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Barbecue Cleaning!

 
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 714
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Barbecue Cleaning! Reply with quote

There have been other threads about this in the past, but here we go again...

We have 2 large 'Campingaz' coal barbecues available for our guests. We provide a bag of coal, a box of firelighters and a variety of tongs/forks, etc. Next to the coal (so you can't miss it) is a washing up bowl, containing a pair of plastic gloves, a grease-dissolving spray, a large abrasive sponge and a special scraper. The only person using it is me.

The house notes state that we provide barbeques and that we ask our guests to empty out the ash and to properly clean the grills as well as the inside of the barbecues with the cleaning aids provided once they are finished using them.

We are lucky if guests dispose of the ash, as none of our guests seem to do any actual barbecue cleaning at all.

Our current guests have just left and we have just discovered both barbecues in a filthy state, caked in dust and grease (including all down the outside) with not even the very high pile of ash removed (they were using the barbecues every night).

So, how do we solve this? We can obviously take money from the security deposit (and add this warning into the house notes but as everyone knows, just who reads house notes?) We can take the barbecues away, but that would just cause disappointed guests and angry guests who have booked the farmhouse having seen that barbecues are available. We could switch to a less messy kind of barbecue I suppose...

I think the only way to try and get guests to understand that they have to clean our current barbecues is to physically take the guests to the shed and say, 'Here are 2 barbecues for your use, including a starter pack of coal and lighters. Could you please thoroughly clean any barbeques that you use with the cleaning kit provided, as this really helps us out as we do not have time to do this during changeovers....' or something similar. But it will of course just add to the already quite long walkaround that I already do when guests arrive in order for example, to explain how to use an AC outlet with an infant-safety disc fitted, how to open a window with a 'scissor-type' locking mechanism, etc. etc. This all due to past experiences where you know you need to explain how certain things work in an accommodation to avoid damage.

We have always left barbecues perfectly clean (often cleaner than when we found them) when we are ourselves on
a self-catering holiday. I just don't understand that so many guests seem to think that they can leave any mess and it will be cleared up after them. Since April, I think I have ruined 3 t-shirts and 2 shorts due to getting barbecue grease splatters on them while cleaning the guest barbecues.

As we have just had a last minute from ABB....8 Argentinians coming this afternoon and I just know that they will be wanting to use the barbecues every night...so better change into the 'barbecue cleaning clothing' and get to workl!
Though I must say, I am getting pretty fed up with this!
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7249
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a tricky one. It is extremely rare to have a guest that either cleans the bbq or even wipes the table after use.

Although we would prefer not to do it, we just included the additional cleaning time in to our rates. But in the first few years I did explain in departure notes I gave to them the day before departure what I expected them to do.....and a cost if they didn't.
So I charged €15 for cleaning the bbq area and €10 for each rubbish trip (this was yrs ago). I have to say it did work. When I raised my prices and got better guests I did away with it but I often wonder about bringing it back.

You're right, sadly, regarding the meet n greet. They won't listen. The only other thing is to keep the grills back so they have to ask for them, then when you hand them out you tell them about the cleaning and charge. If they moan I'd say you are providing them free coals etc. I never do that....guests can buy their own.

Mouse
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 447
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with Mouse...a cleaning charge if they are not left clean, clearly stated in your T&Cs, house file and a nice big sign next to the bbqs...
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 802
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of a big sign next to the barbeque and retaining the grill so that if the guest decides to barbeque they have to ask and you can explain the house rules.

Alternatively, can you have a spare grill so at least you don't have to clean that on changeover day and can just swop for the clean and deal with the dirty one 'at leisure'.

It's a real pain though so you have my sympathy.

We never provided coal for the traditional barbeques but if a guest left any we would leave it for the next guest. We switched to gas barbeques a few years ago and they are less work to clean.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 714
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your replies.

That sounds like a very good idea to retain the grills until guests ask for them, Mouse.

And I think we could get away with another sign, Jenster, as it would be in the shed and not in the house. We had to add two extra signs last week (one sign on the lid of the compost wheelie bin to explain to people how and why maggots appear and also one next to a new washer-dryer as we needed to warn guests not to overfill if using the drying cycle), but we are worried that with too many signs, guests will feel like they are staying at an airport terminal.

