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:
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.