Cura Hospitality's new salad bar initiative boosts safety and sales

Allegheny Health Network is launching the program before it rolls out to other Cura-managed hospitals and senior-living communities.
salad bar
The salad bar at Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Pa., sports enhanced safety features. | Photo courtesy of Cura Hospitality.

After three years, self-serve salad bars have reopened in cafes at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals. 

The popular stations closed during the pandemic and remained shut down until recently. They now boast enhanced safety features, contributing to an 11% lift in retail sales.

Cura Hospitality, AHN’s foodservice provider, initiated a program called “Salad Bar Standards & Keeping it Safe” to put the self-serve stations back into action. The initiative will eventually roll out to all Cura-managed hospitals and senior-living communities, according to the company.

At each AHN cafe, Cura offers “Serving You a Safe Salad Bar” signage as the first and last visuals diners see. “This communications tool assures customers we prioritize their safety,” Jared Levin, Cura senior director of marketing, said in a statement.

In addition, an alarm clock at each salad station is a signal to employees to regularly change out the serving utensils. Hand sanitizer at the front of the salad bar offers further assurance, and sneeze guards are regularly checked and adjusted for maximum coverage.

“The cafeteria guests and visitors were happy to have the salad bar option available again after three years of a limited grab-and-go selection,” Karen Surkala, COO of AHN Saint Vincent Hospital, said in a statement. “Retail revenues, guest satisfaction and menu variety have all increased significantly, as well as safe accommodation for customers with allergies and other dietary restrictions.”

Cura also includes allergen- and gluten-awareness features on the salad bar. Plus, diners have the opportunity to learn nutrition facts about the ingredients used, made possible through Cura’s BeWell wellness platform. There’s even signage directing guests on how to build a better salad.

The visual merchandising of the station was also upgraded with a new smallwares package and planograms or displays that focus on elevating presentation. These enhancements nearly doubled the number of salad bar options available.

“Customers eat with their eyes, and it’s important than not only our food looks amazing, but also that the food vessels all match and are in great repair,” Levin said.



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