Experiences involving food in Barcelona
This page is here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to post Experiences on the Airbnb platform. It’s for your information only and includes summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official and third party resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
What are some of the basic principles?
Your Guests’ health and safety should always come first. For example, here is what Host Alissa recommends: "I always make sure that my kitchen is spic and span, that I only use fresh ingredients, that I tell my Guests about the ingredients I use, and that I share my secret recipes. I also ask my Guests in advance about any food allergies they may have and religious or philosophical codes that I need to keep in mind when I prepare a meal to share with them. It’s also a good idea to make sure Guests are aware of the food they are going to eat so they can inform you in case of any specific issue of any sort."
My Experience will involve serving food to Guests (outside of a licensed restaurant, café or food business). Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
Yes. The Spanish Agency on Sanitation and Social Services provides the rules for the serving of food. These rules, basic definitions, goals and principles can apply to amateurs and professionals alike. Hosts seeking detail on general food safety and health protection rules, inspection regulations, detention and seizure rules of suspect food, and the classification of breaches can find it on the Spanish Agency on Sanitation and Social Services website.
The rules may apply whenever Hosts are carrying out activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food (i.e. serving food at home as a restaurant or in a private residence as a professional cook). Guests’ health and safety should always come first when handling, storing, serving, or distributing food or alcohol. The Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs provides information on good practices for health and safety.
Food businesses such as restaurants, cafes, and other food services (or just ‘food businesses’), and the people who work for them, are required to comply with additional rules related to food safety and hygiene, including a qualification in food-handling. The Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition or AECOSAN website (which is part of the Health Ministry) has the details for food handling, education, and certification.
When could I be considered to be running a food business? Where can I find the rules and requirements for food businesses?
If you occasionally invite a group of friends or family to your home and cook a meal for them, and your charge only covers your actual costs, then you may fall into the non-business and non-professional category.
But if you operate with more regularity and for profit, your activity may be considered a food business. Professionals carrying out activities on behalf of these businesses are responsible for following all the rules, requirements, and registrations that apply to individuals. There are also requirements for the businesses engaged in food activities. Some general information on starting a business can be found on our Business Licensing in Barcelona page. Additional information on rules and regulations for those businesses once they are set up and engaged in food activities can be found on the AECOSAN website.
Here are some examples of activities which could be considered as the operation of a food business by a professional:
- I usually cook and serve meals at my home to my Guests that do not come from within my own circle of friends, and I am paid for that.
- I cook at home on a regular basis and bring the food to a public space where I sell it.
Here are some examples of activities that will likely not be considered to be an operation of a food business by a professional:
- I plan to host Guests at my local favourite restaurant.
- I’d like to take Guests along to a festival where food is served by the festival organisers.
What are some best practices for food Experiences?
These are general good practices when hosting a food Experience:
- Food safety and hygiene: You should check that the food you serve or sell is of the nature, substance, and quality which consumers would expect.
- Information presentation: You should ensure that food is labelled, advertised, and presented in a way that is not false or misleading.
- Traceability: You should ensure that records are kept of food supplied to you or your business, for example documenting the names and addresses of the supplier in each case, as well as the nature of the product and date of delivery.
- Safety procedures: You should ensure that food safety management procedures are put in place, based on the principles of HACCP - Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Information on these procedures can be found on the World Health Organization website.
- Allergens: Hosts should always ask whether any of their Guests have allergies. There are potentially serious consequences if allergens are not controlled.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your Experience will also involve serving or providing alcohol (such as a cocktail making class), we recommend that you take a look at our information about Experiences Involving Alcohol in Barcelona. If your Experience will involve combining food with another activity (such as a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections for any other rules that might apply to your activity.
We also suggest you read our information page on Business Licensing in Barcelona. If you’re in any doubt, we recommend you get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
* Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained on any third party sites that we link to (including any links to legislation and regulations).