Updated: Aug 12, 2021
We live in a world of instant gratification. Amazon will deliver an assortment of products to your doorstep, some within two hours most within two days. Instacart will deliver your groceries within two hours from my array of grocery stores across the United States. Total Wine or Drizzy will deliver all your alcohol needs to your doorstep the same day. So, when you go on vacation, why should you expect anything less? The number one requested short-term vacation rental amenity that I am asked about on every rent is "How do we have food and grocery in the Villa upon our arrival?" It took several years and many different systems before we finally found the perfect balance of providing a service and efficient collection of money.
In the past, guests would email a list of items, and they were expected to honor the bill upon arrival by paying the staff. You would never think this would be an issue, but six margaritas into the day and people forget that a property manager is asking for $500 to cover all the food and booze they are consuming. Upon a second request, the situation becomes a little awkward by the third request guess no longer have cash funds to pay back the money and are leaving checks or emailing me to arrange payment arrangements in the US upon their return. One can see where this might become a little awkward for both the staff, owners, and the guest.
After dealing with this for a few years, I decided to visit the local markets in Zihuatanejo and assemble a basic grocery store on the website. This was not without its challenges because the credit card transaction company didn’t want to service my website. After many lengthy discussions with a detailed explanation, we all moved forward that we were literally providing a grocery service. The grocery service wasn’t without its challenges. When I first started, I just listed general items like a grocery store. This presented a problem when people would go online and didn’t know if they picked chicken; what would they add to it? How are they making meals? What does the villa supply? Does it include all the oils and spices to make dinner? You can see where I’m going with this.
That’s when Executive Chef Socorro stepped in, and we created our arrival meals. These are some of the most popular meals by guests served in the villas over the years. We price them by a person by meal. There are some guidelines to this type of menu process in that meals are prepared and served family-style. Family style? It’s the way your mother used to make a meal. She made one meal, everybody ate the same thing and if you didn’t like it too bad. We’re not quite that strict at the villas, but we ask that if it’s taco Tuesday, everybody eats tacos, not necessarily all the same type, just tacos. Making sure that everybody sits down to the meal simultaneously for groups of 8 to 10 people requires a coordinated kitchen effort, and simplifying menus results in success.