How to Make the Workplace More Fun & Engaging

Employees having fun in the office

Let’s get one thing straight: work shouldn’t be a drag. Sure, employees are there to do a specific job and help the company succeed, but it shouldn’t be an accomplishment just to make into the office. After all, they spend most of their waking hours during the week at work, so why not make it a place that’s exciting? Or where employees look forward to going each day? It might sound counterproductive, but a fun workplace can actually increase productivity.

So if you’re looking for ways to add a little fun to your workplace, here are some ideas to get you started.

7 Ways to Make Your Office Fun

1. Make People Laugh

When’s the last time you laughed–really laughed–at work? Chances are it was a long time ago. Even the most serious of jobs need a little humor every now and then. Laughing has some great benefits. Try instituting a humor bulletin board where employees can pin cartoons or jokes for others to see.

2. Team Building Activities

A good manager can recognize when their team is just not, well, a team. One of the best ways to build a cohesive unit is through team building exercises. These activities foster positive relationships among your employees that lead to better employee relationships and an increase in productivity. Try a group lunch outside of the office, or an after-work activities like bowling or trivia.

3. Celebrate Birthdays

Who doesn’t like birthday parties? Depending on how large or small your office is, you can either celebrate individual birthdays, or have a party once a month to celebrate multiple birthdays at one time. You can even include a fun little game for everyone to play.

4. Decorate

Nobody likes to feel like they’re just another face in the crowd. Promoting individualism is great for morale. One way to do this is by allowing employees to decorate their workspace. Encourage them to get creative and to create a space that’s unique to their personality.

5. Create an Engaging Break Room

We’ve written about the benefits of an engaging break room before, and it’s always high on the list of what makes a workplace fun. Free snacks, comfy chairs, and a unique design encourage employees to mix and mingle, which further develops their work relationships with other employees.

6. Company Lunches

Depending on the size of your company, you can do weekly or monthly lunches for the whole office. This is a great way to get employees from various departments to sit down together and engage in conversations outside of work topics. It’s great for morale.

7. Host Contests

Some healthy competition is good for the soul. Whether it’s a raffle of sorts or a chili cook-off, a little contest from time to time spices things up for employees. Just be sure to take a quick survey to see which type of contests most people are interested in. Not everyone will like the same ones.

A Quick Guide to Buying Snacks for Your Office

Employee Perks Snacks

One of the biggest challenges that companies big and small face is keeping employees happy. The change in dynamics of the workplace in recent years has potentially made it even more difficult, that change being what’s commonly referred to as perks. Companies are no longer fighting for customers, but for employees as well. In order to attract the best candidates, companies are raising the stakes by offering a multitude of perks such as:

  • Remote working schedules
  • Transportation reimbursement
  • On-site fitness centers

But one of the biggest perks is providing access to free beverages and snacks. As noted in this Time article, 10% of employees are more likely to be happy with their employers when free snacks are offered. And, perhaps to no surprise, access to free food in the office is most important to millennials. As they are now the largest group in the workforce, passing Generation-Xers, office managers should take heed in these statistics to help attract (and keep) the best employees for your business.

Providing snacks to help employees get through the workday is quickly becoming standard practice, so where do you begin?

Different Ways to Purchase Snacks

There are different ways to get snacks for your office. How your business operates, and the time and money available, will largely determine what approach you take to providing free snacks for employees. Here are three options:

Vending Machines

Vending machines are the old school way of providing snacks and beverages for employees. Even though most vending machines require payment for items, you can avoid this by purchasing the equipment and maintaining it yourself, or subsidizing the items and have a vending company service the machines.

Grocery Shopping

Some offices have a designated employee that will go grocery shopping for everyone. This person will go to a local grocery store as often as necessary to get the items requested. Wholesalers like Costco and Sam’s Club are good for this strategy because you can buy product in bulk and save money.

These two options might work well for certain offices, but they aren’t without one major shortcoming: they’re time-consuming. It takes at least a couple of hours to go grocery shopping, and vending machines can be a hassle to manager on your own.

That’s where the third option comes in.

Snack Delivery Service

Many companies are finding office coffee and refreshment services as the answer to providing snacks. With this option, you have access to a full range of snacks, beverages, and coffee products that can be delivered right to your office.

Which Approach to Offering Free Snacks is Right For Your Office?

