As a new decade dawns on the hospitality industry, the five trends we’re seeing this year aren’t so much new as evolved.
Sustainability isn’t just a hospitality trend, it’s one of the most important and discussed issues around the globe. As such, sustainability is no longer an afterthought or add-on, but a must-have core component for all successful brands that guests increasingly demand. Thankfully, more vendors offer a more affordable and comprehensive range of eco-friendly options, like In-Room Plus’s plastic-free line, making it easier for hotels to truly go green.
Health and Wellness
Whereas past hotel getaways often revolved around indulgence and excess, today’s are often centered around relaxation and wellness. As sobriety becomes increasingly popular and mainstream, and tailored diets such as Keto, vegan, and Whole 30 become widespread, minibars and in-room programs will need to shift away from relying on sugary drinks and overpriced suds, and toward health-focused food and drink options, from craft non-alcoholic beers to organic. The good news: the health-conscious consumer is usually willing to pay a premium for tasty snacks that fit their dietary needs.
Big data gives hotels the ability to know more about their guests preferences than ever. This creates unprecedented opportunity (and guest demand) for personalization. Although this process is driven by tech automation, the guest feels more personally welcomed and served, rather than one of the masses. For example, a minibar might be stocked with extra cashews or a particular brand of liquor if data shows this tends to be a past popular item with that guest during past stays, or a personalized reminder could be sent to their smartphone to grab a snack before their day at the conference.
As gig economy giants like Lyft and Grubhub shift consumer expectations to expect services on-demand, more minibars and in-room programs are adapting to meet the needs of guests. Rather than a static in-room minibar, a menu on a guest’s smartphone could summon a minibar cart or specific snack to their room anytime, quickly, conveniently and cash-free.
Whereas global brands like Coca-Cola and Budweiser once dominated the minibar, guests increasingly want to experience the local culture when they visit. Minibars stocked with local favorite snacks, drinks and gifts make a memorable, positive impression that set a guest’s experience apart from a standard hotel chain stay.