And Gillian, a spare grill - another good idea for when you just don't have the energy to take on the cleaning of the barbeques.
These Campingaz barbeques are oval in shape, so, we would probably need actual spare parts from Campingaz. Actually, when we bought the first one, for some insane reason, we placed the spacers that go between the lid and the handle on the inside instead of on the outside of the lid. These of course melted very quickly and the handle gradually dissolved as well. A new handle had to come from the USA (thought Campingaz was French?!) and took over a month to arrive here. So, hopefully we can still get replacement parts. Otherwise, maybe we should move to a large gas barbeque instead..
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me I prefer it if the guests don`t use the BBQ or the kitchen at all, and just go to restaurant every day..... Sometimes that even happens!

If they do use it then I prefer for them to use it every single day as that way I save on kitchen wear and tear and electricity bills.
That happens sometimes too..

Guests never clean, I' m used to it. I too have a spare parrilla for when time is tight.

My own tip I learned is to use the long handle BBQ cleaners they sell in LIDL with a brush and a scraper (or any other for that matter) and when they wear out after a few cleans you can just buy the wire wool pan cleaners which are very cheap and kind of wind them around the end of the LIDL cleaner and presto ready to clean for a few more months... Wink
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Marks



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 2847
Location: Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I charge 25€ for a BBQ left dirty. Rarely happens now.
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Frenchlady



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 179
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One house we looked after we put the BBQ grill (clean of course) in the utility room and they were asked to return it to the same place. It worked, as never put back dirty.
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SW31



Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 79
Location: Haute Garonne, France

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We’ve had the same problem. We also used to take stuff with us in the suitcase to clean the bbqs on our own holidays as they were rarely found clean!
Last year someone kept cooking a bbq curry every night, never cleaning it the next day. The bbq was truly disgusting and took ages to clean, fortunately we had a couple of days before the next group arrived.
So, if I can’t get guests to clean it the bbq got moved out and our two year old plancha moved in. They have to clean the cooking plate each time they want to use it. So at worst it’s the last night that won’t get cleaned. I prefer it when our guests eat out, there’s less problems.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 794
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cleanforum wrote:
For me I prefer it if the guests don`t use the BBQ or the kitchen at all, and just go to restaurant every day....


+1
Seeing the way some people choose to ‘live’ in their own mess just because they’re on holiday never ceases to amaze & anger me in equal measure.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 714
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marks wrote:
I charge 25€ for a BBQ left dirty. Rarely happens now.


We've been thinking of being more strict with the way we run our business, including stating that we will charge if guests cause us extra grief when we are busy enough with a changeover.
We have though raised our cleaning charge to €110 from €90 for 2018 (first raise in cleaning charge since 2012), so I suppose we can now include BBQ cleaning in that extra €20. The only problem for us is having to find the time to clean often both large BBQs when we are busy enough frantically trying to get everything ready before the next guests arrive. On several occasions, we have not been able to get the BBQs clean on a direct changeover and have had to ask guests whether they intend to use the BBQs, so that we can plan the cleaning of them. That's not the way we want to do it, but sometimes we just don't have a choice..
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 714
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

COYS wrote:
cleanforum wrote:
For me I prefer it if the guests don`t use the BBQ or the kitchen at all, and just go to restaurant every day....


+1
Seeing the way some people choose to ‘live’ in their own mess just because they’re on holiday never ceases to amaze & anger me in equal measure.



It's absolutely disgusting, isn't it? When we see for example, the state of the toilets after a group has stayed for just a weekend (you'd think that someone would think, 'hey, we've got another couple of days here, maybe we should clean the loo seat..').

Or, the fact that my offer to take away their plastic recycling during their week's holiday is just ignored. You are then met by swarms of flies and the stench of empty meat packing cartons which have been left the whole week in the recycling container inside the farmhouse.

And the mess that some people can make of a kitchen, including ovens (baking trays!) - I could go on and on..

But we found that the biggest mess is always with the toy cupboard and so, at the beginning of this year we removed 90% of the toys (this after 13 years of providing them for our guests' children), this because we could no longer cope with sorting it all out when parents have let 4-5 toddlers run amok without supervision. Ever had a 'puzzle soup' where every puzzle box has been emptied onto a heap, with several thousand pieces of puzzle to pick through? We had the toys sorted out on different shelves, so that infants couldn't get their hands on potentially dangerous toys. So, we were often forced to re-arrange the entire cupboard each time. What a relief that we no longer have that mess to clear up during a changeover!
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Brockles



Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 129
Location: French Riviera

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We supply a large and wide roll of professional size aluminium foil with the BBQ, together with instructions to 'cover the BBQ catchment tray' with aluminium before using the BBQ and to replace it with fresh aluminium foil for their next use. In most cases, guests have done that.
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