Where once people went straight from their homes into a retirement home, the transition is now longer and more complex. Younger seniors who are eager to ditch the obligation of keeping up a home and yard may still be healthy and active and looking for ways to keep busy and fulfilled.
As boomers begin to reach retirement age, the potential for the dining and leisure industries is immense. As much as 70% of disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by baby boomers. Smart businesses will market to them to capture a share of the pot rather than just focusing on the latest new thing to grab the attention of younger consumers.
What are today’s seniors looking for?
Independence. They want to do their own thing as long as possible. Build this potential into design. A food court–style dining experience will allow them to choose from myriad options depending on their preferences or dietary restrictions.
Flexibility. As health conditions vary, seniors may have days when they are eager to socialize and enjoy a full dining experience, and other’s when they prefer to eat in their own living space. Providing a range of options from buffets to delivery can ensure you accommodate their varying needs.
Accommodation. Seniors may need to avoid salt, fat, sugar or any number of ingredients to maintain or improve their health. Unfortunately, these are the same ingredients that chefs rely on to prepare exceptional meals. Communities will need to focus on recruiting professionals who are willing to be more creative when cooking for seniors with varying needs. Additional focus should be placed on design that will accommodate wheelchairs or other needs.
Socialization. Family is important to seniors, so they will want areas where they can spend time with a variety of generations comfortably. They want entertainment and social events, places to host large events. Even if their individual homes are on the small side, they can make good use of a community space they can reserve for special occasions. If it’s easy to book catering for the space with one call – even better.
Variety. Seniors will enjoy a wide variety of dining and entertainment venues from pub-style restaurants to coffee shops to movies, theatre and other cultural options. And be sure free Wi-Fi is provided because many seniors are comfortable with technology and rely on it for entertainment and communication.
Partner With a Leading Hospitality Recruitment Expert
At Horizon Hospitality, we know what it takes to successfully recruit managers and executives all across the hospitality industry who can help you keep up the latest industry development and identify growing and lucrative markets. Contact our hospitality recruiters today to learn more.