There are some important questions to ask before making a final decision about how your company will go about providing beverages and snacks for your employees.

  • What is your budget?
  • How much time can you allot to ordering snacks?
  • What kind of items do your employees want?

The cost of getting product delivered to your location varies and will largely depend on how many employees are in your office, and the time it takes to get all the items and put them on the shelves or in the cabinets needs to be considered. You’ll want to take a survey from your employees and see what kind of drinks and snacks they like. The answers to these questions will guide you towards a final decision.

Just Be Sure To Avoid These Mistakes

Mistake # 1: Choosing a service that delivers in bulk.

Some services can provide all the items you want, but can only deliver in large quantities. Unless you have the space to store all the extra product, this approach can be cumbersome. It could also lead to expired products if employees aren’t going through them fast enough.

Mistake # 2: Not keeping track of your orders.

When signing up for an office coffee or snack delivery service, you want an easy way to keep records of everything you purchased. This makes it easy for accounting to process invoices, and for insights into what type of products your employees prefer. A platform like Supply Wizards provides an easy way to order and track your purchases.

Where to From Here?

You should have a pretty good idea of what direction your office wants to take when it comes to providing snacks and beverages for employees. Each one is a good choice if it works for your office. Whichever path you choose, just be sure that it benefits employees and the business altogether.

5 Simple Tips to Make Your Company Break Room More Engaging

Google’s doing it. Facebook’s doing it. Your competitors are doing it. Everyone’s doing it: creating a company break room that resembles more of a lounge or coffee shop than a, well, break room. While you might scoff at the idea at first and think, “employees are here to work, not relax or play,” you’d be remiss not to consider the benefits of a well-designed break room:

  • Increased productivity
  • Impressing clients
  • Boosting morale
  • Promoting socialization among employees

Wait…what? How does a break room that encourages socializing lead to a more productive workplace?

Glad you asked. See, it’s all about engagement. The more engaged your employees are, the more productive they tend to be. And, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace, a whopping 70% of workers are disengaged. Not good.

What is good, however, is that there are ways to improve engagement among your employees…your break room being one of them. So here are some quick tips to help your create a break room that your employees will love.

5 Ways to Create a More Engaging Company Break Room

1. Free Snacks & Coffee

While this might seem like a costly endeavor, it’s really an investment. Employees will feel more valued and develop a stronger connection with your organization. This connection leads to better engagement, and better engagement leads to higher productivity. Companies are increasingly embracing the pantry system, wherein they can order wholesale snacks and supplies and have them delivered to their office then keep them stocked in their own break rooms.

2. Games & Entertainment

Sometimes you just need to let out a little stress. What better way than a quick game of ping-pong with a colleague, or getting lost for a few minutes in a video game. New research shows that such activities can actually improve productivity while helping relieve stress. Plus, it can build a sense of camaraderie among employees, fostering stronger work relationships.

3. Stimulating Decor

Those big tech companies probably spent a lot of money on their break room design. We’re not saying that’s what needs to be done, but how the room is designed does play an important role in how effective it is in keeping employees engaged. Here are a few simple ways to achieve this:

  • Natural elements (plants, trees, etc.)
  • Different color wall paint
  • Stimulating artwork

The break room needs to have a different feel to it than the rest of the office so employees get the sense they’re getting away from work for a few minutes and actually taking a break.

4. Comfortable Seating

While all these elements work together in harmony, comfortable seating is perhaps the key ingredient. Invest in some comfy, plush seating. None of that hard plastic or wooden stuff. A chair that envelops you in it’s plushy goodness like a venus fly trap made of pillows is what you’re after.

5. Books & Magazines

Good ones. Not the stuff you see at your dentist’s office that people flip through only to find the sample strip of the latest Gucci fragrance. (Except for maybe Highlights.) Take a survey and see what people like…what their interests are. Encourage everyone to bring in the latest book they finished to share. While there won’t be time to start and finish a novel in one sitting, even just reading for a few minutes can help lower stress, which is what your employees need from time to time.




How to Gain Customer Loyalty for Your Hotel

The success of a hotel is largely dependent on customer loyalty. With an overwhelming abundance of choices, travelers can easily go elsewhere if their experience at a hotel was ‘meh’…or worse, just plain bad. New technology, trends, and services like AirBnB have set the bar pretty high for convenience and guest experience. So what’s a hotel manager to do? Here are some tips to help gain customer loyalty for your hotel.

