Not sure what to do with cooking on site

We have an Airbnb with a coffee bar, microwave, small fridge with freezer. Some…but not all, want to cook real meals. Some bring their own small propane stove. We had a bbq for a while but we experienced a house fire in 2018 (not airbnb related) and lost absolutely everything, so coming around the corner to the suite and see billowing smoke coming from the bbq sent me in a panic so we did away with the bbq. We are not set up for people to cook with their own supplied portable propane stove, main reason being now is that if they wash their dishes in the bathroom porcelain sink there is going to be damage. I understand there is wear and tear on your rental and i expect it, but a chipped up sink really isn’t something i want to replace. One guest in the past washed their charcoal fired grill in our shower. When I messaged them to ask if they washed their bbq in our shower, they responded that they just gave it a quick rinse. I was not happy *%##@@!!! Our house rule is that we take care of all the dishes in our dishwasher, we will do the dishes daily for them if they need us to, by setting them out on the deck in the bin provided. How can I avoid the cooking on the deck and the washing of pots and pans in the bathroom sink, or do I just wing it. There is no way that we are renovating to make room for a kitchen sink, we have what we have. What can I do, how can I comment on this. I have stated in the past that our place is similar to a hotel room. I am ok if they don’t want to book because of this but I want to be tactful in my response to the requests to cook outside with bbq ect. Suggestions please

House rules:
“No cooking of any kind allowed on property. No propane stoves, charcoal bbqs, etc allowed on property.”


Aside from the above advice, if it’s possible, maybe consider building a proper outdoor kitchen with a sink, a 2 or 4 burner stove, etc.

I have a private room listing and guests share my kitchen. Unless you are within a short distance of restaurants, (which I am not) I think it really cuts down on your listing’s appeal if guests have nowhere to prepare meals, wash dishes, etc.
I know a lot of homeshare hosts would no way want to share their kitchen with guests, but I don’t have a problem with it, as I only host one guest at a time, so they aren’t taking over the space, preparing elaborate meals, and they have all been respectful about cleaning up after themselves.
But about half my guests don’t cook at all- they eat out or get take-out.

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The outdoor kitchen is not an option, what we have is what we have and not adding anything, it just isn’t possible. Most of our guests bring microwave items. We are ok with losing guests if they really need to cook meals on a stove, and I am sure that we may have lost out on bookings due to us not providing a bbq. I have a guest staying with us currently that used a propane stove out on the deck, so I have not seen the result of that yet, they will be checking out in the morning.

Then it might be a good idea not to just impress on guests that there is no cooking, but also to mention what guests your place is suitable for, so it sounds more positive, rather than just No.
Something like- “As there are no guest facilities for cooking meals here, and no guest-provided stoves or barbeques allowed, this listing is suitable for guests who are fine with eating out, preparing sandwiches and other uncooked meals, or heating up pre-prepared meals in the microwave.”


Tell guests that insurance absolutely does not allow guests (or hosts) to use portable stoves or b-bq’s in the space, and that violating this rule will result in cancellation without refund. (I’m sure there’s some truth in there somewhere… most fire insurance policies are can be invalidated by flagrant recklessness)… and then check that the guest understands this limitation immediately upon recieving the reservation request or instant booking.

Raise your rates $2/day and supply compostable plates.

Looking at the broader issue here – I keep reading in this forum again and again and again about aggressively, obnoxiously entitled guests: guests whose attitude seems to be "If I’m paying rent I’m also acquiring the right to do whatever the f*ck I like – when I’m here this is my property and nobody can tell me what to do on what is temporarily my paid-for property. I got rights! "

I’ve never experienced anything like this in eight years – and the guests I’ve got to know well enough to have a sense of their instincts, I think they would be genuinely embarrassed to even think of behaving this way (sneaking in a propane stove… washing a bbq in the shower…s [citing other threads] sneaking in pets… turning off the router to defeat the outdoor security cameras… )

I know that most of the hosts participating in this forum are American, so I’m assuming that most (but not all) of these horror stories are about American guests. Here’s my question: I’m having my first American guest in five years later this month. Should I be worried? Should I be afraid? Should I be very afraid? Should I get an attorney on retainer, just in case? :wink:


It does seem like American hosts get the most entitled guests, but also American hosts are the vast majority on English-speaking host forums, so it might just seem like they get more entitled guests than others.

