A new alcoholic drinks vending machine is set to call time on the traditional hotel mini bar.
The hotel mini bar has long been a source of problems between staff and guests making check-out a more complicated and sometimes unpleasant experience. Customers often feel they’re being ripped off and will go to great lengths to avoid paying their bills. For hotels, mini bars are expensive to run, they use up limited room space and restocking takes up valuable staff time.
And when it comes to drinks based room service, guests don’t welcome expensive tray charges, long wait times and the pressure to tip. The service also uses up valuable staff time.
But now there’s a simple and effective alternative from London based business VendEase who already supply UK hotels with vending units that provide everyday essentials and snacks. Their new automatic alcoholic drinks dispenser is a hassle free, safe and affordable way to provide guests with alcoholic drinks.
“We have developed a piece of software which allows for age control so the machine won’t operate unless a four digit PIN code is entered,” says VendEase Founder Dave Berman.
“When the customer checks in, they are given an access code for the alcohol vending machine in the same way that they are given a code to access the hotel’s WiFi. The cost of the product will then be charged directly to the customer’s credit card. “
All sales go to the hotel
“The hotel simply pays us a monthly rental fee for the machine, which includes installation, training and all maintenance plus a helpline. All sales generated go directly to the hotel. It’s an additional way for the hotel to sell alcohol to their guests and they can stock it accordingly, setting their own price point. The unit can also provide detailed sales data giving F&B departments full control and visibility over what has sold.”
The dispenser simply requires a standard power outlet, all data is sent over the mobile phone network meaning it can be used in busy areas such as hotel receptions and lift lobbies. The dispenser has just launched in selected central London venues and will eventually be rolled out nationwide.
“This automated way of buying alcohol really appeals to the whole ‘grab and go’ culture,” says Dave. “Customers may be returning to their room after a busy day with colleagues and just want a bit of time to themselves. They may not want to sit in a crowded bar but just fancy a cold white wine or beer in the comfort of their room. The VendEase machine offers the ideal solution.”