Some hosts have guests staying with them in their own homes – and allow the guests to use the family kitchen. Some hosts rent apartments, suites or entire homes that, naturally, also feature kitchens. In both cases, it can be helpful to the host to discourage use of the kitchen.
- Extra cleaning. Even if your rental is a separate apartment, if your guests cook, you’ll be cleaning the oven at every turnover
- Smells. If you host guests in your own home and they use your kitchen, the aromas that they think are wonderful might seem awful to you
- Cleaning crockery and cutlery. Guests can rarely be relied upon, whether staying in a home or a separate place, to wash up fantastically. Why should they? They are on vacation after all. But you as the host will have to clean everything, or at least check it
- Inconvenience. If hosting in your own home, you’ll have strangers in your kitchen just when you want to cook/make a cup of tea/bake bread yourself
- And who knows if their hygiene is as good as yours?
So for several reasons, hosts may offer the kitchen as a facility but would prefer guests not to use it too often. But how?
- Even if you are only offering a room in your home rather than a suite or apartment, can you carve out enough space for a microwave and hot drinks making facilities? You don’t want guests traipsing into your kitchen just to heat a slice of pizza and make a cup of coffee. (You can specify restrictions ‘reheating only’ in your house rules)
- It’s a good idea to also leave the guests paper plates, plastic cutlery and disposable cups. That’s not great for the environment but can save you hours of cleaning
- Likewise, provide rolls of paper towel and paper napkins
- Make sure that the trash can is large and that there’s a plentiful supply of liners
- Similarly, make sure that cleaning materials are to hand. Don’t forget detergent for the dishwasher if you have one and some sort of disinfectant
Figure out why your guests have chosen a place with a kitchen, or kitchen access.
Sometimes, especially if you’re offering inexpensive accommodation in your own home, guests choose your place with kitchen access so that they can save money. Many guests who choose whole apartments also see the advantages from a financial point of view.
Do you get those coupon booklets or papers in your mailbox?
- Collect all coupons that are for takeout/delivery food and leave them in the guest suite or apartment
- Collect coupons for foods that can be quickly (and without being smelly) prepared in a microwave (either in the guest’s room or the kitchen). Choose items like canned foods, frozen meals for one (or two depending on the usual occupancy of the room). Avoid smelly things depending on your own foibles – I hate the smell of microwaved broccoli
- Prepare a one-sheet list of all the reasonably priced places to eat in your neighbourhood
- Put a selection of takeout/delivery menus in the apartment. Note that this might not be a good idea if your rental is a room in your house unless you specify no food is allowed in the rooms. Guests eating takeout Asian food in a small bedroom could leave you with quite a pong to rectify
If you’re having problems with guests cooking in your rental, whether it’s in your home or in a separate apartment, it’s important to evaluate these problems to see if you can minimise them.
For example, if your guests repeatedly leave your dishcloths or tea towels in an unsanitary condition, replace them with something disposable. If guests often burn your pans, replace them with cheaper versions. If guests break your wine glasses get plastic or very cheap ones.
Why should we have to do this? To benefit ourselves – to save ourselves time, trouble and worry.
After all, when we have kids we childproof the house and there’s nothing wrong with guest-proofing the rental.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.