Environmental Impact of Hotel Minibars - Page 2
Then, there is the problem of theft. Alcoholic beverages get stolen, or, more disturbingly, contents of bottles get replaced by disgruntled guests who want to stick it to the hotel. There are cases where hotel guests drank the vodka and replaced the clear liquid with tap water, or they drank the whiskey, and replaced it with tea.
To avoid having housekeeping waste time checking the minibar contents every day, some hotels use automated minibar refrigerators that are equipped with sensors. This simply opens a whole different can of worms: the overly sensitive sensors charge a fee if the appliance is accidentally bumped; if a guest so much as removes a bottle of water, changes his or her mind and puts the exact same bottle, unopened, back into the minibar, the sensor registers the removal but not the replacement, and immediately puts a charge on the hotel guest's bill.
In other words, the time consuming, expensive, and morale busting disputes between hotel management and guests continue so long as the minibar exists.
Second of all, food and beverages expire, which means that when savvy hotel guests refuse to indulge in wee-hour snacks and drinks, the perishable stuff gets thrown out when their shelf-life ends. This creates waste and increases the carbon footprint of hotels in terms of energy consumption as well as waste management. This is actually true in any context where food and drinks are involved. When consumers eat at a restaurant, bistro, or cafeteria, they not only pay for the food and drinks they consume, they also pay for the leftovers that get thrown out!
The hotel industry says that minibar items carry a high price tag for all the above reasons, which is why Hilton Worldwide has decided to phase out the minibar altogether.
No matter what the trend, it appears that needing to be cost-savvy and wanting to provide top-notch service and convenience has turned the hotel industry a tad more eco-friendly, even if they didn't set out to be particularly green. This is probably so because saving costs and saving the environment, more often than not, go hand in hand.