Forget the soda and peanuts. What kind of experience can you pull out of the minibar?
Is the minibar on the way to joining room keys in the Museum of Hotel Artifacts? The New York Times thinks so, along with closets and desks. Not so fast, says GQ magazine, which says they’re becoming tiny destination bars that can serve you in your bathrobe.
If the minibar is to stage a comeback, it’s definitely got to get past the stereotype of the tiny refrigerator where you’ll find exorbitantly priced international symbols like Coca Cola and Budweiser stashed to slake your thirst.
Hotel lobby front desks are no longer desks or located at the front.
It made perfect sense. Your first stop when checking into a hotel was the front desk. You had to collect your key and room number. But, you also might have needed to provide a credit card for incidental charges like the mini bar. Oh, and what’s the WiFi code?
Technology has rendered the concept of the hotel front desk nonsensical. Marriott, for example, now lets you check in up to two days before your arrival, skipping the front desk in favor of a direct route to your room. Your smartphone is the room key, and you can just tap on an icon to request the toothbrush you forgot to pack.
There’s a lot of money to be made – or lost – in this industry, and the competition is growing. The industry profit in recent years has averaged over 15 percent.
“We do this as a hobby,” said no hotel owner, ever. According to the IBISWorld, the hotel industry is a $194 billion annual business, with more than 74,00 hotels in the United States.
GrowThink notes that nearly 63 percent of this revenue comes from guest room rentals, with another 12 percent coming from food and alcohol sales. There’s a lot of money to be made – or lost – in this industry, and the competition is growing. The industry profit in recent years has averaged over 15 percent. So, how do new hotels get started? Here are the key points to the journey.