Boutique hoteliers can still profit from mini bars

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The debate surrounding the profitability of mini bars in the bedrooms of boutique hotels continues to roll on, but one technology expert has warned hotel owners not to write off this potential revenue stream just yet.

While more of the larger chains such as Travelodge and Premier Inn eliminate mini bars from their guest rooms altogether, boutique hotels can still see a return by thinking outside the box and coming up with more innovative offerings for their mini bars.

Aditya Sanghi, co-founder and CEO of technology company Hotelogix, believes there is still money to be made from mini bars. He said: “Many hotels complain about the profitability of mini bars, but very few can discard the service altogether. Guests love mini bars and even more so in hotels without 24-7 restaurants or room service.

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“Traditionally alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and sweet and salty snacks were more commonly on the menu, until guests started preferring healthy snacks in their hotel rooms. While most mini bar vendors prefer pushing menus based on shelf life and profitability of the product, hoteliers should decide on the menu their guests would prefer. These can be localised depending on the location and many boutique hotels now prefer to add non-food items, like local souvenirs or CDs to the mini bar.

“Mini bars are a great way of providing additional service to guests and generating additional revenue, which is always welcome by hoteliers. Hoteliers should realise this is an additional sale which happens at minimal service delivery effort and can be an alternate to the more costly 24-7 room service.”

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