Hotel Online  Special Report

Bartech Announces World's First Wireless Minibar
Installation at the Historic Willard
InterContinental Hotel

- Wireless Minibar Network Provides Infrastructure for High-Speed
Internet Access throughout 341-room property -

BWI CORRIDOR, MD (February 2, 2004) – Bartech Systems International, the world’s leading provider of automated minibars, announced today that it has installed the world’s first wireless minibar network at the world famous Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Bartech’s e-fridges wireless system avoids the cost and disruption of hard wiring the hotel while providing a wireless infrastructure for future service applications. 

The Bartech’s e-fridge wireless network connects all of the Willard’s 341 rooms on 12 floors.  Each e-fridge minibar is given an IP address, which allows it to communicate with Bartech’s central unit through wireless access points.  The result is continuous real-time information exchange between the Bartech refreshment center and the Willard’s guestroom accounting software or Property Management System (PMS). 

E-fridge automated minibar units are equipped with sensors on which product is placed. When a guest removes an item, the system instantly sends a message to the hotel’s Property Management System (PMS) to record the charge.  If the item is replaced within a pre-set time period -- typically 30 seconds -- it is not recorded as consumed, however, hotel staff is alerted to check the product for tampering. 

"We selected Bartech because of its wireless solution," said Pascal Forotti, executive assistant manager of The Willard.  "As an immediate benefit, the 

Wireless Bartech e-fridge comes
with standard or custom finishes
e-fridge will increase our refreshment revenues and enhance guest satisfaction as it streamlines the billing process.  In the longer term, we now have an infrastructure that we can use to offer complimentary wireless Internet in each of our 341 guest rooms, instead of the wired high speed access that is currently available."    The Willard Hotel currently offers wireless capacities to its guests in all public areas.

The Willard had been using traditional honor minibars that required the guest or minibar attendants to record product usage.  The manual system resulted in lost revenues due to human error and missed charges.  By moving to an automated system, the Willard expects to increase refreshment revenues by capturing all transactions and reducing spoilage through Bartech’s expiration date control feature.

“The Willard is a hospitality leader that is able to maintain its rich, classic style while introducing the latest technology capabilities to serve its guests,” commented Daniel Cohen, president of Bartech Systems International.   “It is natural that the Willard be the first hotel to implement this first-to-market technology that helps preserve the ambiance of the property while providing an infrastructure for additional wireless applications.” 

Once a hotel has installed a wireless system, it will be able to capitalize on this infrastructure and offer high-speed wireless Internet access in each room as well as other wireless guest services such as housekeeping and in-room energy controls. Installing a wireless system provides a cost savings for hotels that already have a wireless system in place by reducing installation and networking costs. 

About the Willard Intercontinental Hotel

The historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel is the "Grande Dame" of American hotels. It’s a Washington institution that has hosted almost every U.S. president since Zachary Taylor in 1850. It was here that Julia Ward Howe wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", where Abraham Lincoln lived for a month, where, in the grand lobby, President Ulysses S. Grant coined the term "Lobbyist", and where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King finished his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. From its inception to this day, the Willard has been a major force in the social and political life of Washington, DC.  For more information, visit or contact Barbara Bahny at 202.637.7309 or  .

About Bartech

Bartech Systems International is headquartered in Millersville, MD and has more than 100,000 installations in 34 countries.  With e-fridge units installed in more than 20,000 U.S. hotel rooms, Bartech is the leading provider of automatic mini-bars for chain and independent hotels in the United States.  Its customers include the Bellagio Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, Embassy Suites Logan Airport – Boston, Mirage Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, Stein Eriksen – Park City, Hyatt Regency – New York, Sheraton Universal – Los Angeles, Iroquois Hotel – New York. For more information on Bartech Systems International, log onto or contact Katrina Pruitt-Andrews at 301.604.7377 or


Katrina Pruitt-Andrews 
KPA Marketing & PR

Also See: Bartech Completes Multi-million Dollar Installation of Automated Mini-Bars in World's Largest Five Diamond Casino Hotel / Jan 2002

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