I know, I really shouldn’t read Chris Elliott’s stuff. But it’s kind of like looking at a car accident on the interstate during rush hour — you want to look away but you can’t…
Anyway, this is where Chris Elliott’s latest piece on hotel minibars comes in. Yes, he has a point — they’re overpriced, but they’re costly to operate and nobody is forcing you to consume anything from them. And as he points out, they never turn a profit. I’ll do everything I can to avoid consuming things from the minibar, but when I’m arriving in a foreign city with 100 degree temperatures in the middle of the night, I’d rather have the option to pay $6 for a cold drink than not have the option.
But Chris Elliott disagrees. They’re so overpriced that they should be banned by law:
What can be removed today can make an unwanted comeback tomorrow. No, they need to be banned, if not by company policy, then by law.
But Chris isn’t just concerned about the cost of the minibar contents, but also about your health:
Wouldn’t it be great if a full-service hotel chain bravely stepped forward — publicly and permanently — and said, “We’re done with minibars”?
If not, perhaps it’s time for the government to step in and encourage the hotel industry to do the right thing, if not because it’s good for customers’ wallets, then for their health. Despite a move by some hotels to add healthier options, most still stock junk food.
Despite the disappearance of some minibars, many resorts continue to market these snack traps as a “convenience.” But they’re no more a convenience than cigarette vending machines, which, thanks to strict federal laws, are now all but extinct. No two ways about it — these money-sucking iceboxes aren’t just bad for hotels, they’re bad for you.
Chris, if the whole “advocating” for consumers thing doesn’t work out, you have a bright future running for the mayor of New York!