This is the final part in a series on hotel guestroom refrigeration. Click here for part two, "How to keep guestroom refrigerators efficient and clean."
In the past, guests would have to venture off-property in order to buy groceries or snacks, but the rising popularity of on-property marketplaces means these services are often located near the guestroom.
“I believe the entire guestroom has been affected by the popularity of marketplaces,” said Majed Dawood-Farah, F&B director for the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Most importantly, marketplaces now stress the need for guestroom refrigeration, as guests will be more inclined to buy marketplace products if they are able to store them for the future.
“Guests are buying drinks and food at night and keeping them for when they want to work out in the morning and have everything they need ready to go,” Farah said.
Nettie DellaPenna, GM of the TownePlace Suites in Frederick, Md., said that marketplace activity picks up at the end of a guest’s stay as their departure draws near and they don’t want to buy more groceries. DellaPenna said in order to stay effective for moments like these, the marketplace must be open 24 hours per day.
DellaPenna also said it may be best to phase out vending machines when operating a marketplace as they offer more limited options to guests, and in the long term hotels with both will be competing against themselves as they pay commission to vending machine companies. The marketplace also allows hotels to sell locally produced items, which can be attractive to guests who do not know the area and can be used to draw attention to local businesses.
As for how this affects refrigerators, Jayne Barrett, GM of the DoubleTree Suites Boston, said grab-and-go food options will beat out other food options so long as guests have a place to put unfinished food.
“If a hotel has a market, guests will take advantage of it,” Barrett said. “But if the guestroom doesn’t have a refrigerator then they won’t be able to save their food and reheat it a day or two later, which can discourage future purchases.”