Avoid these mistakes with your hotel pantry

3 Hotel Pantry Mistakes That Are Costing You Sales

When managed correctly, a hotel pantry can add significant revenue to your bottom line. Its inherent convenience attracts more guests and leads to more purchases of their favorite snack or beverage, often on a whim.

But if you don’t see your pantry for what it is–a potential powerhouse of additional income for your hotel–you’re likely to miss out on maximizing profits. You could also risk wasting money and disrupting your guests’ experience, which does not bode well for loyalty, referrals, and ultimately revenue.

Here are three common mistakes we see hotels make with their pantry…

1. Not Providing Enough Variety

Today’s consumer likes options. They don’t want to be limited in what they can do, see, purchase, or experience. And when it comes to your hotel pantry, guests don’t want to be limited in what they can eat or drink; they want the ability to choose from a near-endless array of items. If your pantry’s list of products is too shallow, you can increase the chances of guests simply ignoring the pantry altogether.

To provide variety, consider the three main groups of products:

  • Sweet
  • Salty
  • Healthy

When you purchase products for your pantry, be sure to get several options from each category. That way you can offer a full range of items that appeal to all your guests. It’s also important to consider other factors, such as the season. During the fall, for example, pumpkin spice is a popular flavor and peppermint for the holidays.

2. Not Merchandising Correctly

Let’s say you do have a nice variety of products in your hotel pantry. Are the items placed on the shelves in a logical way? Are they organized by groups to help guests easily find their particular craving?

We understand that you’re a hospitality professional, not a retail wizard. But much of the magic of increasing retail revenue lies in how the merchandise is put on the shelves. Companies like Target and Wal-Mart are successful (at least in part) because of their strategic approach to merchandising.

For your pantry, it’s important to group items appropriately. You don’t want the shelves to look like they were stocked randomly. Keep each category of products grouped together. This makes it more appealing and easier for guests to find what they want. Creating a planogram can help you with this. Additionally, proper merchandising can lead to more impulse buys.

3. Too Many Bare Shelves

How do you feel walking into a store, eager to purchase an item, only to find half the shelves empty? Does it make you feel welcomed? Comfortable? Most likely not. You probably question the management, wondering why or how they could allow their store to look so bare, and the quality of the items themselves.

The same principle applies to your hotel pantry. It’s not a welcoming sight for guests, observing what equates to a mini convenience store with bare shelves. This is why it’s important to take managing your pantry seriously.

The biggest reason, we find, for routinely empty shelves is because hotel staff is strapped for time or had a busy weekend and still has another week before their next bulk order arrives. At Supply Wizards, our platform is designed to connect you to a local supplier in your area that allows for quick deliveries. So when you run out of items, you can replenish your shelves within days (sometimes hours) versus weeks.

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.


3 Reasons Why Your Hotel Pantry Benefits From Brand Name Items

Use brand names for your hotel pantry

Successful hotel pantry management depends on a lot of elements. Among the most important is providing brand name items for guests. Even though it’s tempting to buy generic products to save some money up front, you stand to make more money by using branded items. Below are three reasons why.

3 Reasons to use Brand Name Products in Your Hotel Pantry

1. Brand Recognition

When someone gets a desire for a certain product, whether it be an ice-cold, fizzy soda or a particular type of snack, they’re not thinking of just any old soft drink or bag of chips. They want their favorite. And when they see the logo or uniquely shaped package on the shelf, there’s a good chance they’ll make a purchase. This is called brand recognition.

So, what does this have to do with your hotel pantry?

Let’s say a guest named John just arrived at your hotel. He’s been traveling all day. He’s probably tired and just wants to relax while watching some television for a little bit, then he realizes he wants a soda and a snack.

He remembers passing by the pantry near the lobby and saw the bottles of Coke in the cooler and the Doritos on the shelf–his favorite. There’s a good chance he’ll go purchase those items not just because they’re his favorite, but also because he knows what he’ll get.

Do you think the same would happen with generic, store-brand items?

Probably not. That’s the power and effectiveness of brand recognition. Fill your pantry with recognizable brands and guests will flock to it, increasing the revenue from your pantry.

2. Consumer Trust

The big brand names you see in any market have a huge following. Think about it: Apple, Nike, Delta…whatever the market, those big brands have a huge customer base and loyal following. This doesn’t happen on accident.

Those companies spend an enormous amount of time and money on ensuring they provide the best product or service they can offer. Apple’s products deliver on user experience. Nike’s apparel is always comfortable. Delta’s service is top-notch. As a result, customers keep coming back. Why? Because they’ve come to trust these products and services.

The same holds true for choosing the items to sell in your hotel pantry.

While it’s important to save money in whatever way possible, your pantry will be more successful if you offer products that guests know and trust. If your pantry is full of store brand items, guests might not necessarily know what they’re getting for their money. This inevitably results in expired products as they sit on the shelves for too long. Give them what they know and like.

3. Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers will continuously purchase products from their favorite brands regardless of convenience or price. This is great news for your hotel pantry, because branded items allow you to set higher pricing, which can then increase your profit margin from the items sold.

So instead of buying a generic item for $1.00 each and selling them for $1.25, you can pay $1.50 per item and sell it for $2.00.

This doesn’t mean you should set pricing too high (there’s always a limit). But the goal then becomes setting the prices for items sold in your hotel pantry at the highest possible price that customers will pay for them. It works out for both the consumer, who gets what they want, and your hotel, which makes a nice profit.