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Creating the Perfect Welcome Tray for Your B&B Guests

running a bed and breakfast starting up a bed and breakfast Apr 25, 2024

A well-prepared welcome tray waiting in their guest room, is a thoughtful touch that can make a lasting impression on your Airbnb or bed and breakfast guests. It's one of those simple, yet effective little extras, that can set the tone for a great stay, without costing you too much.

In this post, I'll walk you through some welcome tray ideas that your guests will love and will help make them feel at home.

Just a heads up, this is a paid sponsored post. This blog relies on the support and trust of readers like you. Collaborating with companies like Out of Eden, and only recommending products I'd actually buy or have been recommended to me by other hospitality providers I trust, helps me keep providing valuable content to you for free.I'll be recommending some products from the UK Hospitality Supplier Out of Eden in this blog post. For more about my collaboration with Out of Eden, read this post >> Where to shop for your hospitality supplies.

Understanding Your Guests

If you've read any of my previous posts, you probably realise how important I believe it is that you know your typical guest profile or Ideal B&B guest. You can read more about it in this blog post here >> The Importance of Knowing your Ideal B&B Guest

And it's no different when're coming up with your welcome tray ideas. Before you create the welcome tray, you'll also need a clear idea of who you ideal B&B guest is. Are they primarily couples, families, or solo travelers? Understanding who your guests are will help you customise the tray to their preferences.

Geographical Differences in Welcome Trays

The contents of your welcome tray will also vary depending on your geographical location.

In the UK tea and coffee are standard. And what sort of English tea tray would it be without a biscuit to dunk in your tea? But you might also include special regional items such as Welsh Cakes if you're in Wales.

 Consider where your B&B or Airbnb is, and what makes it unique to create a welcome tray that gives your guests a flavour of the local area. 

👩‍💻 Karen's Tip

If you are planning on offering food or drink on your welcome tray, make sure you are doing so in compliance with your local food hygiene laws, including providing the appropriate allergen information.

Note that it’s a legal requirement in the UK that B&B owners ( and anyone buying or handling food at the B&B ) are trained in food hygiene before they start serving food to paying guests.

If you’re in England, these guidelines from VisitBritain will help you understand more about your legal requirements

If you're offering alcoholic drink, even if it's offered free of charge, then you'll need to make sure you comply with local licensing rules. 

These blog posts contain more information: 

Essential Items for a Welcome Tray

Teas and Coffees

First you'll need to decide on the essentials to make sure your guests have what they need for a comfortable stay. Tea and coffee are a must, so offer a selection of black, green, and herbal teas, along with some coffee.

A starting point would be to offer wrapped tea bags and instant coffee, with Out of Eden offering a really great selection of quality brand tea bags and instant coffee:

If you want to up your tea game a little, you might want to offer a teapot in the room with either wrapped tea bags or loose leaf tea. 

I used these Stubby teapots in the rooms with loose leaf tea at my B&B ( also offering wrapped tea bags for people who didn't want the fuss ) 

Choosing the right coffee for the room isn't as straightforward as it used to be as many people, myself included, become far more fussy about their coffee. This is why it's important to know your guests and understand the type of coffee they're most likely to drink. And also bear in mind the type of B&B you run and the level of luxury you offer.

A step up from instant coffee would be coffee bags, or you could offer a cafetiere in the room with individual coffee or a Nespresso machine with pods. Out of Eden has supplies for all these options >> Coffee Sachets and Coffee Bags

 👩‍💻 Karen's Tip

I think leaving a selection of decaffeinated and herbal tea bags in the room is probably an essential these days. 

It's one of my bugbears to get a guest room and find there is just one peppermint tea bag when both my husband and I want a cup. So I used to leave a selection with 4 bags of each variety.

Even if you have a good idea of who your ideal B&B guest is, you'll never get it right for everyone -  for example, you may decide to go down the Nespresso route, but still have guests who prefer instant or filter coffee, so be prepared to have alternatives on hand for special requests.

Kettles and Trays etc.

You'll obviously need to supply a kettle. I say obviously but I've stayed in quite a few rather expensive hotel rooms where they just supply a Nespresso Machine, which you can get just hot water out of, but then you get coffee flavoured tea. 

It's also worth paying some careful thought to the tray itself and how you supply the teas and coffees etc so that they go with the whole room aesthetic.

Don't Forget the Milk and Sugar

I always supplied fresh milk for my guests. All our rooms had fridges so I would just leave a pint of local milk in there. 

Before we had fridges, I would leave a flask like this one in the rooms. And it was often commented on.

I think most guests appreciate fresh milk, but it it's right for your ideal B&B guest and your budget, you can find a good selection of UHT here, including non dairy milk.

Don't forget to leave sugar and sweeteners.

Glassware, Mugs and Teaspoons

When I first started my B&B, I'd leave china cups and saucers, as well as a couple of mugs. I personally prefer to drink my tea and coffee out of a large mug. I ended up getting rid of the cups and saucers and just leaving mugs.

The problem with not having saucers is that there is now nowhere to leave a use teaspoon - you don't want them left on your furniture. So consider leaving a small bowl complete with teaspoons.

Guests will also appreciate water glasses, and if you're happy to supply them, wine glasses and a corkscrew.

Extra Touches Your Guests Will Love

Once you've covered the basics, add a few extra touches to make your welcome tray stand out. Bottled water is a simple addition that guests will appreciate, especially after traveling. You could also include some snacks like biscuits, chocolates, or fruit. If you want to add a local flavor, consider offering miniature bottles of wine or locally crafted beer or cider.

If you're supplying alcohol, remember to check your local licensing laws.

If you want to learn about more of those little extras that my B&B guests loved, check out this post here >> The Little Extras Your B&B Guests Will Love

Personalising the Welcome Tray

Personalisation is what makes a welcome tray feel unique. A handwritten welcome note can go a long way—include a warm hello and the Wi-Fi password. 

👩‍💻 Karen's Tip

I used to include the Wi-Fi password in the room information folder, but guests were still always asking for it, so it's a good idea to have it displayed somewhere separate and prominent where your guests will find it. You could print it off individually for guests or use something like this tent sign, which you can write on and wipe off ( provided you've used the right sort of marker of course! ) for if you change your password.

Keeping Your Welcome Tray Fresh and Clean

To maintain a high standard, ensure all items are fresh and unopened. Regularly check that everything is clean and neatly arranged. This helps create a positive first impression when guests enter their room.

Final Thoughts

A well-thought-out welcome tray can make a lasting impact on your Airbnb or B&B guest room. It's an opportunity to show guests that you've thought about their comfort and convenience. By following these ideas, you can create a welcome tray that leaves your guests feeling valued and happy to have chosen your accommodation.

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