The End Of The Hotel Minibar

April 21, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Overpriced snacks and drinks in a tiny dorm-sized refrigerator are a staple of hotel stays. Or at least they used to be writes Andrea Petersen:

  • Hotels claim that they actually make a loss on the over-priced snacks in the fridges. Between payment disputes and guests replacing the contents of bottles with water, up to 20% of revenue is lost.
  • Most people don’t even use the mini-bar because people don’t really enjoy drinking alone, and are aware of how expensive the contents are.
  • To get people to use it more some hotel are putting in more exotic snacks such as ham-flavoured almonds, or beer from local breweries, to convince guests to purchase items they can’t get anywhere else.
  • Others are getting rid of the fridge entirely and putting snacks in plain view, making them harder to resist.
  • Some hotels have experimented with putting in electronic trackers to see if the contents of a fridge have been disturbed. They also track expiry dates, cutting down on the cost of labour required to replace items. However these have their own problems as customers might move things around without consuming anything.

Read more about why some hotels have just put in empty fridges into the rooms, the most popular items with guests, and why one guest was charged $700 for items he didn’t consume over here.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Via: The Economist