7 Steps to Hotel Pantry Success
If you don’t make profitability a priority in the pantry, your bottom line will suffer and so will overall guest experience.
Studies indicate that hotels who manage the pantry as simply a guest amenity hoping to break even at year end often fail to provide a satisfying retail offering which leads to low revenue and guest complaints. The incremental revenue achieved when the store is properly merchandised and supplied with quality product offerings is substantial and the guest experience: priceless.
Retail studies show that impulse food buyers primarily shop according to four possible impulses:
By grouping products accordingly on shelves, guests can easily identify their impulse and all available options within that impulse. Keep candy, chocolate, cookies, and treats together, so guests can quickly identify all options in one glance to make a quick and satisfying selection. For smaller categories like Healthy Snacks, create a left to right salty to sweet: Beef Jerky, Almonds, Cashews, Clif Bar, Kind Bar, Nature Valley Granola Bar.
3. Merchandise. And we don’t mean tear off the top of the box and put it on the shelf! Items should be appealing, front facing, standing upright with brand name fully visible.
Candy bars can be placed in glass jars or in spring loaded, shelf management systems to maximize space while offering an appealing assortment that is easy to re-stock. Chips bountifully placed in baskets or in spring loaded merchandisers keep the store looking full and colorful. Blister packed offerings of Over-the-Counter medicines and personal care products that are all forward facing on hooks and categorized by product type (pain relief, indigestion, cold/flu, allergy, hygiene) offer an aesthetically pleasing display of in-a-pinch items for guests in need.
Be sure to check with your brand. Most allow – and even encourage - Shelf Management System which is highly affordable, easy to install and expands product offering tremendously by displaying items like candy bars vertically rather than horizontally.
It’s ironic that so many managers are concerned about price gouging in the pantry, when in actuality, most hotels are underpriced by 20-25% on core categories. Many Pantry Managers apply price solely based on their own perception of value and their spending habits, not on data-driven retail pricing for the average business traveler.
Looking for a Market Basket analysis on price to determine maximum retail price you can charge in the pantry? Visit your closest airport gift shop. That is the price tier the majority of your guests expect to pay for similar items - not your local Wal-Mart price!
Or add ImpulsePoint to your front desk terminals. The automated retail system actually suggests nationally-tested retail prices to you for 14,000 products based on your location, size and hotel type, then measures retail performance to let you know what items are earning their spot on the shelf, and which need to be replaced with better performers.
Back stock inventory should be well organized for ease of re-stocking the store to avoid empty rows, lost revenue, and negative guest experience.
Try using large storing bins to categorize product into each container. Or label a shelf categorically so associates can quickly find Candy, Chips, Cookies, and Crackers. Shoving backstock in drawers without dividers can lead to damaged product and lost inventory. Investing in drawer organizers and storage containers make restocking simple and reduces shrinkage due to damage and expired product.
6. Empathize. Stop and think what items are most appreciated when your guest needs them in a pinch: Cell Phone Chargers, black socks, Immodium AD, and condoms are at the top of their list in a moment of need! Think about it…and supply it. Your guests will thank you.
Running a pantry without a Retail Management System to track inventory, profitability, and sales performance is like trying to run a hotel without a Reservation System. You can do it manually, but the result is expensive errors and poor guest experience!
ImpulsePoint provides managers and front desk associates an automated tool that calculates accurate sales totals, par levels, re-order points, shopping lists, and product performance. This cloud based solution runs right on the front desk terminal, works with any PMS, and has been proven to increase profitability by an average 220%!
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