Experiences involving food in South Korea
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, or reputable professional caterers who keep clean facilities and use fresh ingredients. 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’m a foodie. What kind of food experiences can I provide in Korea?
The following food experiences are unlikely to trigger any regulatory issues:
- Inviting your guests to your favorite local restaurants for a workshop;
- Inviting your guests to your home or a picnic where you serve food that is cooked by someone else in a licensed facility (for example, take-out from your favorite local restaurants, food catered by a professional licensed caterer).
If you are thinking of serving home-cooked food, please carefully read our home-cooked food guidance and check with a lawyer to make sure you are following your local laws.
I want to serve home-cooked food to guests visiting my home. Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
Yes. If you are registered as a foreign tourist urban homestay business (“외국인관광도시민박업”) registration pursuant to the Tourism Promotion Act, or an agricultural/fishing village homestay business (“농어촌민박사업”) report pursuant to Rearrangement of Agricultural and Fishing Villages Act, it is likely that you are permitted to serve home-cooked food to the guests you are accommodating at your home. To be specific, foreign tourist urban homestay businesses are permitted to provide food and lodging to guests, and agricultural/fishing village homestay businesses may offer breakfast to their guests. For more detailed information, we encourage you to contact your local government office or check with a lawyer to make sure you are following your local laws.
If you do not have any of the above registrations or licensed mentioned above, and you wish to sell food or provide food to the general public (even if it is not a sale of food), the Food Sanitation Act will likely apply. The Food Sanitation Act imposes requirements (including food additive and hygiene rules) which must be followed. In addition, if you manufacture, process, transport, preserve or sell food for a business, the Food Sanitation Act requires individuals who carry out these activities to obtain a license. You should be aware of potential criminal offences for failure to comply with these requirements, which may include imprisonment and financial penalties.
For your information, there may be instances where you may not be required to obtain a restaurant business registration or license:
- If you organize a cooking lesson whereby the guests cook their own food and no food is offered to any guest who did not partake in the cooking, then you would likely not be considered to be a restaurant business, even if you charge a fee for the cooking lesson.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will involve combining food with another activity (for example, serving or providing alcohol or a guided tour of the city), 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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