Even if you already provide your guests a convenient, branded in-room program where they can fuel up, snack and indulge (and maybe even stock up on supplies), you may be surprised to learn that you’re probably not optimizing sales. That’s because of a famous marketing principle called the “Rule of 7”; it states that potential customers need to be exposed to your offer at least seven times before they are likely to notice it or begin to take action.
Obviously, seven neon in-room arrows pointing to the minibar aren’t exactly the subtle, upscale experience you’re going for. Thankfully, effectively promoting your minibar can be low-key, cost-efficient and effective, by adding a minibar mention or signage to these 7 key, strategic on-property spots. Doing so will remind guests of your amenity-rich property and commitment to their overall experience while helping you boost both in-room sales and overall guest satisfaction.
This one may seem obvious, but if the only sign of the minibar is inside a closed cabinet, most guests won’t even notice it. Be sure to create a branded sign in a visible area, or better yet, bring the items that don't need refrigeration outside the cabinets and drawers. Include an up-to-date menu of available selections and associated prices in the guest’s in-room overview book.
Many of your guests arrive tired and hungry after a long journey. This is the perfect time for the check-in staff to inform them that delicious snacks are easily accessible to them as soon as they gain entrance to their room (and maybe recommend a favorite), perhaps to tide them over while they unpack and make dinner reservations. A gentle reminder from the bell-hop showing guests to their room doesn't hurt either!
Lobby and common areas
Guests use the lobby to relax, gather and wait for other parties or transportation. If attractive signage or menus are placed nearby, guests are likely to occupy the time by reading them. A lobby marketplace or complimentary samples of what you offer in-room may also entice guests to explore their minibar next time they're in their room.
Even the very fit like to reward themselves for good behavior. Add signage or a screen to fitness area TVs or equipment reminding guests they can treat themselves for a job well done. If healthy snacks are available that would be perfect for pre-or post-workout fuel, be sure to call those out!
Even if you offer a poolside or swim-up bar or restaurant, some guests would rather just bring a snack in their bag. Rather than lose business to the corner convenience store, remind guests of easy-to-transport snacks they can toss in their pool bag with signs, table tents or menus. Offering a small sample of snacks offered up in their room as a mid-afternoon poolside perk can also entice them to purchase more!
You know the old adage “show, don’t tell?” That certainly applies here, particularly if you offer custom packaging or other branded touches. Show off that beautiful in-room program with light-soaked, curated shots of them being enjoyed throughout your property, and remind guests to treat themselves.
Your property’s app
As more and more properties offer helpful apps for guests (and more guests actually use them), consider adding an in-room menu (and perhaps a button to order selections to be delivered and charged to their account anywhere on the property), notifications at snack time or even personalized suggestions based on information they have provided (such as kid-friendly snacks for those traveling with children, or mess-free snacks for those traveling for business).
Where has your property seen the most success promoting its in-room program? Share your recommendations with us, and please contact us if we can help keep you well-stocked with fresh and custom-branded products.