What Millennials Seek in Their Hotel Experience

The sheer mention of millennials conjures up images of young adults walking around with their faces glued to their phones, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. While it might give some reason to laugh, hotel managers would be remiss not to include them in their strategies for improving the guest experience. Why? Because facts:

So what exactly does a millennial look for in a hotel experience? Two things: convenience and personalized experience. What that means varies depending on where they are in the lifecycle of their trip.


Millennials have a different approach to shopping, and it almost always begins with their phone. That means your hotel’s website needs to be able to catch their attention. Quickly. Your website has to be optimized for this type of search and easy to navigate. Information about pricing, local attractions, and even maps or guides should be readily available. It’s inconvenient to have to search three different websites for all of this information. Provide it all in one place. It will keep them engaged and–as millennials are more likely to book a trip on impulse–more likely to book a room.


Every guest should feel like the hotel has been anxiously awaiting their arrival. This goes beyond just millennials, but their desire for personalized experiences accentuate this element. Personalization in this context is about establishing a relationship, a real connection with your hotel. While this ultimately begins during the booking stage, it’s essential to flawlessly transition from a digital touchpoint to a human one.

Everyone on your staff, from valet to bellman to front desk personnel, should work together as a team to provide this connection. And it starts with communication. The valet attendant should get the name of the guest and give it to the bellman, who then provides the name to the front desk. By the time the guest checks in, everyone knows their name and they’ve only told one person.


Millennials rely on various modes of technology to get through their day, be it for work or pleasure. That carries over into what they want from their hotel experience. With mobile technology so prevalent among this group, it would behoove your hotel to invest in offering guests a way to access hotel amenities. Make as much as possible accessible through mobile technology. Room service should be a click away, not a phone call where they’re put on hold.

Food options should also be convenient, which is why many hotels have embraced pantries in their lobbies to offer guests a quick snack or items like toothbrushes or iPhone chargers that guests could’ve easily left at home. Remember, convenience is key.


Once a guest leaves the hotel doesn’t mean the relationship is over. In fact, it’s just beginning. If you want them to come back, or book a room with another hotel in your brand, it’s imperative to stay in touch. Emails and social media are great ways to engage the millennial audience. You might think it’s too intrusive, but millennials expect it. If you fail to continue the relationship, you could loose them as a future guest.

5 Questions to Ask When Installing a Hotel Pantry

Questions about hotel pantry

As consumer trends shift towards providing as much convenience for customers as possible, many hotel brands are embracing the pantry as a way to provide guests with food, beverages, and other items they may need during their stay. If you’re considering having a pantry installed, here are five key questions to ask before you do.

1. Who will install the cabinetry and shelves?

One of the benefits of installing a hotel pantry is providing a display that’s appealing to guests. Dark mahogany shelving and sleek countertops help create a mood for your lobby area. When considering a pantry, you’ll need to decide who will install these displays. There are companies who focus on this type of cabinetry, such as Enterprise Displays. Sometimes local vending companies have their own system for installing markets, so if you’re already using vending services you can ask that supplier. Just be sure to choose a display that fits with your overall interior design goals.

2. How will you get supplies?

There are different ways to get wholesale products for a pantry. Some managers will buy the items themselves from local stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. While most products can be purchased from those stores, it’s not the most efficient way to get the items you need. There are providers of wholesale goods that will deliver to your location, but the downside is that they’re not local, so it can take several days or more before the product is delivered. A service like Supply Wizards uses a network of preferred full-line operators who can deliver items in 1-2 days, in addition to providing a software platform for ordering and managing inventory.

3. What kind of supplies should you offer guests?

Another main benefit of a pantry is that it allows your hotel to offer more products. With vending machines, you’re limited to certain items because of the design of the equipment. But with a pantry, you fit items large and small on a shelf. Now that you have more room, what do you sell? We suggest choosing products in these core categories:

  • Beverages
  • Snacks
  • Meals
  • Frozen snacks
  • Sundries

Take a quick survey of what items were most popular in your vending machines and expand from there, adding products like ice cream, mac-n-cheese, and soups. For sundry products, think about what someone might need while staying at your hotel: a toothbrush, OTC medicines, razor blades, and phone chargers. These are all items they could’ve left at home by mistake.

4. Who will manage the pantry?

As a hotel manager, you’ll most likely be ultimately responsible for the overall pantry operation. But unless you’re there 24/7, you’ll need to designate other staff members to help manage the pantry. That includes purchasing products, checking inventory, and checking out guests. Like many other aspects of managing a hotel, the pantry will be a team effort. How well each member does their part will affect the success of the pantry.

5. What will your budget be?

Establishing a budget is a big concern for many managers. How much should you spend on shelving and cabinets? On snacks? Beverages? Sundries? It can be overwhelming to prepare for installing a pantry. For products, you can let the sales dictate how much you spend. See how they go for the first month. Once you have an idea of what sells (or doesn’t), adjust your purchasing accordingly. Keep in mind that empty shelves are unsightly to guests, so be sure to always keep them full with product.

With the hardware, it’s important to keep quality in mind. The last thing you want are shelves or cabinets that fall apart after a short time. While it might seem expensive at first, a properly managed hotel pantry can yield excellent returns, with earnings of $2k per month or more for some hotels! Eventually, the sales from your pantry will help pay for itself…and some.