Creating Synergy between Marketing and F&B to Crush Census Goals
April 11, 2022
We are all hearing it from every level of our organizations - census, census, census. And for good reason, as the ability to serve residents requires that they live in our communities. But one of the most needed and mutually beneficial relationships inside the leadership team is the one between the marketing and food & beverage departments. They are two of the most forward facing departments to residents and prospects, and if you as the F&B leader can cultivate some synergy between them, you can do and create some amazing opportunities to impress prospects and keep census numbers moving up for your community. Here are a few key items to focus on as you begin and create your marketing and food support strategy:
Standardize & Specialize Your Tour Gifts
You probably read that and thought, but those are conflicting ideas, standardizing and specializing, but they are not. Unless you are a part of a large company that uses their name as a part of your community branding, your specific community will be unique in the market and to your prospects. So create a standardized offering of 3-5 items that your team can either create in small batches or make on the fly. Successfully doing this will allow you to not only easily support tour efforts, but can create a buzz in the market about the great item(s) you have and get people talking about the community and your food program.
Make Your Kitchen a Tour Stop
I don’t mean it in the literal sense, but as the F&B leader you should be a must for every tour and prospect to meet. Communicate in your daily stand up on the back story of the prospects coming and tailor your time with them accordingly. If they have a favorite food, talk to them about what you do to menu or cater to those requests. If a family member is worried about a fickle eater, speak to them about how you work with the other departments to learn about and encourage the resident to come and enjoy the dining room. Even if you are an introvert, making yourself available to every tour will help give the marketer more arrows in their quiver to help differentiate the community from the others.
Become an Outreach Educator
When your team is out in the community visiting SNFs, rehabs, doctors, etc, plan to go out with them once or twice a month. Being able to speak to the healthcare specialists about how your food programs and nutrition will support residents once they move from a short-term care situation and move to a senior living community will make your community stand above others. By seeing that the marketer is backed by the rest of the community leadership to ensure successful outcomes will happen, you will help create a steady stream of professional referrals.
It’s important to remember that food is always an important factor in a prospect’s decision to find a community. But it’s not just great food, it’s knowing the people that are creating it and being able to relate and connect to them. Because at the end of the day, our business is a people business.