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Hospitality and Wellness: Why the Mini Bar Needs A Healthy Makeover

Hospitality and Wellness: Why the Mini Bar Needs A Healthy Makeover

If you’ve resumed traveling and have been disappointed by the lack of a mini bar in your hotel room–or the overabundance of sugar-laden or heavily salted snacks in the mini bar you do have–you’re not the only one.

While some hotels have keyed into and targeted the ever-expanding health and wellness passions of their guests by way of fitness centers and spa-like products in their bathrooms, the mini bar is often the last frontier in making guests feel welcome.

Here’s why the hospitality industry needs to give the mini bar a healthy makeover, STAT. 

Today’s traveler has health on their mind 

While the wellness industry was booming well before Covid-19 hit, the pandemic has brought our health into sharp relief, making many of us even more cognisant of the small decisions we make daily that may affect our long term well-being.

Now that travel has once again resumed, it stands to reason that many of us want to do so while remaining healthy and feeling our best while exploring our new surroundings. 

While many hotels are offering “cleaner” options for laundry services and complimentary toiletries, the mini bar (or lack thereof) can be a source of frustration for healthy-minded consumers who arrive tired and hungry and need a little something to tide them over until meal time, or who may want a late night treat that doesn’t leave them feeling bloated or jittery from a heavy salt or sugar load.

Offering healthy options that not only reflect the tastes of today’s health-conscious consumer, but that showcase local brands, is a smart investment. 

The mini bar is a powerful branding tool 

Long overlooked, the mini bar has often functioned as a catch-all for cheap candy, chips, and alcohol that you might find at the corner store or gas station–not exactly the stuff of a wellness lover’s dream, and not high quality enough to justify the mark-up that appears on the incidentals portion of your hotel bill. 

What hotels have often missed, especially in our wellness-focused world, is the opportunity to use their mini bars as branding tools. By partnering with local brands and businesses, hotels could create a mini bar assortment specific to the location of their hotel.

Artisanal treats, locally crafted CBD snacks, even locally sourced teas, coffees, or kombucha could appeal to the wellness lover’s palate while creating an elevated, curated assortment that showcases the flavors of the region.

This creates impactful, full-circle branding opportunities: The guest feels “seen” for their lifestyle choices, the smaller businesses have the opportunity to reach customers they might not otherwise reach, and the hotel gains a reputation as being thoughtful and more personal in how they interact with their guests. 

Wellness doesn’t take a vacation 

Even as we welcome the joy of new travel experiences, we want to feel our best. Wellness doesn’t take a vacation–but it does factor into many of the decisions we make when we’re booking our lodging, activities, and choosing our destinations. 

Traveling, while incredibly rewarding, can be hard on the body. From long drives or flights to changes in time zones, we can sometimes find ourselves feeling sluggish or out of sorts when arriving at our vacation spot. Imagine if the mini bar in our room afforded us the luxury of nourishment or healthy snacking to support our vacation itinerary instead of risking a blood sugar spike or water retention (or worse). 

With all the advances in the wellness industry–from sustainable and clean personal care products to the availability of CBD products–it makes sense that the mini bar would also get a healthy makeover.

Wherever you’re traveling to next, we hope your accommodations actually accommodate your healthy lifestyle. And if they’re not up to speed on your healthy lifestyle just yet, feel free to politely convey your wishes to management.

The hospitality industry will surely catch up with wellness lovers, one CBD-infused healthy snack at a time.