Experiences Involving Food in Bangkok
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.*
What are some of the basic principles?
Your guest’s health and safety should always come first. For example, it would be a good idea to 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. 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.
My experience will involve serving food to guests outside of a traditional restaurant, café, or food business. Will I be considered a food business?
You will be a food business if you are considered to be preparing, storing or serving food or beverages to be consumed by guests, for a commercial purpose or in return for some fees/charges collected, and this is done regularly in the normal course of business.
Here are some examples of food related activities that will not trigger any regulatory requirements in Bangkok:
- I plan to host guests at my local favourite restaurant. Of course, the restaurant will need to make sure that it is properly registered and following the rules.
- I’d like to take guests along to a festival where food is served by licenced festival organisers.
I am considered a food business – do I require any licences and what rules do I have to follow?
If you are a food business, you will need to register for a commercial licence at the Department of Business Development (please also see our business licensing information page). You can find out more about the registration process, documents required and applicable fees here. If you operate a food business without a commercial licence, you may be liable to pay a fine of up to THB 2,000 and an additional THB 100 for each additional day of non-compliance.
In addition, you must also obtain a licence or notification certificate for the sale and storage of food, depending on the size of your premises (under the Public Health Act B.E. 2535 (1992)). You will require a licence if your premises has an area of more than 200 sq.m. and a notification certificate if your premises has an area not exceeding 200 sq.m..
The licence or notification certificate may be obtained from the relevant local District Office in which your food business is located. Please contact your local District Office for more information on the registration process, application form and documents required and applicable fees. (For example, if your food business located in the Suanluang district area, you can visit Suanluang District Office for further information.) Do note that operating a food business without a licence or a notification certificate for the sale and storage of food is a criminal offence and you may be subject to a fine of up to THB 10,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months, or a fine of up to THB 5,000 or imprisonment of up to 3 months, respectively.
Local authorities may impose regulations regarding the licensing requirements and conditions on the use and care of the premises, including sanitation criteria and tools used for preparing the food. As these local regulations vary for each area, you should check with your local authority on whether any of these regulations apply to you.
For example, the Bangkok regulation on the establishment of a premises for the sale and storage of food (B.E. 2546 (2003)) provides that the cook and the seller of food must pass a sanitation training course held or certified by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. In addition, before the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration grants a licence or certificate to the applicant, an official must verify that the premises comply with the relevant regulations. You can find more information here.
Your food business must also meet the food sanitation standards required by the Bureau of Food and Water Sanitation of the Department of Health. These standards generally require that all areas used for eating, preparing and cooking food must be clean and tidy, preparation or cooking must be made on a table, all utensils must be clean, the ingredients must be fresh, and any additives used must be certified by the Food and Drug Administration or the Thai Industrial Standards Institute where required (for example, soy sauce, fish sauce, seasoning sauce, sugar, etc.).
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will also involve serving or providing alcohol, it would be a good idea to take a look at our information page about experiences involving alcohol. Similarly, if your experience will combine food with another activity (for example, a guided tour), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*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).
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