By Steve Moran 

Being at Synergy 2022, the Senior Dining Association’s conference, was like being at some sort of crazy idea festival. As I write that sentence in a stream of consciousness moment, I find myself thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to have a conference breakout session where it was nothing but dreaming up big ideas to make senior living better?

One Idea

As near as I can tell, the following idea has never actually been tried, but it makes sense, since, in at least larger communities, all the pieces are in place. You already have a kitchen that is better than what most restaurants have. You have menus that are often already online — particularly if you use a POS system like Senior Living Foresight partner Volanté Systems.

What If You …

What if you created your own delivery-only restaurant to take advantage of slow times in your kitchen? Here is how it might work:

  • Create an online menu — it could be static, or maybe it changes every day or even every few weeks. Think Woot for dining.
  • Connect with DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub to deliver the food.
  • Publicize the menu and the offering.

What It Could Do for You

There are at least four things it could do for you:

  1. It could create extra revenue for the community, revenue that could be used to enhance your programming, hire more staff, or pay higher wages, or that could flow to the bottom line.
  2. It would give your community an additional way to hire new team members.
  3. It would be a great way for prospects to experience a part of what your community does. Imagine for a minute you give every prospect or everyone who tours a free delivered meal after the tour or after the inquiry.
  4. It would add an element of variety for your team members.

Downsides …

Are there downsides? Almost certainly yes. What do you do during meal crunches? You are likely already challenged with finding enough staff, so this feels like adding to the burden. But ultimately, every good idea has challenges that need to be overcome and figured out.

I would love to hear your thoughts.