Blog by Franck Droin, Hotel Manager Mandarin Oriental Bangkok:
Practical Sustainability: 3 Ways To Make Your Minibar Fresh And Green
Communicating with the world that your organization is taking the lead on sustainability is well and good, but as we all know, making it practical and permanent is easier said than done.
It’s easy to sit through meetings and come to amazing conceptual ideas that eventually fall flat when it comes to implementation. Any hotelier working toward sustainability in their property will know exactly what I mean.
The intention to do good, reduce carbon footprint and environmental damage as well as going more organic is all very noble but not always easy to practically implement. It is my hope that by following all my LinkedIn content and sharing this journey with me of making our luxury hotels more sustainable, you will get practical tips and ideas that you can immediately put to the test.
Of course, every property is different. Many varying factors come into play when one starts making changes within the hotel. Therefore, my suggestions are shared thoughtfully, and I encourage you to use them as a baseline for experimenting and customizing these ideas to serve your specific situation.
Today I want to share how you can finally recreate your mini bar to become more fresh, sustainable, and help tell a new story to your guests. A story that more and more guests are starting to care about – thinking globally and acting locally.
Last year, Skift wrote an article sharing that a new trend is emerging among luxury travelers. “With conscious or responsible trave, travelers are seeking more than just a feeling of being transformed or achieving some sort of personal fulfillment. They want to know that their travels are in some way, just as fulfilling for others, too.”
What better way to provide that experience for your guests than using every resource at your disposal that the guests come into contact with to show that your organizations share the same values. One such resource is the minibar, which many hotels report has been underperforming. With a little creative innovation and the heart to do the right thing for the planet and people, here are three things you can do to turn your minibar into a delightful in-room experience.
Implementing an eco-friendly minibar.
Let your minibar be a creation and showcasing of local talent and producers and eliminate unnecessary products that usually go to waste anyway. Most importantly, consider creating your own brand that’s locally sourced.
Eliminate all plastic products from the minibar and those unpopular products that are usually going to waste for one reason or another.
Replace all imported juices with your own. Make sure it is organic, made locally, and the best you can source. This is what we’ve done for our minibars. We are sourcing, only natural, and locally made juices.
Create your own packaging and assorted snacks. Not only is this fresh and sustainable, but it’s also an excellent way for your guests to have a taste of the local products of your region.
These small and simple steps are essentially what we’ve done at our iconic MOBKK hotel. We replaced all imported juices, created our own organic brand, and assorted snack products. Then introduced two Thai local spirits brands (Gin & Rum) as part of the minibar experience.
These were produced exclusively for MOBKK and not only allowed our guests to try something local and feel special for getting something exclusively made for them, but it has also allowed us to reduce carbon footprint.
The results for far:
We’ve experienced very positive and engaging feedback from our guests who now seem eager to utilize the minibar. In fact, we’ve had a 60% increase in sales compared to last year. The exclusive and local in-room bar experience has enabled us to reduce our carbon footprint, support local talent, and simultaneously delight our guests.
For those conscious luxury travelers who want to feel like their experiences enhance and improve the environment and others around them, it doesn’t get any better than that!
Now, don’t get me wrong. These are only the beginning steps of a long journey ahead for all of us. We are far from nailing it perfectly but being able to find practical ways that start to create a win-win for all people and our planet is very satisfying and paves the way for a future we can all enjoy.
Now it’s your turn. How are you going to turn your minibar into something fresh, sustainable, and appealing to your guests?
To creating a sustainable future!
Written by Franck Droin
Hotel Manager of Mandarin Oriental Bangkok