preparing & cooking a meal & you should not be out of pocket. Fotunately we have found it is only a very small minority who treat us like that.

Hmm. thanks all… it’s good advice

If they booked it, you should charge.

Charge them.