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As an Airbnb Superhost, I am often asked about food in Airbnb rental properties. Hosts often wonder whether they should provide drinks and snacks for their guests and whether they should leave leftover food from a previous guest. Depending on the type of rental you have and the amenities in the kitchen space, the answers to these questions vary.
What Food or Drinks Should You Leave for Your Airbnb Guests?
Generally, I recommend leaving a sealed bottle of water for each guest upon arrival and making sure your kitchen is stocked with the cooking basics commonly recommended by other Airbnb hosts. However, some hosts like to go above and beyond and leave snacks, beverages, condiments, and sometimes even alcohol.
Keep reading if you are having trouble deciding how to stock your Airbnb rental.
What Are Other Hosts Stocking in Their Fridges?
It is not required to provide food for your guests. In my rentals, I prefer to clean out the fridge so that my guests enter an Airbnb that feels fresh and new. Many hosts I have spoken to, however, really enjoy providing their guests with basic food and drink items and have received positive feedback for doing so. So, what are the most popular items hosts like to leave their guests? Check out this list:
- A variety of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
- Milk and/or creamer
- Bottled water
- Sparkling water
- Refrigerated condiments
- Assortment of cheeses
If you want more information about leaving food for your guests and more of our recommendations about food in an Airbnb, READ THIS ARTICLE.
Leftovers from Previous Airbnb Guests
Many hosts debate whether to leave leftover food from previous guests for their next guest. Many guests tend to over buy for their stay, and it is difficult if not impossible to use an entire bottle of ketchup or a whole tub of butter in just one stay. No one likes to waste food, but should you leave these items for your next guest?
I have found that hosts are split about 50/50 on this question. Some hosts check the expiration dates and if the item is still good, they will leave it for the next guest. This can include refrigerated items like ketchup, mustard, and salad dressings. It can also include pantry items like flour and other baking ingredients.
Other hosts do not like this practice and choose to not leave previously used food behind in fear their guests will see it as unsanitary. In my rental, I choose to clear out the fridge and pantries, so my guests come into a space that looks brand new, not lived in. To avoid wasting food, some hosts choose to use leftover items for their own families, give it to their cleaning and maintenance team, or have even investigated donating leftover/ unopened food to local food pantries.
Personal Food in Shared Spaces
Hosts who rent out their personal house or apartment often run into the issue of Airbnb guests helping themselves to the hosts personal stash of food or even alcohol. Many guests see the growing trend of hosts providing food to guests and just assume that anything in the rental space is up for grabs.
To avoid this problem, a host needs to make it very clear what food, if any, is available for guests to enjoy. This can be done by choosing a couple cabinets or a pantry to designate as “private” and hope the guest respects your boundaries. Some hosts have even used locks to keep their guests out of pantries or storage rooms.
Having a detailed house rule book is another way to let guests know what food and beverages are available to them and what personally belongs to the host.
Leaving Alcohol for Airbnb Guests
Another growing trend is for hosts to leave a bottle of wine or champagne for their guests, especially if the guests are celebrating a special occasion. While leaving alcohol for a guest can be a nice gesture this could lead to issues for a host.
Every state, and even individual counties, have different laws pertaining to alcohol. If a host wants to leave their guests a bottle of wine or stock the fridge with beer, they should review these laws to ensure they are not violating any.
A host must also be sure their guests are all over 21 years old before leaving alcohol. Providing a minor with alcohol is a crime in most jurisdictions.
A further concern for hosts is their insurance policy. Standard Airbnb insurance does not protect a host from liability against alcohol related injuries or damages if the host supplied the liquor.
Even if you don’t provide alcohol yourself, guests will inevitably bring alcohol on your property. Given that realization, you might want to consider getting specific insurance for Airbnbs which cover alcohol claims. Proper Insurance is one of the few that provide this type of coverage. Take 5 minutes and get a Proper Insurance Quote here.
Although it may seem like a good idea to leave guests complimentary alcohol, as a host myself, I suggest against it. If you choose to provide alcohol, be sure to know your local liquor laws and your insurance policy coverage.
For more information about providing alcohol to Airbnb guests, read our comprehensive article HERE.
The size of the kitchen in your rental and what appliances you provide will determine what kind of essentials you should provide for your guests. Some rentals are a full house rental with a normal sized kitchen, while others are tiny cabins with only a kitchenette available.
When stocking your Airbnb consider the size of your fridge- is it full size or is it a mini fridge? Also consider your cooking options. Do you have a full oven and range or just a countertop hotplate? Do you provide a microwave or toaster oven?
Generally, hosts stock their kitchens with the following common items:
- Dishes and cups
- Pots and pans
- Utensils like spatulas, ladles, tongs, etc.
- Can opener, peeler, corkscrew
- Cutting board
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking oil
These items allow your guest to prepare and cook a variety of foods even if the kitchen space is small. It is important to remember that you are not required to provide any of these items. However, if you want to have a successful rental, providing convenience and ensuring that your guests are comfortable is important.
For more ideas about essentials to provide in your Airbnb to ensure satisfied guests, click HERE.
Check Out Our Other Articles On Rental Recon:
- The [5 Best Dishes for an Airbnb] (And Dishes You Should Avoid)
- Airbnb Guests with No Reviews 2021: Should You Accept or Decline?
- How to See Your Airbnb Rating 2021 (For Hosts and Guests)
Should I Leave a Gift Basket for Guests?
A growing trend among hosts has been to provide a welcoming gift basket for guests. This is not only a kind gesture that is sure to garner positive reviews, but it makes your guest’s stay feel personal and special.
Some hosts choose to bake fresh goods like cookies or muffins, while others provide locally sourced treats like honey or jams. These items can really wow your guests and give them a taste of the local culture. Some guests, however, may be hesitant accepting homemade food from a person they do not know.
For this reason, if you want to provide a welcome basket, it may be best to include individually packaged foods. Here are some great snack options for a welcome gift basket:
- Individual bags of chips
- Individual bags of crackers
- Packaged chocolates
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Mixed nuts
- Tea and coffee
- Sugar packets and individual creamers
- Hot chocolate
- Pancake mix and syrup
These are great snack options especially if your guests are checking in late or have kids with them.