PLAINVIEW, NY – CulinArt Group’s Wellness Department continues to grow its healthy dining programs by creating customized platforms that increase guest engagement and satisfaction. “When it comes to health and wellness, there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” says Rachel Frank, Director of Health and Wellness. “Geographically, financially, logistically, there are different needs within each market segment.” Through the years, CulinArt has collaborated with many clients to customize and align wellness programs with their specific objectives in mind, along with an approach to wellness that promotes culinary excellence, variety, and convenience.
CulinArt Group’s signature nutrition program is Eat Well, a compilation of recipes that meet stringent guidelines, the most important of which is a whole food, from-scratch approach. Minimal ingredients that are prepared healthfully are essential to the program. “Still, taste is paramount,” Frank says, “It’s a misconception that food that is good for you is boring or bland.” Eat Well also aims to educate guests through a series of tips that support lifestyle changes that are not necessarily diet-based selections. “We really want our guests to pay attention to nutrients more than anything else,” says Frank.
In many instances, clients elect to participate in the Eat Well program from a financial perspective – that is, discounting Eat Well menu items. This allows the client to provide a true amenity to their associates while also complementing their company’s wellness objectives. “Our clients are increasingly seeking more and more wellness initiatives for themselves and their employees,” explains Mike Purcell, Vice President of Operations. “Clients are doing everything they can to encourage their employees to eat and live well, with the latest trend being the discounting of Eat Well menu items throughout their cafés.”
Eat Well is just one of many options guests can enjoy on the wellness front. To that end, a system of icons strategically placed on menus, signage and other materials allows guests to make the choice that is right for them, whether that is Eat Well, vegan, vegetarian or a combination of those and more. “We want to make things as easy as possible for our guests,” Frank explains, “Whether customers are looking for healthy offerings or are in need of special dietary options, the icon system clearly identifies selections and makes eating in our cafés simple and enjoyable.”
Education is a cornerstone of the wellness department. Frank and her team of dedicated registered dietitians enjoy visiting cafés and presenting information on the latest nutrition trends. “There are so many misconceptions about food still out there, and confusing information being fed to people,” she adds. “We are happy to shed light and provide inspiration when we can.” Participating in client-driven wellness fairs and National Nutrition Month programming are also central to the initiatives.