Rumor has it that a reporter once called Mark Twain to confirm if he had died. Though historians dispute the exact wording, the great humorist was reported to quip something along the lines of, “The report of my death has been greatly exaggerated.”
Today, rumors of another death run rampant: that of the minibar. Once a staple of seemingly every room, operational frustrations, dwindling profits and the rise of nearby convenience stores and on-property shops led some hotel chains to scale back their in-room hospitality programs or remove them entirely. In other words, the original iteration of the minibar was dying.
And in its original form, perhaps it largely did. But today’s hoteliers are increasingly returning to in-room hospitality programs, finding creative ways to secure, disrupt and expand the idea of what a minibar or in-room program can include.
In fact, a recent article noted,
In the face of criticism that the minibar is a relic, some hotels are reclaiming it. In fact, there’s a strong argument to be made that there’s never been a better time to be a minibar fan than right now because the top hotels in the world are making the minibar relevant again.
According to Priceonomics, 85% of the remaining hotel mini-bars are now equipped with built-in electronic sensors and scales to track sales, detect, and prevent tampering. Other companies now use infrared sensors or other technologies to minimize product loss and employee tracking time.
Hotel guests are also benefiting from all this innovation, as forward-thinking hotels offer up locally-sourced and themed products like local beers and snacks, as well as more thoughtful selections such as a cocktail mixer or essentials kits.
Here are a few examples of how some of the top hotels are breathing new life into the minibar in-room experience:
Boca Resort in Boca Raton, Florida
Photo cred: bocaresort.com
Guests of the property’s Yacht Club suites are permitted to select what they want in their minibar prior to arrival, so their favorite local beer, fresh juice or snacks will always be on hand.
The Source Hotel in Denver, Colorado
Photo cred: tripadvisior.com
The Source Hotel stocks a range of items from the artisan market hall downstairs, keeping it local and saving guests the trouble of putting their pants back on just to snag a snack.
Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore
Photo cred: fourseasons.com
The Four Seasons Hotel minibar in Singapore anticipates guests wanting to try the city’s namesake cocktail and houses a DIY Singapore Sling kit. Guests can also cool down with Mango Tango Popsicles (spiked with local favorite, Tiger beer).
Nobu Hotel in Palo Alto, California
Careful consideration has gone into every aspect of the Nobu Hotel minibar in Palo Alto, from Japanese Kit Kats to Wasabi Peanuts, compliments the hotels Japanese tradition.
W Hotel in London
Photo cred: tripadvisor.com
At London’s W Hotel, suite guests can order the Mega Bar, which arrives directly to their room with a full bar, sound system, disco ball, and even a personal mixologist. In other words, the party comes to you.
In-Room Plus helps top hotels create a fresh, fun and on-brand minibar experience, including custom packaging and labeling options. Contact us today to dream up a new and profitable take on your property’s minibar!