Hotels Are Finally Phasing Out Minibars
Guests, it appears, are no longer willing to pay over the odds for a miniature bottle of whisky or a soft drink.
In the USA, PKF Hospitality research found that income from minibars fell by 28 per cent between2007 and 2012.
Now, it is estimated, the mini-bar amounts to only one per cent of hotel revenue.
Given the time taken to restock the mini-bars and the effort in keeping track of what has been used,major hotel groups, including Grand Hyatt, Starwood and Marriott are phasing them out.
The world’s first hotel mini-bar is believed to have been installed in all 840 rooms at the Hilton inHong Kong in 1974. It led to a 500 per cent rise in drink sales.
However the change in behavior has been underlined by a survey carried out by Trip Advisor.
Only 21 per cent of hotel guests surveyed regarded the mini-bar as an important facility, a quarterof the number wanting free wireless Internet access.
It also found that a quarter of respondents had disputed a mini-bar charge with their hotel.
In some cases a dispute has arisen because a guest placed an item of their own in the fridge andthen removed it – triggering a charge because the mini-bar relies on weight sensors.
The death knell of the mini-bar has been accelerated by the growth in urban convenience stores,meaning that a guest can buy a bar of chocolate or a drink for a fraction of the cost.