The upcoming holidays offer a unique opportunity to infuse your facility with holiday cheer while bolstering sales through innovative approaches.
Whether it’s holiday music filling the hospital cafeteria or a long-term care facility with glistening decorations, there are numerous ways to boost sales while expressing gratitude to your visitors, patients and residents.
Carrie Serrano, Non-Commercial Specialist at Gordon Food Service®, suggests a treasure trove of ideas for healthcare facilities to add a touch of sparkle to the holiday season.
“Picture yourself strolling into a cafeteria or dining room enveloped in the festive strains of holiday music, with enchanting decorations all around and enticing retail specials beckoning. As a consumer, wouldn’t you be more inclined to indulge in that holiday treat and skip the convenience store trip? That’s the aspiration of most healthcare operators during the holiday season,” she says.
From Cookies to Choirs, the Sky’s the Limit This Season
With a myriad of options to contemplate, including food, decor and retail items, experts offer some top strategies to amplify sales:
- Holiday Employee Meal Programs: Consider offering employee holiday meal programs to express appreciation, boost morale and increase sales.
- Creating a Festive Ambiance: Craft a welcoming and festive indoor and outdoor atmosphere. Promote holiday specials via social media, newsletters, break rooms and doctors’ lounges.
- Live Entertainment: Arrange for live entertainment during holiday meals. Entertainment could include a local choir, musician, or even a small band to infuse a vibrant festive spirit.
- Seasonal Products: Offer live plants like holiday wreaths, flower arrangements, and limited-time holiday treats.
- Tasting Events: Host food-tasting events, inviting residents and families to sample various holiday dishes and provide feedback. Consider incorporating their favorites into the holiday menu.
- Grab-and-Go Treats: Set up a holiday-themed cookie and sweet stations for convenient grab-and-go options.
- Holiday Specials: Introduce holiday-themed promotions like ’12 Days of Christmas’ or ‘Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: Thanksgiving Specials.’
- Cooking Classes and Workshops: Organize engaging and educational cooking classes or workshops for residents and their families, allowing them to learn how to prepare holiday dishes.
- Takeout and Delivery Services: Offer takeout and delivery services for holiday meals, enabling families to savor a special dinner with their loved ones without leaving the facility.
- Holiday-Related Merchandise: Promote holiday-related goods to sell, such as gingerbread house kits, holiday cookie kits and holiday trees.
Trends to Try
Serrano points out that there has been more demand for eco-conscious customers in recent years. She suggests offering sustainable retail options, such as gifts crafted from recycled materials or products from brands committed to sustainability. Additionally, support for local businesses during the holidays is a trend that’s gaining traction.
Serrano also predicts a surge in wellness-related retail specials, replacing traditional holiday sweets with options like individual charcuterie boxes or holiday-inspired smoothies.
Regardless of how a facility chooses to spice things up this season, the primary goals will remain the same. Overall, by crafting a warm and inviting dining experience with delectable holiday-themed fare and engaging activities, healthcare facilities can elevate food sales while leaving lasting memories for their residents and loved ones.