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Sodexo targets boomers in senior communities with bistro concept

Sodexo targets boomers in senior communities with bistro concept

Bistro 464 mixes options that "taste like home" with others that make you feel "like you are dining out,” in accordance with growing senior dining preferences.

Sodexo is launching a new restaurant concept designed specifically to appeal to the baby boomer market that is expected to open at more than 100 senior living community locations in the next year. Called Bistro 464, it is tailored to supplement the traditional meal service in these venues with a dining spot that evokes a special occasion through its design and a specially created menu with both casual and more upscale meal choices.

The concept incorporates findings from Sodexo’s consumer research that indicates that an increasing number of seniors expect great dining experiences outside the settings usually associated with senior living communities. Instead, they are seeking an experience that accords with baby boomers’ preference for great food in a choice of casual or formal venues with an emphasis on service, local and seasonal menu options and plenty of healthy choices.

Designed as a flexible concept, Bistro 464 also allows for a locally focused site name for each venue.

"It's been six month since we opened The Bistro at Arbor Glen [in Bridgewater, N.J.] and the transformation exceeded any imaginable level of expectation,” said Arbor Glen President/CEO Felix Rosenwasser in a Sodexo release announcing the concept launch. “When you combine the setting's ambience with the top-notch service and the great menu created by Sodexo chefs, The Bistro has increased resident satisfaction by 25 percent in independent living and by 15 percent in the health care area. In addition to being warmly embraced by the community, The Bistro at Arbor Glen has become a congregation spot and a place where residents are proud to invite their friends and family."

Sodexo's Culinary Solutions unit worked with clients, seniors and onsite management teams to develop the menu and create the ambiance. The menu includes some options that "taste like home" and others that make you feel "like you are dining out,” according to Sodexo’s press release. Choices include breakfast favorites, quesadillas, flatbreads, burgers, beef short ribs, maple-glazed roasted chicken, herbed rack of lamb and healthy options from Sodexo’s Mindful wellness-based menu platform.

"We always create new concepts backed by consumer research, and Bistro 464 is no exception," Shelley Kalfas, vice president of marketing for the Sodexo Seniors segment, said in the release announcement. "As a generation, baby boomers eat out more than any previous generations, and their menu preferences are more varied and adventurous. We wanted to capture those preferences as well as place an emphasis on the dining room as the heart of the community, where social bonds are created."


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