Focus on Guest Experience

This doesn’t just mean more smiles and better customer service. You need to think about the guest’s journey in its entirety–from booking to returning home. Make sure it’s easy for guests to book their stay. Once they do, stay in touch with them. Send follow up emails about their upcoming trip and provide relevant information, such as food and entertainment suggestions. Offering a simple survey during the booking process can help. For example, find out what the reason for their visit will be, business or pleasure. This can help you provide information that’s specific to their needs.


For guests to be loyal to your brand, they need a reason to be loyal. After all, consumers always want to know what’s in it for them. A few ideas to keep them coming back (or booking direct) include:

  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Complimentary tickets to nearby attractions
  • Flexible check-in times

Give them a reason to come back, and they will.

Add a Personal Touch

If you haven’t been relying on data from your guests, then it’s certainly time. Information is an important factor in providing guests with the sort of personalized experience many consumers now want. Keep information on hand from guests, so when they do return, you will know what they’re looking for when they stay at your hotel. This provides guests with the feeling that your entire operation is there just for them.

Ask for Feedback

A survey is the best way to get feedback. But we’re not talking about writing down random questions and mailing them out, then waiting for people to respond. Remember: this is the age of big data. You need to reach the right people at the right time with the right questions. How do you do that? Research. According to this research, 35% of guests prefer to fill out a survey within a few days after their stay. And of those people, 59% are female and 41% are male. See where this is going? Get the right information from guests and take action to make the necessary improvements.





Healthy Items to Keep in Your Hotel Pantry

Hotel Pantry Installation

People are eating healthier these days, and not just because it’s the new year. According to this study, people from all over the world have become more conscious about their eating habits, trying to make better and healthier choices with their food. Here are some key facts from the research:

  • 49% of people who participated in the study believe they’re overweight, and 50% are trying to lose weight
  • people are more likely than ever to seek fresh, natural, or minimally processed foods
  • millennials are more likely to pay higher prices for healthier foods
  • healthy categories are growing faster than indulgent ones

This is not to say people have stopped eating sweet and salty snacks like chips and candy bars all together. But it’s a trend that the food and beverage industry has noticed and will have to take into account to keep up with consumer demands.

So what does it have to do with your hotel? It’s important to take note of these trends when purchasing wholesale snacks for your hotel pantry. As a manager, your focus is always on accommodating guests. So if they want healthier choices from the pantry, give them some.

10 Items to Stock in Your Hotel Pantry for Health-Conscious Guests

1. Hormel Chili Cups

The meat in chili is a good source of protein, and the beans provide iron. Combined with low carbs, this is a great alternative meal for guests.

2. Tuna Kit

Tuna fish, in addition to being high in protein, contains several essential vitamins and minerals to keep guests going.

3. Lean Cuisines

Lean Cuisine is great for those trying to keep calories to a minimum.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another great food that provides plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber.

5. Granola Bars

A great alternative to a candy bar, granola bars like those from Nature Valley provide a good source of fiber and protein.

6. Nuts

One of the best heart-healthy snacks, nuts are high in protein and provide unsaturated fats.

7. Fig Newtons

Fig Newtons contain real fruit and are high in fiber.

8. Pretzels

For guests in the mood for some chips but don’t want the fat content they come with, offer them some pretzels. They’re low in fat and tasty!

9. Baked Lay’s Chips

But if you do provide chips, include the line of Baked Lay’s from Frito Lay. They have up to 80% less fat than regular potato chips.

10. Dole Fruit Cups

Dole fruit cups are low in calories and contain less sugar than traditional fruit cups.

Guests recognize that they won’t have access to all the fresh foods available to them in their own homes, but these items make it easier for them to keep up with their health and fitness goals while traveling.

3 Hotel Pantry Merchandising Tips for More Sales

items in hotel pantry

Ask any retail professional and they’ll tell you that visual merchandising is one of the most important elements to selling products. The same holds true for your hotel pantry. Even though it’s not a full-sized grocery store, you’d be remiss not to approach its design and management strategically. After all, your pantry isn’t there simply to take up space. It’s a convenience for guests and an opportunity to generate more revenue for your hotel. That said, here are three best practices to help you organize your pantry so guests find it inviting and useful.

