Having a minibar is convenient for your guests and it provides an additional income for your business. Nevertheless, a minibar does take a little work! First and foremost, you need to select products that are selling well, products that your guests like to grab and enjoy as a small snack (ask me for my minibar list). There are many well-known products that guests recognize and know how they taste. These are products that you definitely need to have in your minibar. As such, your first step is to choose the right products for your minibar and purchase them. Quantity plays a major role as well. Sometimes there are days when most of your minibars in your rooms will stay untouched and so the demand is pretty low. That is not an issue except if the products do not have a long valid expiry date.
The valid expiry date is one factor you really need to take care of. After you’ve purchased the products and you have them in your accommodation business, you should use an Excel sheet to record all the valid expiry dates of all products. It seems to be a lot of work, and to be honest it is. However, if you do not have a valid expiry date Excel sheet you will most likely experience complaints from your guests. There will be guests that urge you to check the expiration dates of your minibar products. Some guests will even consume the product and later on refuse to pay for it due to the fact that the product was expired. This does not sound fair, but that is the way it goes.
In fact, you need to stay ahead of the game. You need to be aware of when each of your products expires so that you can easily exchange them. By keeping track on the expiration dates you know exactly when you need to purchase new products or when you can provide 50% discounts on selected products.
Have in mind that an expired product can have really bad outcomes for you. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that guests include this detail in their online feedback on an OTA. Guests almost always write more about details they did not like too much instead of the services they enjoyed. If a potential new guest reads comments with details about expired products, it will not make a good impression. Potential new guests will connect that information to all of your services. Even though your accommodation looks awesome, the information about the expired products will remain in the back of their minds.
Implementing a minibar is a great service if you follow through and be responsible in regard to the different expiration dates your products have.
Hint: If you cannot get rid of your products that expire in two days, then do not hesitate to give them away to your staff, to your guests that check out or to kids in a nearby school. Any of those is much better than simply throwing the expired products away.
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