A unit of French global firm Elior Group, Elior North America last August joined a strategic investment partnership in the financial backing of boutique dining services management company Culinesse, designed to serve the fast-growing Life Plan Community (LPC) senior living market segment.
Meanwhile, Elior’s Constellation Culinary Group launched its Prepped concept, a safe, pandemic-friendly, socially distanced drop-and-go catering concept designed to sustain a revenue stream, maintain employment and preserve client connectivity. A business model designed to continue not just throughout the pandemic but beyond, Prepped provides tailor-made gourmet menus directly to consumer's doors for small gatherings and virtual events. It features a diverse range of options extending beyond the categories of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, with special snack packages, cocktail hour entertaining packages, beverage add-ons, and seasonal holiday menu packages.
Among other initiatives in the past year, Elior North America launched So Good!, a customer engagement program highlighting seasonal, local, healthy foods each month. By bringing interesting and appealing plant-based menu options forward, So Good! is designed to entice customers to choose more sustainable, healthy and affordable meal options while supporting Elior’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint through the reduction of beef on its menus. So Good! Also aligns with Elior’s broader Social & Environmental Responsibility (SER) initiatives to support people, wellness, planet and food.
The program is composed of monthly “promotions with purpose” that feature seasonally-focused foods that spotlight taste and wellness and allow for local purchases; recipes that highlight culinary innovation but drive adoption through flexibility; and “feel good” wellness and sustainability messaging. Its marketing involves digital signage, social media, quarterly videos, etc. while tracking implementation opens lines of communication by reporting promo performance and unit level efforts, and collecting stories, data and feedback direct from units.
Also in 2021, Elior North America launched its Vegebond “pop-in” concept to bring exciting options and global flavors to consumers looking for plant-based options in its units, given the growth of plant-based dining as a global food trend. Vegebond features the familiar flavors of Mexican, Pan-Asian, and Mediterranean cuisines, but with plants rather than meat in the spotlight.
To energize and promote more sustainable menus with customers while reducing carbon-heavy proteins and other high-cost items, the Vegebond Takeover was introduced as a promotional event featuring an all-plant-forward menu swap at a grill station or food truck. The existing menu is “taken over” for a day or a week with dynamic plant-forward recipes that match up with existing menu staples. In addition to reimagined dishes like Jerk Tofu and Waffles, traditional cheeseburgers are replaced with handcrafted plant burgers with smoky carrot “bacon” and nachos are upgraded to Frito Walking Tacos loaded with spiced sweet potatoes and vegan chorizo.
Another 2021 initiative from Elior is the FUELED sports nutrition program designed and supported by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists for student athletes and other active individuals. Its goals include providing optimal fuel through menu options labeled with the BeWell blueberry icon, pre-game and box lunch menus with BeWell options, and customized fueling stations and training tables. It also incorporates sports nutrition education through the FUELED brochure, detailed Sports Nutrition Guide & Build a Fueled Plate handouts, and access to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, including individualized nutrition plans and team sports nutrition presentations.