I’ve had guests from all over, and many of them were American, but I’ve never had what I’d characterize as a bad, entitled guest. The closest was the young woman who brought a guy home in the middle of the night and proceeded to be drunkenly noisy. But she was originally Russian and grew up in Canada from the age of 6.

I state very clearly both in the description and in the photos that they Kitchenette does not have a sink so I provide paper plates. I provide a toaster oven and a microwave. I also state they they may not bring in any appliances (except for hair care) without approval. Never been an issue.

I ALSO remind them when I send in the check in instructions the same thing.



Hotels don’t allow guests to bring their own cooking gear so why should you? It’s a bad idea to allow guests to bring appliances because if they are faulty, they can burn your house down.

Just put in your listing and your house rules that no cooking is permitted - anywhere on the property including the deck.


Sine you don’t want to spend major money remodeling (oh, do I understand that!) I’d suggest getting something like a multi-cooker, adding a photo of it and tactfully stating, “This is what is allowed to cook in. Anything else will result in your reservation being terminated.” and then ask them to agree to it in your welcome message. I found this multi-cooker, it’s like the old electric fry pans in the 70s - Presto Kitchen Kettle XL Multi-Cooker / Steamer

Or if at some point you do wish to upgrade, there are self-contained kitchens available, but as we all know, paying to run plumbing lines isn’t cheap either. But it’s still cheaper than putting in some kind of kitchen -

Our listing sounds exactly like yours. No sink, no hotplate. We don’t want people cooking and we prefer to wash up in our kitchen. We provide a big grey tub in the cupboard for dirty dishes which i point out to people when they arrive while i’m pointing out all the other features of the space. We have had one guest out of 90 stays who used a propane stove. I didn’t say anything but my major concern is that people can die from either carbon monoxide or reduced oxygen from useing outdoor burners inside rooms or tents. A few guests wash the dishes themselves but most follow house rules. It’s also in the scheduled email guests receive on the say of check in…
I just say we prefer our guests don’t wash dishes because there’s no sink. Please place dirty dishes in the tub in the cupboard to the right.
I have heated pies in my kitchen for a guest who arranged it with me before arrival.
We encourage guests to use the local food delivery services and put lots of cafe suggestions in our guide book. We leave bread and condiments so they can have toast.

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We have a brand new build after a fire so we wont be upgrading or changing anything at all. I think i will use all the suggestions and not allow any cooking appliances bbq’s ect at all on the property. In the summer we will allow the use of our bbq that is at the beach. Thanks everyone.

We also provide a bin for dishes. It works quite well. When guests still insist on washing the dishes they have used I have to go through the whole lot because often they are quickly rinsed and put in amongst the clean dishes. Grrr.

It’s not unusual at all for hosts to not offer any cooking facilities . Most houses I stayed in didn’t allow cooking . I don’t allow cooking also.
You can just say how it is : no cooking. Don’t worry about demand . Some people wont cook if you pay them


Thank you for all of the advice. I will now state that we do not allow cooking on site.

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At my last STR I had a microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker. No stove or sink (wouldn’t have been allowed by the city to have two legal residences in the house).

I never used the words, “no cooking” and no one ever said anything about that. Had the guests put dirty dishes on a tray and deliver to the closed entrance for me to pick up and wash.

Think I must have had some good guests that didn’t cause trouble and did read the listing.

Does this sound ok? I don’t want a long story, just short and sweet.

Please note: We do not allow cooking on site, no propane stoves, or barbecues or electrical appliances. Our Airbnb is not set up to accommodate cooking. We do however, provide a microwave and a toaster for your convenience. There is also a coffee maker with a hot water dispenser.


I might leave out the “Our Airbnb is not set up to accommodate cooking.” My immediate thought on reading that, as if I were a guest, would be “Well, why not? No problem, we’ll just bring a little Hibachi.” Even though you say no cooking.

And change “electrical appliances” to “electric cooking appliances”.


Great! Thanks Muddy, I have edited my listing.

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