Last updated: 10:33 AM ET, Thu May 14 2015

Are High Prices Killing the Mini-Bar?

Hotel & Resort | Donald Wood | May 14, 2015

Are High Prices Killing the Mini-Bar?

One of the worst parts of a vacation or business trip can be indulging on the overpriced amenities found in the mini-bar of many rooms. For many hotels, the now archaic mini-bars are slowing being removed.

According to, the drinks and food items inside the mini-bars are ridiculously overpriced, from a Hershey’s bar being marked up 77 percent to $3 to a bag of Lay’s potato chips being marked up 300 percent to $5.

As if the average price for food wasn’t expensive enough, a bottle of water is marked up 100 percent from $2.99 to $6 and a bottle of Stella Artois beer is marked up 370 percent from $1.49 to $7.

Add in that a 375 milliliter bottle of Skyy Vodka that normally costs $9.99 now averages a $30 price tag in American hotels, and there is no question as to why people would rather purchase items before they check in or go without the amenities.

Founder Collective shared an image on Twitter of the mark-up chart:

While there are many problems with the mini-bar system, at the very core of the discussion are the prices. The concept of buying items in your room would not be met with such resistance if the asking prices were fairer.

Because of these high prices, the mini-fridge's popularity has waned and most Hyatt and Hilton locations have already removed them. In a 2013 study by Trip Advisor, mini-bars were voted the least important amenity in a hotel room. Only 21 percent of hotel visitors wanted a mini-bar in their room.


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