What makes a minibar successful?
For the past three decades, we’ve worked to invigorate minibars around the world, and share our unparalleled industry expertise with our valued clients. As we kick off a quarter-long celebration of our 30th Anniversary (#IRPTurns30), there’s no better time to return to our roots and share a tip for each year we’ve been in business. We’ve also linked to a few of our most popular and helpful blog posts where relevant throughout.
These are designed to be quick tweaks that can have a big impact. How many of these boxes does your minibar program check?
1. Make your in-room products and signage clearly visible in the room. Hide-and-seek minibars don’t translate into great sales!
2. Anticipate guest needs and wants.
3. Sugar, spice and everything nice: Curate a mix of sweet, salty and healthy options.
4. Regularly clean and dust your minibar.
5. Check expiration dates and remove anything past its peak freshness.
6. Take steps to prevent theft and tampering.
7. Refill empty spots as products are purchased.
8. The price is right: Price your menu at or under what customers would expect of your market.
9. Product(s) not selling? Don’t be afraid to change it out with something new.
10. Change vendors if a vendor can’t regularly deliver inventory in a timely or consistent matter. You can’t sell something if you don’t have it!
11. Offer incentives to staff taking care of the minibar, perhaps via total percentage of sales. Your housekeeping or operations staff will be more engaged.
12. Perk up: Offer guests a complimentary credit ($10 is a nice gesture) towards the minibar as part of the resort fee. By rolling it into the existing resort fee, you don’t lose money, and the guest feels pampered with a free perk. It also encourages each guest to open the minibar, making upsells over the credit more likely.
13. Enhance your presentation with updated logo labeling and branding. Pro tip: IRP offers this as a complimentary service. Our FAQ has all the specifics.
14. Share the Love: Use almost-expired drinks and snacks for an occasional minibar training refresher with front desk, housekeeping and bell staff. If they are excited about your program, guests will be, too!
15. Work with vendors who don’t require you to purchase more product than you need. We’re proud to offer flexible purchase options to fit any size property.
16. Surprise!: Offer some signature surprise items.
17. Spotlight some local items, such as beers from a brewery in your neighborhood. The local business is likely to return the favor by recommending your hotel or placing some signage or brochures in their waiting area. Be sure to consider shelf life & lead time for these items.
18. Ho-ho-no: It’s generally best to avoid holiday products, since they’re only sellable for a short time.
19. Offer products that aren’t easily replaced at a nearby convenience or grocery store.
20. Ensure your selections reflect your hotel’s distinctive style and your minibar will get social media attention.
21. Think beyond snacks and beverages by adding in one or two kits that can help guests restock on anything they forgotten.
22. Select jars or pouches right for the minibar’s location (for instance, in a drawer or on a counter); we can help select the best container/labeling option for your in-room program’s location.
23. Grin and Bear It: Every minibar needs an iconic Gummy Bear jar full of our delicious gummy bears!
24. Rotate the stock of your minibar to stay relevant with trends and keep repeat guests excited.
25. Don’t lose it, re-use it: Consider using high-quality, reusable containers that can double as a souvenir for your guest. This adds value to their purchase with a relatively small investment.
26. #BeSocial: Step up your #HashtagGame (See, like this! #IRPturns30). Encourage guests to post their photos of your property to their social media using hashtags listed on the minibar.
27. Embrace technology solutions that help staff post to guest folios efficiently and reorder inventory accordingly.
28. Free and clear: Offering a freebie or two (typically lower cost product) can help draw guests to the minibar and feel their stay was special and luxurious.
29. Think outside the bar: Don’t limit your minibar to basic snacks and sips. You’re only limited by your imagination. We offer fun outside the box kits such as facial and cocktail kits.
30. Have fun with it: The best in-room programs blend personality and pride for your brand. Update your in-room program with a range of fun, custom and useful options that have a dash of your brand’s flair!
Has In-Room Plus helped your minibar program be more successful? We’d love to see your memories and well-wishes in the comments section; we’ll post some of them on our blog and social handles as part of the celebration.
Thank you for 30 great years; here’s to next 30!