Unfortunately, many in the Boomer generation are entering their retirement years during the pandemic. They are looking to Senior Living, Restaurants and Hospitality segments for daily convenience in foodservice as well as healthy surroundings. In 2010, 13% of the U.S. population in the U.S. was over 65. Today, that number is almost 17%. Senior Living communities, which were expected to grow exponentially in the next five years, have seen a decline in new move-ins due to fear of the spread of COVID. Restaurants and Hospitality have also lost much business from this large group of customers.
As has been the case in the last half century, operations in all segments must cater to the Boomer demographic. To successfully serve seniors in today’s environment, operators must be vigilant around health concerns and sanitation. Attract and build confidence with customers with these tips:
Obtain Third-Party Sanitation Certification
Assure restaurant customers, senior living residents and their families that you have protocols in place that keep their environment disinfected and clean. Adopt standard operating procedures and get certified as a safe location by a trusted third party, such as with entegra’s Sanitation and Safety Services offer.
Reduce contamination risk with proper packaging
Takeout food is a must in today’s world. Within the senior population, this priority is particularly strong. Whether you offer to-go service in lieu of a dining room or regularly package meals for in-room delivery, evaluate your packaging to ensure it minimizes contamination risk. All packaging should be single touch and tamper-free. Also consider more eco-friendly options to reduce waste, such as entegra’s supplier partner Earth Choice.
Ready-made food options reduces the possibility of contamination as well as saving labor time for staff. Consider heat-and-serve options or individually wrapped items that are precooked. Ensure that any provided cutlery is also packaged so that the only person directly touching utensils or napkins is the end recipient.
Prioritize dietary restrictions
As they age, people are more likely to adopt dietary restrictions out of necessity. While certain requirements, like low sodium, low fat or high protein, remain fairly mainstream, there is a growing emphasis on “whole” foods.
Entegra’s team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing through our many supply chain partners to bring the most value to your business. Entegra Procurement Services is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO) with contracted cost savings. We help our clients, in segments ranging from senior living to lodging to restaurants, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.