How advances are allowing more minibar options

Abreez Mobile (Abreez Mobile)

This article is part two of a three-part series on hotel minibars. Part one can be found here.

Recently, technological changes have improved guestroom minibars. One such advance is wireless communication between automatic minibars and hotel systems. “It allows more flexibility in where minibars can be placed in guestrooms and the minibars communicate in the same manner as most other in-room devices,” said Pierre Agrario, VP of account management for Bartech.

“Bartech’s newest wireless technology allows sensored trays to be placed anywhere in the room with no additional equipment or refrigerator necessary,” he said. “This means that guests have instant access to a variety of products such as water, snacks, wine, liquor or various retail items. Some hotels are even placing wireless trays in their bathrooms to make spa products available to guests.”

Due to a seamless integration with the hotel property-management system, staff members can now receive their room assignment list on their mobile device with real-time room-status updates, said Christelle Pigeat, CEO and VP of sales and marketing for Mobile Simple. “The room status on the mobile app automatically refreshes based on the front-desk activity. It’s dynamic. Real-time access to room-status updates allows staff to better prioritize the rooms to be serviced.”

Moving from premises-based installation to a cloud-based solution has contributed to tremendous cost savings, Pigeat said. A cloud-based solution doesn’t require a specific IT infrastructure and is accessible from anywhere at any time and from any device. Managers can access key metrics in real time and can generate corporate analytics across multiple properties, allowing for easier standardized product purchasing across brands.

Mobile apps allow staff to better monitor in-room product shelf life. “Staff members have a new way of checking products that the app will flag as potentially close to expiration date,” Pigeat said, which will ensure that guests always have a fresh offering in their room.

Also, hotels can now have silent minibars, with high efficiency ratings than can significantly lower an energy bill, said Michele Crociani, business development manager for Indel B.