English Corner

The delicacies at the hotel's breakfast buffet may tempt guests to pack a snack for later. Image: AdobeStock

Can I take provisions from the breakfast buffet in the hotel?

A rich breakfast buffet can encourage hotel guests to pack one or two things for later. But is that even allowed?

The breakfast buffets in hotels are often a gourmet's paradise: Fresh rolls, tasty cheese and crunchy fruit are indeed enticing. The lavish selection tempts guests from time to time to stock up on a snack for later.

It doesn't bother anyone if a banana, a piece of toast or some cold cuts are missing, or so the widespread opinion goes. Other guests appease their guilty consciences by pointing to sustainability; after all, if this food lands in your own bag, it’s better than it being thrown away. But what do the hoteliers have to say about this?

The legal situation is clear

From a purely legal point of view, the case is clear: Taking food and drinks out of the breakfast restaurant is not permitted. But how does it look in practice? Ernst Wyrsch, president of Hotelleriesuisse Graubünden, says: «Basically, it's not allowed to pack provisions for the rest of the day.»

However, the long-time, successful hotelier’s bold statement is immediately followed by a but. «Hardly any host will refuse the request for a small snack from the breakfast buffet if he asked politely», says Wyrsch. «In most circumstances, if someone needs provisions from the breakfast buffet every day, many hotels now offer packed lunches». But that, of course, costs extra.

According to Wyrsch, such situations are a sticking point for every hotelier. «You have nothing to gain as a host», he says. There is only negative energy. Nevertheless, certain rules of the game must be observed.

All-inclusive hotels are increasingly making things easier for themselves - probably also to avoid unpleasant discussions with guests. In the Robinson Clubs, for example, guests are even provided with materials for a packed lunch at the breakfast buffet. So here, it is expressly permitted to pack a snack for later.