B&B NOT self catering

I have just had a guest who is arriving today asking via email if they can bring food and use our kitchen when we are clearly a B&B and there is a pub within 5 mins walking distance from our house.
I have replied, but did not see the message on time and fear they might arrive with bags of food.

Any advice ?

I should have said that I replied stating that unfortunately we are a B&B and not self-catering,
but fear that they might still arrive expecting to use our kitchen … and always one is concerned on AirBNB with reviews!

What a sad mindset so many hosts have. The guest is the one in the wrong. They should be worried that you will review them, not the other way around. Most hosts have far more reviews than their guests. One bad review from a guest who doesn’t know what they booked won’t hurt you as much as your review saying “wouldn’t host again.”

I suggest messaging to their phone by text or call to reiterate that they can’t use your kitchen.


I just learned what the phrase “self-catering” meant about two days ago. I’d never heard it before. I don’t think it’s universally understood by English speakers. It might have been better to say “We don’t allow guests to use our kitchen” or “The apartment/room/condo/suite you rented doesn’t have a kitchen.”

Even better still would be to specify exactly what the space does contain or what parts of your space they can use, such as a small fridge, a shelf in your fridge, the microwave, the coffee maker, etc.

By the way, many B&Bs (and Airbnbs) allow full use of the kitchen. I’ve stayed at plenty of them.



I don’t include kitchen privileges with the room I rent in my home. Guests have a fridge, hot pot, coffee & tea in their room, and several great food spots a5 min walk around the corner.

I was still figuring it all out when my 4th-ever booking showed up - guests from Thailand (he was a very large, very unpleasant American), who arrived with an enormous box of food “prepared in her village” that they were bringing to a family reunion in San Francisco. His greeting was a grunt, followed by, “where’s the freezer”? :flushed:
Yes, I did- nubie that I was, I fetched a cooler, and emptied MY things so they could store THEIRS​:astonished::rofl:

They then napped and hung around the common areas all day for 3 out of their 4-day stay. They needed the heat set high because they dressed in bits of underwear & shorts in our winter. Up at night, Face-timing friends back home, they are the ONLY guests I’ve had to speak to about noise…over & over.
Their last night, I came home to a foul fish odor ( it lingered for days!) and to them sitting at the kitchen table in front of a lavish spread of reunion leftovers. They barely greeted me.
I taught school in Thailand, and was so looking forward to their visit…
I’ve since had 2 bookings from Thailand who more than made up for this pair!

Good luck with the visit -let us know how it goes!

I reviewed them honestly, they didn’t bother.


I agree, it’s not a commonly used term around where I am either in the northeast USA. I’d be explicit that there’s no kitchen or cooking facilities included in the stay. I’ve found many guests don’t read all the listing details, so I reiterate a few important bits in the booking confirmation. Might be useful if this comes up from time to time to prevent last minute issues (edit: especially when hosting guests from elsewhere).


We are in Devon, UK and most- or all Brits understand what a B&B means. We have a fridge for guests, and a tea/coffee tray with biscuits etc.
I have never heard of a British B&B offering kitchen use.

The guests concerned are from India, staying here nr London and got a curry takeaway delivered and I have sorted the breakfast table plus extras- fruit, bread rolls, drinks, yogurt etc. to be hospitable…
But many txs for all the comments- and advice.

When guests ask for things you don’t provide, I think the best response is, “As is evident in our listing information, no kitchen access (or whatever) is offered.”

This may even, perhaps, prompt them to go back and read all the other stuff they failed to read the first time.


If they’re arriving today, they’re a bit late in asking what is a pretty important question.

As @KKC says, call or text them but summarise the conversation in the Airbnb message system.

And I only just discovered when I read this thread that it’s not a common expression in the US.

In the UK and Europe it’s a phrase that’s often used.

I used to have a B&B in the UK and no guest ever thought of coming into the kitchen, as far as I’m aware. Which was just as well because my kitchen was rarely “guest spotless”. Mind you, with Indian guests I might make an exception - it’s hard to get a decent curry round here. :rofl:


I guess I’m a push over but I would let them use the kitchen. They might have dietary needs.

I know that as a vegetarian, when I travel it’s difficult to get truly vegetarian food. Restaurants claim it’s vegetarian but they might have used chicken or beef broth to make their “vegetarian” soup or rice dish.

