Popular self-serve salad bars that were once dormant during the pandemic, have reopened at all Cura-managed Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospital cafes contributing to a systemwide lift of 11% in retail sales while prioritizing safety and enhancing guest satisfaction! Thanks to Cura Hospitality’s ‘Salad Bar Standards & Keeping it Safe’ program, this popular and successful initiative is planned to be implemented at all Cura-managed hospitals and senior living communities.
According to Karen Surkala, COO of AHN Saint Vincent Hospital, “The cafeteria guests and visitors were happy to have the salad bar option available again after three years of a grab-and-go limited selection. Retail revenues, guest satisfaction, and menu variety have all increased significantly as well as safe accommodations for customers with allergies and other dietary restrictions.”
At each AHN Cafe, Cura offered new “Serving You a Safe Salad Bar” signage placement as the first and last images customers see. “This communications tool assures customers we prioritize their safety,” says Cura Senior Director of Marketing Jared Levin. In addition, an alarm clock was added to the station to go off as a fun way to signal to the employees to regularly change out the serving utensils. Hand sanitizer is placed at the front of the salad bar and sneeze guards are reviewed and adjusted for maximized coverage.
Café guests also find comfort with Cura’s allergen and gluten awareness features available on the salad bar which accommodates customers with food allergies. Guests also have the opportunity to learn about the nutrition facts from the foods available on the salad bar, made possible through Cura’s BeWell wellness platform. There is even signage directing guests on how to build a better salad.
The overall merchandising of the station was also enhanced with a new small wares package coupled with new planograms that focuses on creating an amazing food presentation. The planograms have allowed the number of salad bar options to nearly double the previous offerings. “Customers eat with their eyes, so it’s important that not only our food looks amazing but also that the food vessels all match and are in great repair,” says Levin.
Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, PA, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, PA; Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, Jefferson Hospital, Jefferson Hills, PA, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Natrona Heights, PA, and Wexford Hospital in Wexford, PA, all celebrated successful salad bar re-openings, creating a renewed excitement for this dearly missed and favorite self-serve option!
Grace Zarnas-Hoyer, communications and public relations