Is There A Strawberry On Your Plate – In Senior Living?

Is There A Strawberry On Your Plate – In Senior Living?

A strawberry can be a "wow"On my recent flight to Seattle, I had the most plain Jane lunch plate presentation ever in first class.  It was literally a sandwich on the plate.  Seriously?!!?  No chips, cut up fruit, piece of parsley, a piece of lettuce with a tomato – nothing!  The stark whiteness of the plate surprised me.  Then I started thinking, why didn’t they at least put a nice red strawberry on the plate like they used to – what happened?  Is Alaska Airlines cutting costs?  How much could twelve strawberries cost?  My impression of food in first class was not a “Wow” experience.

Has your senior living community cut too many operational costs too?  Could it be affecting the first impressions of your community and keeping the occupancy down?  Are you serving guests refreshments in real glasses or china?  Or have you cut refreshments out all together or serve them in cheap syrofoam?  Are there fresh flowers in the lobby?  As you walk down the halls, are the walls streaked black from walkers and electric carts?  Have the corner edges and doorways of apartments been banged and dented from electric carts?  When was the last time you refurbished the lobby?  Is the furniture getting old and tattered?

Marketing directors and sales people cannot work miracles!  If your occupancy is down, invest in some “Wow Strawberries” to make a great first impression!  It keeps your current residents and family members thinking positively about the retirement community.  Happy residents can mean lots of referrals.

A chef in one of my Continuing Care Retirement Communities said, “The very first bite is always with the eyes.”  When lunch or dinner plates are served in your senior living community dining room, what do they look like?  Are they a “wow?”

The details make the difference…can you afford 12 strawberries?

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email  Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  For more information:   Twitter: @market2seniors Web: Blog: