The Kitchen Checklist
People say that the kitchen is the heart of a home and that rings true even for vacation rentals. One of reasons your renter has chosen to stay in your rental rather than a hotel is likely because of the availability of a kitchen. Perhaps they are a home chef who loves to cook every chance they get, or maybe they’re hoping to whip up some meals due to special dietary concerns (e.g. paleo, gluten-free, vegan, clean-eating, raw, etc.) or maybe they are merely looking to save a bit on dining expenses. Whatever the case may be, as a Superhost providing your renters with a well stocked kitchen will enhance their stay and hopefully lead to positive reviews for you. Use this kitchen checklist and start separating yourself from the competition.
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A microwave is a “must have” for most vacation rentals or AirBnb’s. More an more hotel rooms have microwaves as well now.
Make sure your microwave is in good working order, with a functional door and nice and clean inside and out. Bonus points for taking a few extra seconds and setting that digital clock to the correct time. If your unit has a vent/fan over the stove, make sure this isn’t covered with grease and dust.
Your kitchen sink should be clean and have a faucet in good working order (e.g. hot/cold settings work, water doesn’t spray from the nozzle in several directions)
If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it works and doesn’t smell. Periodically running a couple of ice cubes and water through it should help keep the blades nice and sharp.
At least quarterly, check for leaks to make sure there is no water damage under the sink. Also regularly check the speed of the water as it drains. If it is slow work to get it unclogged
Your refrigerator should be in good working order (e.g. the fridge keeps things cold and the freezer keeps things frozen!) as well as clean, inside and out. A little tip to clean stainless steal exteriors is to use a little WD-40; this will remove fingerprint marks and help to prevent future smudges.
In between rentals have your cleaning team check the refrigerator for any left over food and throw it out. Left over food is a negative in the reviews we have analyzed if food is left over from a previous renter.
If you have an ice maker, make sure it works and produces good quality ice. If there is no ice maker, ice trays should be available for your renters.
If your refrigerator is equipped with a water dispenser, make sure this is in good working order and any filters are replaced per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you have a trash compactor available, make sure it works correctly and provide the proper bags for your renter to use. This will help prevent any spills inside the compactor should someone accidentally use the wrong bag.
Make sure there isn’t an excessive smell coming from the trash compactor area. Here’s a find on cleaning them to remove any odors.
A coffee maker is one of the key items you should pay attention to in your rental. Virtually all guests will expect their rental to have a working coffee pot available.
For standard coffee pots, in addition to working correctly, make sure the machine and pot are cleaned and not heavily stained. For safety purposes, it is a good idea to check for chips and cracks between rentals. You may want to consider investing in a K-cup machine such as a Keurig, which requires less maintenance and also provides your renters with an added convenience.
For k-cup machines such as the Keurig, make sure they are in good working order and ready to go (e.g. the water basin is filled and a small starter assortment of k-cups are available for your renter to use.)
You have two options for blenders: standard or immersion. Both have their pros and cons (e.g. a standard blender is good for preparing larger quantities, while an immersion blender is useful for single servings and is very easy to clean).
For standard models, make sure the various speeds and chops all work as expected. Inspect the glass pitcher to make sure there is no damage. Make sure the blender is clean inside and out. For immersion blenders, make sure it is in good working order and also free of any leftover debris.
The minimum number of plates you should have is the number the house sleeps * 2 (e.g. If your property sleeps 4, you should have at least 8 plates). The plates should match. This will separate your property from someones “second home” with just a mix and match of left over plates.
At every cleaning, check the plates for any damage/cracks and replace as necessary.
The following items are recommended to have stored in a spice rack or container in the kitchen. There are many pre-filled options available that make this task easy and affordable. If you already have a lot of these, then this list should help you fill in any gaps. These consumable items should be checked routinely so they can be replenished as needed. Many local grocery stores carry such spices in bulk and you can just buy what you need when you need a refill.
Many people travel to celebrate a special occasion and might want to prepare something special. Others like to prepare a family breakfast with standards such as pancakes or muffins. Having these baking staples available to them will make your pantry more complete. These consumable items should also be checked routinely so they can be replenished as needed.
There are other items that your renters will be looking for in your kitchen pantry, and you should consider providing these items as well. As with all consumables, please check these regularly to replenish as needed.
Including some standard condiments in your pantry/refrigerator for your renters is a good idea and will be appreciated. For these items, rather than providing a standard grocery-store size, consider smaller trial-sizes or single-use packets. Many people may be hesitant to use opened perishable condiments so this will help avoid waste for you while still offer your renters the convenience they desire.
As a host your property should have a good collection of pots and pans. Some renters will do a lot of cooking at the rental as this is one of the main benefits of a vacation rental over a hotel. Good quality pots and pans will last longer and work better. Do not “go cheap” with these items and supply your property with quality over quantity.
Small skillet (8 inch Omelette size)
Large skillet (12in+)
Small sauce pan with lid (1.5 quart)
Larger sauce pan with lid (3 quart)
Larger pot (e.g. stock pot size ~ 12qt)
Cast iron skillet
Baking sheet/Cookie sheet (2)
Cake pan (round or square)
Kitchen towels should be provided for your renters, and a good quality matching set is ideal. Not only can this be a nice, decorative touch to the kitchen, but it will also save your renter from using up all of the paper towel supply!
By “good quality”, we advise providing towels that are absorbent and dry quickly. These will work better and also last longer for your rental.
A decent-sized colander is a useful item to provide to your renters. From pasta to fresh fruits and vegetables, your renters can have many reasons to need a colander available to them.
Make sure there are no leftover food bits or debris blocking any of the drain holes in the colander.
Your rental needs a good supply of kitchen utensils. You can by a bulk set or if you already have a good collection make sure you have the ones listed below. As with anything in your rental is something is broken or worn replace it.
Slotted/Un-slotted spoon set
Long handle ladle
Measuring cups and spoons
Large microwaveable measuring cup
Sponges: Since sponges harbor a lot of bacteria and can quickly have a mildewy odor, provide your renters with a new sponge for their stay.
Liquid dish soap
Ziplock bags (sandwich size)
While most people overlook trash cans and assume any trash can will do, it is important to make a smart selection that will last for a long time and be convenient for your guest. Vacation renters often bring lots of supplies that will fill up the trash receptacles quickly. The trash can should be large enough to handle a typical day for the number of people that your vacation rental sleeps. For added convenience, try to find one with a large opening and a lid that can be easily opened and closed.
Make sure you have at least one in the kitchen and provide the appropriate-sized trash bags for your renters to use.
If you like to do your part for the environment and collect recyclables, then be sure to provide your renters with a recycling can and provide appropriately-sized liners.
The can should be functional and clean and be located next to your trash can for your renter’s convenience.
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