A large hospital system in the Southeast seeks to provide access to healthy food for guests by increasing the amount of FIT meals served in their cafés. FIT meals meet the following criteria, which were developed to be consistent with the current dietary recommendations:
- < 600 calories
- < 25g total fat
- < 5g saturated fat
- < 600 mg sodium
Their goal is to positively influence behavior change by making this shift in menu offerings. This pilot was conducted in 4 locations to assess the regional impact the promotion had in Tennessee and Virginia.
In February 2018, the Morrison Healthcare team at the various locations reviewed current menu offerings to determine where improvements could be made. Each location increased the amount of FIT options in beverage coolers from 40% to 60% to align with the Morrison FIT beverage criteria. FIT meals were also added to the following stations: grill, deli, breakfast, hot line. All four locations used the following marketing tactics:
- FIT signage placed underneath main menu signage
- FIT frequency cards
- Samples and chef tables featuring FIT specials
- Marketing in the café about the program
- Communication through the internal hospital communication system
The success of the promotion was a team effort among Morrison Healthcare operators at each location and a Registered Dietitian (RD) who provided all the tools and direction on how to implement the promotion successfully. The RD led the strategy and planning, assisted the teams with identifying FIT items to display in the point-of-sale system, created implementation steps, and collaborated with chefs on the FIT selections.
Among all four locations, the check average increased 2% from $5.87 before the pilot to $6.00 after the pilot. Two of the locations saw large sales growth specifically in their promoted FIT items, 99.1% and 13.4% respectively, indicating more FIT items were chosen after the addition of new marketing and signage in the café.
2% increase in check average among all locations
99% increase in promoted FIT meals sold at one location
When looking closely at what factors impacted success at one of the locations, it’s clear that the presence of the Director and Chef in the café on a consistent basis providing samples to guests increased excitement and ultimately, sales. Because of the positive results from this pilot, the hospital system plans to implement additional wellness initiatives in the future.
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