As a vegetarian I have been so sick after eating “vegetarian” food at a restaurant. So I’m guessing your guests might be vegan or gluten free.


If they have special dietary needs they should have booked something that offered a kitchen, then, shouldn’t they?

And if they are vegan or vegetarian, those folks are prone to complaining that the kitchen is being used by others cooking meat.

Gluten-free? That’s mostly a fad and there are very few people who are actually gluten intolerant. They are called celiacs, they don’t produce the enzymes that digest gluten, and they can’t use kitchens others use. If they accidentally ingest even a crumb of something with gluten, they get a debilitating stomach ache.

Me too and I’ve always lived in the US. Self-catering sounds normal to me but it might be from using hostels in my youth, it was an amenity listed for some.

I had no idea that some allowed kitchen use. But I guess I’m always avoiding the kitchen in B&Bs because they’re always pushing breakfast on you. I snatch some coffee and run back up the stairs :joy:

I love a good old historic house and everything else about a B&B but I don’t know why no one does B&LNS (Bed & Late Night Snack), because I could go for that.

I would too and I’m not a newbie and still would. The food traveled from a Thai village to San Francisco for a special occasion, I doubt very many people would refuse to store that.

Would you really say it like that, those exact words? It sounds really pejorative to me.

If it’s something that really can’t be provided, I think, “I’m sorry, but we don’t provide that” should suffice. It would be helpful if all guests read the whole house manual and the entire listing but if they don’t, I’m not going to chide them like children, they are still guests.


I would likely soften it a bit, but I would want to get the point across that they should have read the listing info, because they are probably going to arrive expecting other things that aren’t offered as well.

Would “Hi XX, re your question about kitchen usage, I just double checked to make sure “Kitchen” was still xed out on my amenities list, and it’s still the same as it’s always been- not offered on my listing. If you need a kitchen, I suggest you cancel and look for a listing that offers one- there’s lots.” sit better with you?


It’s a common phrase where the OP and I are from…we know what it means :slight_smile:

Everyone would recognise breakfast is offered, self catering facilities not.

The issue @Kluewit is if you get people from outside the UK they might not understand. Just be clear about it up front on the listing

1 Like

They are of Indian origin one studying at PhD level, for some years and one working here. And English is almost their mother tongue- schooling in India is largely in English- and I think knew and understood what a B&B is about. And the listing makes clear no kitchen.

But it turned out OK- they mainly came to us as we have an indoor swimming pool. Sat night I will make sure our village pub has something (almost) vegan as they don’t eat meat, eggs… No English breakfast! I shall need to be creative for their breakfast.
This is an odd stay - no car, and from Reading and they used the train/taxi, but seem to be quite sweet…
Thankfully not raining, some sunshine predicted! And grateful for positive advice as this is our first season.


If they are vegan - it can’t be ‘almost vegan’ food they are offered .

For breakfast it’s really not that difficult …you could offer guacamole on toast with a tomato salsa .

Or a vegan muesli with oat milk .

Or a vegan cooked breakfast with tomatoes , mushrooms, spinach, spicy baked beans, sauté potatoes and vegan sausage.

I run into this a lot, but mine is a home share. When I’ve relaxed a said a little use would be OK, people always push the limit. The food storage is an issue and I worry about our sensitive smoke alarms. If I were a guest expecting breakfast from my host’s kitchen I wouldn’t like the idea of other people using the kitchen where my food is prepared.

Oatmeal and some easy toppings like brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped nuts and fresh fruit is an easy vegan brekkie most folks like (speaking as an ex-vegan)

Make some delightful quiches using olive oil pastry. Instead of egg, use Just Egg, the vegan egg substitute. Mushrooms quiche, an onion version, cheese and tomato …

You can make them the day before and keep them in the fridge. Or have the pastry ready and every morning make individual quiches for them. Mmm…

I agree with Jacquo. I use Just Eggs substitute when I make Spanish tortilla; Just Egg, thinly slide potatoes,onions, a bit of garlic, S/P and Goya extra virgin olive oil. I finish it off in the broiler to get a nice golden color. For breakfast you can also offer oatmeal made with almond milk served with thin slices of apples and golden raisins.

1 Like