Have minibars had their day?

The hotel minibar, among the most traditional hotel amenities, may actually be close to the end of its life. A recent survey by TripAdvisor reported hotel minibars are the least important amenity for U.S. guests — 89% of travelers said the minibar was no longer a necessary feature in the guestroom.

The minibar’s concept is that of satisfying sudden cravings with appealing products that can be grabbed, eaten or drunk quickly. But what is one of the most striking characteristics of minibars? Well, even as a hotelier I have to be fair and say I do feel they are somewhat overpriced. Do we make a profit considering the amount of out-of-date stock that is given away in the staff cafes? It’s not at all significant compared to the costs for product stock. 

These days most cities and airports have 24-hour shops with everything on hand to buy. Surveys report guests have had enough of being overcharged for a packet of nuts or a bottle of water. But what is also interesting to acknowledge is that hotels also have started reevaluating the real worth of minibars.

So is the minibar generation really over? Is it more cost-effective to include a bag of crisps, a candy bar and a bottle of water for every guest on arrival? Some hotels, including Dukes, include all soft drinks and snacks in the minibar in the suite price daily.

I travel the world, and it is always interesting to see what’s in minibars, but do I buy from them? No! Do you consume minibar products during your travels?