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Plates Bowls and Utensils

A guest got upset that I didn’t have any paper plates and utensils. I was kind of taken aback since I don’t advertise the space as having a kitchen area and I never advertised having bowls and utensils available.

Her response was that “every airbnb she’s been to has plates and utensils available”.

Is this true? Is it a common, and necessary thing to stock regardless of the scope of the space?

How many has she stayed at? I wouldn’t worry about it. If it’s not a listed amenity, don’t sweat it. And why does she think you should supply her picnic supplies?


id say make sure you specify that you don’t have these in the listing description. if you do, it would be the guest’s fault for not reading them. however i think you could have at least what any hotel offers, tea, coffee perhaps a microwave or small fridge? i mean if a guest had left over food from last night dinner, hed need a plate, a fork and a microwave to reheat it, right? how difficult is to accommodate that? they are not cooking, just heating up stuff. it the same time this would mean a lot to them, but if you don’t want it you have to put it in the listing.


I would think only if a kitchen is included. If it’s only a room, I don’t see the need to provide that stuff. Who wants guests eating in the bedroom!


To be clear, we do have a small coffee bar with a microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker and cups with lids. I actually don’t have much of a problem with supplying plates, bowls and utensils on top of that, but aside from reheating, saving leftovers, and brewing coffee, I don’t want to encourage guests to cook in the space. I have a house rule specifically stating that portable cooktops are not allowed.

Does the space have a kitchen that’s accessible to guests but you just don’t advertise it as an amenity? If so I would point out in the listing that the kitchen is not for guest use &/or there is no cutlery or dinnerware provided.

There is no kitchen access for guests. It is a self contained in-law unit. It is primarily a place for short 2-4 night stays for business and recreational travellers.

paper plates & plastic ware probably should be supplied else your guest will be melting carryout containers in your microwave


Hmm…it is often difficult to reheat without a plate or bowl, and frustrating if there are no utensils to actually eat the food with. I’d probably provide a couple of bowls and plates, and some cutlery and ask that they wash any dishes before checking out. You could do paper but its so wasteful. I’d specify in the listing that the microwave is there only for reheating beverages or leftovers. I also find that providing one of those microwave plate covers really helps keep the microwave clean.


I guess I don’t really know what “upset” actually means, but this is what I do.

  1. Try to match what an average hotel offers.
  2. If one guest mentions something in their feedback, try to look at it from the guest perspective, then decide whether to act on it based on cost/effort and your estimate of how it would improve guest satisfaction.
  3. If multiple guests mention the same thing in their feedback, act on it.

Good point. Reheating if the takeout container is plastic would be a pain.

I can’t have reusable plates and utensils since there is no kitchen sink to wash them, nor would I have the time to wash them.

This is exactly right. My goal was to offer what a basic hotel offers (and even a little bit more). The space is very cheap. Most of the year it has a going rate of $39 per night. Nobody has mentioned anything about plates, bowls and utensils before this guest in over a year and a half of hosting.

Like I said, I’m cool adding the amenity, but it’s just one more thing to take care of, additional trash, etc. etc.

If you offer a microwave, I’d offer utensils so people can eat their reheated food.

It sounds like our listings might be similar. Mine is an in-law suite with a fridge and coffee maker. I leave reusable plates and silverware. Guests leave their dirty dishes in a dishpan, which I wash at checkout or swap for clean stuff during the stay. It works out well for all involved.


If you have a microwave, then of course you have to supply stuff to use in them. I don’t really know what else you expect them to do.

However if a guest said to me that ‘every Airbnb I’ve been in has xxx’ then I’d simply say ‘well, every Airbnb guest I’ve had has brought their own xxx’.


Actually, she not only said every Airbnb she’s been to had it, she also said that because the service is called “Airbnb” it’s expected at you should be able to eat breakfast. LOL

I get what people are saying here with adding plates, bowls, and utensils being common sense items. I’ll probably add them, but I’m not going to advertise that we provide them, I’d really prefer people don’t plan on cook in there.

Thanks for the advice all!

I’m going to add paper plates, bowls, and utensils. You and others have made a good case for it, and it’s not super expensive.

However, at $39 per night with a $20 cleaning fee and a 350sf space to clean, there is no way I’m going to wash dirty dishes for guests on top of all that.

Well, I suppose she can eat breakfast … as long as she buys it and cooks it herself :slight_smile:
Some people are just plain daft.

Tell you what, let’s all write to Coca Cola complaining that coke doesn’t contain cocaine any more. That makes as much sense as guests expecting breakfast because of the name. :rofl:


It doesn’t? Damn. lol, at least back then people were not getting obese from drinking it.



If a kitchen is not offered, then this is absolutely not something that a guest should expect. I don’t think it should be expected even if the kitchen is listed as an amenity. And to specifically list “what is not included” would realistically be impossible and a nightmare for every host.

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I’m grooving on this idea. Maybe they will throw in free soda & a trip to Atlanta (I really like Atlanta if I must go to a big city). Also, BTW in my area we call ALL carbonated beverages co-colas. My good friend works at a Pepsi regional office and it drives her crazy.

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