You’ve seen the success other hotels have had with installing a pantry in the lobby, and you want to do the same. But first, you need to get the approval of senior management or ownership. How do you approach them about it? You certainly don’t want to bring it up in passing, so here are the steps to take to help you pitch the idea of installing a hotel pantry for your location.
1. Show Them How It Benefits Your Hotel
It’s easy to get caught up in explaining how other hotels are using pantries as a way to provide guests with food and beverages. But what ownership will hear is a “they’re doing it, so we should too” kind of argument. That’s not a concrete enough reason. Installing a pantry is small investment, so to get buy-in from your boss you need to show them how it will help your hotel. Get as specific as possible. Take a look at your current program and figure out the problems, then show the pantry will provide solutions. For example, if your hotel has vending, are the machines constantly breaking down? Are guests losing money in them? These issues can be a hassle for both guests and staff. A hotel pantry can help eliminate these problems. Pantries are also great for:
- Greater convenience for guests
- More variety of products
- Increasing ancillary revenue
Once you pinpoint the specific benefits of a hotel pantry for your hotel, it’ll make it easier to convince ownership to consider having one installed.
2. Explain What’s Needed to Do It
We’ve written before about the basic needs for installing a pantry. This is a good starting point to help you determine what’s involved with getting started. But your management and/or ownership will want to know specific costs. For example, you’ll need to figure out how much space you have to install a pantry, then determine how much hardware (shelves and cabinets) you’ll need. You’ll also have to decide how you will stock the shelves with products. Will you have an employee purchase the product from local stores? Will you use an online ordering platform like Supply Wizards?
3. Prepare Visual Aids
Once you’ve shown them what’s involved with installing a pantry, create a presentation with proper visual aids to help persuade them. Visual aids help enhance a presentation and overcome barriers where communication has failed to express your thoughts. Visuals you could use include:
- Images of other hotel pantries
- Cost analysis
4. Prepare to Defend Yourself
Managers are skeptical by nature. If they weren’t, they’d end up making a lot of rash decisions that would have a negative impact. They will likely push back on why a hotel pantry is so necessary. Be sure to prepare yourself for their questions. You can do this in two ways: research as much as you can on the growing demand of hotel pantries, and by practicing your presentation with someone else, either a colleague or a friend.