Regardless of whether guests can cook or not, I think there should at least be a refrigerator. As rjd1983 said, the most basic of cooking equipment really should be available in any hostel though.
So many of our positive guest interactions happen around food that I can't imagine being as successful without our kitchen facilities. Admittedly, we do spend quite a bit of time cleaning up after people who don't clean for themselves.
Yes, really, along with a microwave, kettle, and toaster.
That allows them to cook basic food.
But it depends on the market you're attracting. We don't have an oven or stove in the hostel, and tell everyone that in the hostel description, and upon checkin, but they still complain in the reviews...!!! I also write, if you want proper cooking facilities, don't choose this hostel. I put that on a week or two ago on HW/HB profile, and I haven't had a complaint yet.
The number 1 reason we don't have have proper cooking facilities is that it's a massive fire risk, and the whole building would have to be redesigned to accommodate it.
Second, we don't want people staying longer then a few days.
Thirdly, it's a lot less mess. Guests leave the kitchen bad enough after their meals with just a microwave.
I'm tempted at times to rip out the kitchen completely because it's always dirty.
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