We asked ourselves what a small refrigerator was different from a minibar, and the truth is that from the technical point of view there are no visible differences, but there are differences according to the social use acquired by one or the other, influencing the connotation of the word according to the Spanish-speaking country where mentioned.
Both are an industrial invention to keep beverages and foods at low temperatures according to the principles of thermodynamics, a rectangular object that is extracted heat using refrigeration techniques, either by absorption, compression, or peltier, a mixture of the first two.
The main difference is the use to which the refrigerator appliance is destined, or the use in itself that it will have.
A minibar is a minibar because it will be used by a hotel to provide cold drinks to its guests, mainly. "Mini", small refreshment bar at the foot of the bed, maximum comfort, simplicity of use.
However, the same equipment, perhaps less stylized in design, but with the same function of cooling what you put inside, can be called "small refrigerator" in countries like Mexico, or as it is used in rooms of homes, garages, etc. .
The minibar, another service of the hotel room
Another curiosity If we think Marketing has more hook for a Hotel call the team "Minibar" than "refrigerator." As simple as that. The word "fridge" does not invite to drink. But everything that carries the word "bar" provokes a reflex act of leisure, well-being, drink, alcohol, party ...
As an additional feature, it should be remembered that minibar drinks in most hotels must be paid for, although this service can be complementary in certain establishments, or in suites or superior rooms.
Hotel minibars can rarely be purchased in traditional sales outlets, where the product offered is the aforementioned small fridge. However, OMNITEC SYSTEMS has over 25 years of experience of providing hotels throughout the world with the minibars you can find on this website.
Minibars can use different technologies (e.g. absorption, heat absorption and silent compression) and are available in various sizes and capacities, which is important when considering the different needs of hotel accommodation.
Finally, there are some minibar peculiarities which are crucial for hotels:
- Accessories: Locks or casters can be added to minibar models; these are rarely seen on a small domestic fridge.
- Silent system: The minibar is usually in the same room the guest sleeps in, so minibars incorporate completely silent systems.
- High energy efficiency: An inefficient minibar in every room can result in a significant expense for a hotel. Therefore, low electricity consumption is important.
The small fridge: a compact appliance
A small refrigerator is just that: a small refrigerator. Ideal for kitchens with little space, as it can be inserted in the space under the kitchen counter. As it is for domestic use, it has a number of differences to a minibar:
- Food compartments: Small fridges usually have drawers for fruit and vegetables, while a minibar focuses on spaces for drinks. Keep in mind that hotel minibars usually offer only refreshments, apart from the occasional cold snack.
- Capacity: Mini-fridges usually have a capacity of around 100 L. There are however very small models, very similar to a minibar, which are, in fact, often used to store drinks, but at home. Minibars tend to be smaller (from about 25 L in capacity) and typically never exceed 100 L.
It is also hard to imagine that, before the industrial revolution and the development of technology, a “refrigerator” was simply a place where large amounts of snow accumulated. Snow was kept in caves and giant holes, and was used to keep food fresh for as long as possible. An example of this is found in La Cañada de Verich, in Aragón, Spain, where there are natural “refrigerators” maintained and open to visitors; a reminder of the ancestors of the “Minibar”.