This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
What are other hosts’ thoughts on guests eating in the bedroom?
So we don’t offer kitchen or living room facilities (with 2 adults, a toddler and baby on the way and 2 small dogs, evenings are chaotic enough as it is without an extra couple of people trying to cook around me!). Guests do come into our kitchen for breakfast though. Our house set-up means this all works fine - Airbnb room is in a downstairs corridor off the kitchen, with its own entrance, offering a bit of privacy.
We aren’t keen on guests eating food (esp hot food) in the bedroom but it does happen occasionally, although the vast majority eat out anyway. There’s no table as such, so people would likely be eating in/on the bed, and I have seen in the past small bright yellow blobs on the duvet cover which I’m pretty certain is an oily spillage from an Indian takeaway. Oh and of course there’s the lingering smell - I love an Indian curry myself but wouldn’t want the bedsheets whiffing of it!
Sometimes though people just turn up with hot food, and we can’t exactly tell them they can’t eat it. Considering putting something under the house rules about it - is this a common rule or are other hosts more lenient than I am?!
Is there room for a little bistro table in a corner of the room? If not, perhaps a couple of TV trays so they can set up them up at the end of the bed and put away in the closet when they are finished eating.
We discourage eating in a guest room by providing them with a small table outside the room and always request they bag up their leftover containers in a trash bag. This protects our linens and prevents odors and potential pest problems.
Your home your rules. I would try to stick a small fold out table in there to discourage them from eating on the beds and not mention it, but if you want to ban food in the bedrooms it’s entirely your call. Maybe something along the lines of, “we do not allow food in the bedrooms, but X café/restaurant is very conveniently located on blank and blank”
Don - I don’t mean to come across as unwelcoming; in fact (believe it or not), we do our utmost to be the opposite, and without wanting to blow our own trumpets this thankfully gets mentioned fairly regularly in our reviews! Guests arrive, we show them their room and our kitchen, have a chat, sometimes a cup of tea (have also been known to offer a glass of wine depending on the time and circumstances…), and tell them that if they need anything to not hesitate to ask. The following morning we very often have breakfast with them, give extensive advice about the activities in the surrounding area if they want it, and they seem to really enjoy interacting with us, our toddler and the dogs as well. Guests generally seem to be more than happy with this arrangement and I’d say 95% do eat out somewhere - I personally would never expect the use of someone else’s kitchen in an AirBnb or a guesthouse, unless it explicitly stated otherwise.
I was really after advice and suggestions about what others did, rather than the implication that my paying guests were some sort of hindrance in my busy life!
Giving your guests space to eat outside of the bedrooms isn’t the answer. I have a whole home listing and house rules state “No food or drinks except water in the bedrooms”. The kitchen and dining room have two LARGE tables with 6-chairs each plus a bar with 4 bar stools, yet based on the crumbs on the beds and floors, stains on the sheets and comforters, and sticky rings and drips on the nightstands, etc., most guests still eat in the bedrooms.
Fortunately I converted my upstairs 2 br apt into a 3 room shared bath B&B. I furnish a self catering cereal/bread/milk/yogurt breakfast, but allow cooking if folks want to buy their own eggs/bacon/whatever. I have a strict rule and remind them that eating is not allowed in bedrooms. Since I get many folks who do a lot of hiking, I also don’t allow opening and repackaging of food in the room, so I don’t have to sweep little bits of dehydrated soup or grains of rice from underneath the computer table in the corner. I just keep emphasizing that the sunny and pleasant kitchen is the place to eat and mess around with food, with small signs in the kitchen and the rooms.
It doesn’t totally work, but it does help. Egregious violators that leave a big mess will, of course, get a mention in their review and thumbs down for not following rules.
You can put in your rules that all meals should be eaten in dining room or kitchen. After my last guests destroyed matress cover and stained new pillow and cover sheet , I also wrote in house rules to not eat in bed .
As a guest I don’t expect to cook on my hosts kitchen but I once encountered a host who would not let me even boil water for instant coffee or even use microwave for that .
Now I don’t allow any cooking at all but I have microwave and minifridge in each room and I offer guests hot drinks .
I can’t really help much because I do allow kitchen access. But I sympathise and understand your dilemma. I’m guessing the suggestion of putting a small table & chairs in the room won’t work because you’d have done that already! The TV trays is a nice idea but that kind of encourages them to eat in the room so… mmh.
One question: you say you allow kitchen access in the morning only. Do guests respect that? I would imagine it might be a bit confusing and some guests don’t understand?
How do you enforce it? I’m particularly interested because I might think of doing the same, as in ‘yes you can make a coffee in the morning but you can’t cook a full-on meal at night’.
I’m all for each host setting their own house rules and expecting guests to abide by them. In your case by providing a refrigerator and microwave in the bedroom where do you advise the guest to eat / drink whatever they store / prepare in their room?
Hey Don. What if I’d be more comfortable in the king size bed upstairs; can I ask you to swap rooms so I may be made “as welcome and comfortable as possible.” … of course not; because that’s not what I contracted for when I booked the room.
So if OP has rules and boundaries the guests should be aware (of those) and be compliant (with them). Otherwise they should have opted for a different accommodation.
They have their Ipads or laptops with a movie on and they sit and eat even though I have a full kitchen with plenty of eating space at the table. We have an independent stay location with access to a full kitchen/dining area and they still do it. Some individuals ( like myself ) do not enjoy eating by myself out in public so I get it to go. Of course, if it is strictly forbidden I would never dare but understand those that do especially if it late at night. Wish I had some words of wisdom to share but unless you state that you will charge $$$ XXX for any eating in the bedroom you might have to “deal” with it.