Experiences involving food in British Columbia
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government 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 laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to include food during my experience, is there anything I should be thinking about?
Yes. If you plan to include food during your Experience, we encourage you to please keep your health and safety, and that of your guests, at the top of your mind. For example:
- Make sure you take your guests to (or otherwise serve them food from) reputable restaurants, food trucks, or professional caterers who keep clean facilities, use fresh ingredients, and have a good food safety track record.
- If your Experience involves you cooking or handling food (including storing or serving food prepared by others), be sure you handle, prepare and serve food safely and with good hygiene. We encourage you to review the Vancouver Coastal Health’s tips for food safety.
- Also ask your guests in advance about any food allergies they may have, or religious or philosophical codes that may impact what kind of food they eat.
I would like to take my Guests to my favorite foodie destinations. What kind of Experiences can I host in British Columbia?
The following food experiences are unlikely to run afoul of local law:
- Taking your guests to your favorite local restaurants or food trucks;
- Inviting your guests to your home or a picnic where you serve food catered by a professional licensed caterer.
If you are thinking of serving home-cooked food, we encourage you to check with an attorney to make sure you are following your local laws.
What rules do I need to follow to provide a food Experience?
Home food experiences will generally not be possible within the province. . Those wanting to commercially prepare and serve food in a residential home setting will need to be a licensed food establishment, with business and restaurant licenses and permits, and meet all zoning requirements. Note: that for a variety of reasons, such licenses are not generally available for food sold at a private residences.
For Hosts seeking to host food Experiences outside of a residence (or traditional restaurant), there are a few options for Hosts. In all cases, in order to be eligible to do so, Hosts will need to obtain a general business license and the relevant additional permits.
If you are hosting in the City of Vancouver, one option is to apply for a roaming food vending permit from the City for the sale food and non-alcoholic drinks on City property from a vending unit. Alternatively, for larger Experiences, Arts Events licenses are available for occasional Pop-Up arts event in unconventional locations such as studios, warehouses, factories, offices, shops, and wholesale spaces. This license is available for events up to three days a month, and up to 250 people. Both the roaming food vending permit and the Arts Events licenses will require food service permits and certifications. More information is available here.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will also involve serving or providing alcohol, we recommend that you take a look at our information about experiences involving alcohol. If your experience will involve combining food with another activity (for example, a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules or licenses might apply to your activity.
We recommend you also read our other information pages on business licenses. If you need further information, we encourage you to speak with a lawyer or a local official to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).