NexDine, a food service contract management company based in Massachusetts but operating in 10 states, is launching Corfinity, a fitness center management division that gives the company’s clients single-source management for their in-house wellness programs. NexDine operates primarily in the corporate dining sector (B&I), which accounts for about three-quarters of its business.
“We were looking at the marketplace today where wellness is a key driver for both the [individual] customer and for employers looking to keep their employees healthy,” explains David Chechik, the company’s vice president of sales. “Our focus has always been on food but for many clients who outsource both food and fitness, bringing the two different disciplines together to really bring that wellness needle forward has always been a challenge, so we thought we could leverage our expertise to have both food and fitness together to drive wellness under one single point of contact.”
At least initially, Corfinity will concentrate on adding its service to existing NexDine dining clients who also outsource management of their in-house fitness centers, and at potential clients that outsource both services, Chechik adds. “It gives us a strategic and competitive advantage to undertake both.”
Corporate locations with both in-house dining and fitness centers are the obvious core market for this combined service, but Chechik says it is also applicable to institutional clients such as independent schools, colleges and senior living facilities that maintain such facilities.
The integrated dining/fitness approach is designed to be flexible and customizable to individual needs, whether of the client or even of the individual employee of the client, he stresses.
“Take an individual customer who is looking to manage weight loss or who is an athlete looking for better performance, we would work with them to identify those menu offerings that are best suited to their fitness and wellness objectives," he offers. "We have the culinary side, the fitness side and also our director of corporate nutrition and wellness, so we have those three components come into the process and develop these customized programs.”
The program is also designed to work with individual clients’ in-house wellness programs in which employees receive incentives to reach certain wellness goals or engage in healthful activities ranging from exercising to choosing nutritious options in the cafeteria.
“One of the ways we will work with clients to build participation in these programs is to come up with promotions and programs that will incent their employees to eat healthy and drive participation in the fitness centers and be engaged on the wellness side,” Chechik says.
He also notes that a comprehensive onsite wellness program provides not only tangible benefits for the employer because healthier and fitter employees are also more productive employees, but also as an additional benefit that employees can be offered, an important consideration in what is essentially a full-employment economy.
“Our role and value proposition to clients, especially for clients on the corporate side, it’s more than just to serve lunch, catering and fitness, it’s really to [provide] a differentiator in the marketplace.”
Corfinity is set for a full launch in the coming months after undergoing beta testing, and reactions from potential clients for the service have been encouraging, Chechik says.
“If you think about it, it begs the rhetorical question—why has nobody done this yet?” he asks. “Nobody’s taken a holistic view of all this, so the response we’ve gotten from those clients we’ve been in discussions with have been extremely favorable because they see the benefit of the synergy.”