Renting a home for vacationers can seem scary and overwhelming for first-timers. Whether you’re seeking warmer climes or cooler, the one guaranteed people-pleaser for your paying guests is a stocked kitchen. Here are some quick tips to keep their bellies (and your wallet) full.
Improve Your Vacation Rental Kitchen: 7 Tips for Preparing and Stocking your Kitchen
1. Always have clean and functional appliances
This cannot be stressed highly enough. The more effort invested in keeping appliances clean and functional, the more likely you’ll get return customers. Word of mouth is a great tool and the better experience you can provide for your renters, the more business you’ll drum up. Think of investing in your kitchen as investing in your future. Frequent offenders include microwaves, dishwashers, and toasters, so make sure all of those are in tip-top shape. Clean pots and pans also make things a lot easier for the renters; the rental should be clean before they get there, and there’s nothing like having to do a round of dishes they didn’t create to put renters in a bad mood. The same goes for the stove and the oven. Make sure to keep these tidy because crusty leftover food caked on to a clean stove is a big turn-off for renters. Other appliances to include are blenders, sharp knives, a coffeemaker, and a teakettle.
2. Always have enough dishes and cutlery
Nobody wants to eat off of a paper towel at their vacation home, and ensuring every person has at the very least one set of plates, bowls, and silverware (knife, spoon, fork) is a good way to ensure your temporary tenants enjoy themselves. A good rule to go by is having a set for the maximum amount of people. One thing to take into consideration is that some renters chose places to stay in areas they already have friends, so including an extra set or two for guests won’t hurt. In case of a casual dinner setting, always have serving bowls and dishes on hand as well. Cups cannot be forgotten either. Wine glasses, regular glasses, mugs, and teacups are great stocking options. If your rental is in a very outdoorsy area, like the woods or the beach, have paper plates on hand in case your tenants decide to enjoy the great outdoors. They’re portable and they save your nice dishes!
3. Pack your drawers with cooking utensils
What is a wizard without a wand? In the same way, what is a cook without a spoon? It’s vital to have the tools to create food magic, and that’s exactly what some tenants will want to do. Whether they trained at the Culinary Institute of America or they can only slap together a mean grilled cheese, providing renters the tools to do so is paramount. Some things to consider are spatulas, whisks, cooking spoons, a colander, ladle, a measuring cup and measuring spoons, a peeler, and a baking sheet. Specialty items aren’t necessary. For those tenants who enjoy imbibing, a can opener and bottle opener should do the trick.
4. A pantry chock-a-block full of cooking aids encourages people to get creative
This is pretty self-explanatory. No need to go crazy here—if your renters need supplies, they can by them—but have common spices, salt, pepper, and sugar on hand is almost expected. Cooking oil (whatever the variety) and balsamic vinegar are a solid idea too.
5. Provide ample cleaning supplies to help them help you
Not everyone is a clean freak, but most of your tenants will be very respectful and want to clean up after themselves. The more help, the merrier, right? Dishwashing detergent, hand soap, paper towels, and kitchen cloths are very useful, as well as back up light bulbs with the appropriate wattage. For maintaining a clean counter space, counter cleaner, sponges, and Clorox wipes help get those stubborn food remnants off. Lastly, nothing is as unappetizing as a dirty floor, so brooms and mops should be aplenty. In case of emergency, packing some flashlights and space blankets with some canned food in a backpack as an emergency kit is always a good idea.
6. Provide materials to keep food under control
It’s never good to waste perfectly edible food. In order to ensure food is maintained properly (and your refrigerator doesn’t reek as a result), load the kitchen full of saran warp, aluminum foil, garbage bags and regular plastic bags, and several sizes of sandwich bags.
7. Write out a guide to the area and the house
Being new in a strange place can be confusing. Make sure your tenants know garbage collection guidelines, your phone number, and any other tricks to operating appliances in the house. Additionally, no matter how much access a renter has to GPS, a guide to local stops and watering holes is useful. Hospitals, grocery stores, and pharmacies are important if they’re in need of supplies.
A stocked kitchen is a stocked renting roster. Make sure to check all of these things out and happy renting!
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This article was written by Lindy Tolbert.