3 Merchandising Tips for Your Hotel Pantry

1. First Impressions

Every hotel has its own brand and character, and this should be reflected in the pantry as well. Some hotels might have to follow corporate guidelines with how their pantry is designed, but either way it should be visually appealing and compliment the design of the hotel to help draw in guests. Essentially, you want to make a stunning first impression for guests once they step into the lobby, so be sure the pantry has the same appeal.

2. Shelf Placement

When it comes to stocking the shelves, it’s important not to make guests have to search for items. Organize them logically–group products by type. For example, don’t scatter candy among potato chips, or sundry items among fresh fruit. Guests, particularly business travelers, are often in a hurry. Make it easy for them to find what they want.

High-impulse products should sit at eye level to maximize customer reach. Many hotel guests aren’t there for the pantry, but having items they would purchase off a whim can generate more sales. Generic products that would most likely be sought out and purchased regardless of placement should be stocked on bottom shelves.

3. Fresh Food

Because of the short shelf-life of fruits and vegetables, the proper merchandising of fresh food in your pantry is important. They need to be as visible as possible so guests will purchase them. Take advantage of the various colors of these items and place them together in a visually appealing way. For example, alternate green-colored items with reds, yellows, or oranges.

10 Delicious Frozen Meals to Offer in Your Hotel Pantry

After a long day of traveling, hotel guests are often tired and hungry. Sometimes just the thought of going out somewhere to find a simple meal can be a drag. That’s where the advantage of a hotel pantry comes into play. No longer do they have to search for a place to grab a quick dinner if they’re exhausted–it’s waiting for them in the lobby! Guests can now get tasty and nutritional meals without leaving the premises.

If your hotel recently had a pantry installed and you find yourself overwhelmed with the plethora of wholesale snacks to choose from, we’ve put together a list of some of the more popular meals you can offer your bleary-eyed guests to help you out. Consider choosing any (or all) of these to put in your pantry.

10 Frozen Meals to Stock in Your Hotel Pantry

1. Lean Cuisine Swedish Meatballs

One of Lean Cuisine’s most popular dishes, the Swedish Meatballs should be a staple of your pantry. Nutrition facts: 290 calories, 6g fat, 610mg sodium, 44g carbs, 16g protein.

2. Lean Cuisine Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Creamy Alfredo sauce, tender chicken and broccoli…guests can bring the Italian restaurant to their room. Nutrition facts: 280 calories, 4g fat, 600mg sodium, 45g carbs, 17g protein.

3. Lean Cuisine Roasted Turkey & Vegetables

Turkey and vegetables in gravy is comfort food at its best. You can’t go wrong with having this classic in your pantry. Nutrition facts: 190 calories, 6g fat, 580mg sodium, 18g carbs, 15g protein.

4. Digiorno Personal Four Cheese Pizza

Guests could order pizza, but why would they if Digiorno available right downstairs? Nutrition facts: 300 calories, 17g fat, 440g sodium, 26g carbs, 11g protein.

5. Red Baron Pepperoni Pizza

Another tasty pizza option is Red Baron. Guests love their pepperoni pizza. Nutrition facts: 560 calories, 20g fat, 44g carbs, 19g protein.

6. Stouffer’s Chicken in BBQ Sauce

Stouffer’s is among the best for frozen meals, and their chicken in barbecue sauce does not disappoint. Nutrition facts: 430 calories, 19g fat, 1120mg sodium, 42g carbs, 23g protein.

7. Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese

What would your hotel pantry be without this classic? It’s always a guest favorite. Nutrition facts: 340 calories, 16g fat, 820mg sodium, 33g carbs, 15g protein.

8. Stouffer’s Chicken a la King

This delicious blend of tender chicken, rice, and vegetables is sure to satisfy your guests’ hunger. Nutrition facts: 360 calories, 12g fat, 800mg sodium, 44g carbs, 18g protein.

9. Hot Pockets Chicken Melt with Bacon

The Chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese melt from Hot Pockets is a great seller for any hotel pantry. Nutrition facts: 300 calories, 11g fat, 610mg sodium, 36g carbs, 12g protein.

10. Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza

When guests are on the fly, the Pepperoni Pizza option from Hot Pockets is always a good choice. Nutrition facts: 360 calories, 17g fat, 630mg sodium, 44g carbs, 10g protein.