GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the free digital edition of HCM magazine and the free weekly HCM ezine
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Nutrition: The importance of a healthy in-house F&B offering

The provision of nutritious food and drink is integral to member health and can bring in significant revenue, yet is often neglected in health clubs and leisure centres. We explore how operators can raise their game

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
Most members welcome the option of a healthy drink post-workout / PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Most members welcome the option of a healthy drink post-workout / PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
We’re helping the people of Sheffield to get fit in our venues and we want to support and inform them to make healthy choices on food and drink too - Rob Womack, Sheffield City Trust

Doctors are increasingly referring obese or diabetic patients to weight management programmes held at local leisure centres. However, any progress made stands to be undone at on-site cafes where chips, biscuits and fizzy drinks take centre stage.

It’s a disconnect that arises, at least in part, from the belief that unhealthy meals and snacks are cheaper and less laborious to prepare than nutritious ones. However, some operators are finally taking action.

SUGAR TAX
In July 2016, Sheffield City Trust became the first sport and leisure operator in the country to introduce a sugar tax on all soft drinks sold in its venues. A 20p premium was placed on drinks containing at least 5mg of sugar per 100ml – a move that resulted in a 13 per cent swing towards the purchase of low- and non-sugar drinks just one year after the sugar tax initiative was launched.

Rob Womack, healthy partnerships manager for the wellbeing charity and leisure operator, says the soft drinks levy was long overdue. “As Sheffield’s health and wellbeing charity, we want to send out a consistent message. We’re helping the people of Sheffield to get fit in our venues and we want to support and inform them to make healthy choices on the food and drink they consume too,” he explains.

According to Womack, the sugar tax has led to 1.3 fewer tonnes of sugar being sold through Sheffield City Trust’s 11 entertainment and sports venues across the city. The initiative has also raised approximately £20,000, which will be used to develop new anti-obesity programmes for young people.

While targeting the consumption of unhealthy drinks appears to have worked for Sheffield City Trust, approaches focused on food also have a role to play.

GROWING MARKET
Theresa England, contract and partnerships manager at marketing consultancy Bigwave Media, and former national head of food and beverage at 1Life Management Solutions says: “Industry data shows that the food and beverage market within the leisure centre and swimming pools sector alone was £96m (€105m, $123m) for the year to July 2016. This typically represents around 10 per cent of a facility’s turnover. For an operator with a £20m (€22m, $26m) turnover, that’s £2m of sales!”

She believes that operators can tap into this revenue stream while encouraging customers to make healthier choices, simply by making a few changes to their existing food offerings.

“One easy change is moving from a traditional cake-style flapjack to a sport-specific one, with only naturally occurring sugars and lower saturated fat,” says England.

MAKING CHANGES
“Another step is to offer savoury grab-and-go choices, such as olive packs, veg sticks and hummus, or protein-rich snacks such as a boiled egg with spinach. They’re great for people who want something after the gym, and there’s a good margin on them too.”

England recommends sourcing the products externally. “Specialist suppliers can do this a lot quicker than your own staff could, and consequently the price and consistency of the product will be better.”

Beau Sejour – the only community leisure centre in Guernsey – shows how several small changes to a fitness facility’s food and beverage offering can make a big difference. For years, the centre’s refreshments, which were sold at a separate café and bar, featured the usual drinks, sandwiches and range of hot meals that were cooked on-site, blast-chilled and served in fridges for customers to microwave.

Last September, however, the two areas merged into a single new healthy eating facility. According to Leisure-net Solutions director David Monkhouse, who inspected the facility in April as part of Beau Sejour’s two-yearly quality assessment, the end result was worthy of an excellent rating and was “the best food and beverage offering this assessor has ever seen.”

The changes – made after consultation with dietitians from the Committee for Health and Social Care – ranged from adding hidden veg to cottage pie or a portion of fruit to a child’s jelly, to removing the oil from the pesto pasta and offering it on the side. Portion sizes were also addressed, with toddler portions introduced and adult portions decreased by up to a third – better for customers’ health and the centre’s profit margins.

Similar results can be achieved from tweaking drink offerings too. England says: “Water has a brilliant margin, and can be held so there’s no wastage. Some operators don’t sell it across the counter at all, leaving it to the vending machines, yet it’s a complete no-brainer from a commercial perspective and in terms of giving consumers healthy choices.”

She also suggests that the leisure market should offer smoothies, ideally ones containing vegetables as well as fruit. The coffee range is also key, says England, forming the bedrock of any successful café operation.

Once the menu has been developed, the final consideration is pricing. The provision of nutritionally-optimised food and drink options is important for customer health, and operators must recognise the value in this and not feel afraid to charge more for high quality products.

PROFIT MARGINS
England, who helps leisure centres expand their food and beverage income by redesigning their menus, explains: “Many operators still undersell their products; part of my job is to help them find the right gross profit margin. Generally, if they don’t achieve a minimum of 60 per cent gross profit margin, they won’t be able to make net profit on the revenue.

“One benefit of offering high-protein or sport-specific products is that they tend not to be widely available elsewhere, making it easier to charge a higher price, as it’s harder for customers to make a price comparison. Plus the products are likely to be seen as more desirable.”

Finally, a tailored marketing strategy cannot be overlooked as it is crucial to the success of a healthy food and beverage offering. This ranges from ensuring the cafe is easy to find within the centre and has a high profile on the website, to promoting it through other services.

Personal trainers and other leisure centre staff should also be trained to recommend the cafe as somewhere customers can access products to support their training goals.

Encouraging healthier choices

Nathan Dicker
Nathan Dicker

When Beau Sejour leisure centre overhauled its F&B service, the team drew on the advice of dieticians and psychologists, giving product placement careful attention. Area manager Nathan Dicker says:

• Unhealthier choices have been placed out of customers’ lines of sight

• Healthy snacks such as pots of dried fruit and seeds now sit by the tills

• The first drinks cabinet reached is full of water

• Subliminal messaging has been used: fruit displayed in tall containers rather than short ones makes customers more likely to buy it

One of the biggest game-changers was the decision to display the calorie or sugar content of every product. Dicker says the results have been dramatic: “One of our popular drinks used to be an orange drink which parents often gave to young children. But once they realised a 330ml pouch contained the equivalent of eight sugar cubes, sales plummeted.”

If you would like to get each issue of HCM magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly HCM ezine, sign up now!
Operators should be selling much healthier food to their captive market
Operators should be selling much healthier food to their captive market
Centres could offer healthy smoothies as an F&B option
Centres could offer healthy smoothies as an F&B option
Beau Sejour's healthy F&B makeover has proved very popular
Beau Sejour's healthy F&B makeover has proved very popular
Good coffee attracts custom
Good coffee attracts custom
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/754732_853592.jpg
A healthier in-house food and beverage offering can improve revenue and member health, yet is often overlooked by gyms. We take a closer look at how gyms can improve their F&B...
People
HCM people

Ben Lucas

Founder, Flow Athletic, Sydney
We advise our Flow Athletes to complete classes at a ratio of one yoga class to one strength class to one cardio class. This combination has very positive effects
People
HCM people

Jo Smallwood

general manager, Oldham Leisure Centre
We saw the opportunity to initiate new partnerships with the Oldham Foodbank to help local residents during the COVID-19 crisis. We can’t serve our community in the way we would usually do, so we’ve moved resources to help where people need us most
People
We have one club in Madrid with 27,500 customers and 20,000 people on a two year waiting list
Features
Partner briefing
BMF, the outdoor fitness franchise company co-owned by Bear Grylls, is launching a £1m initiative designed to offer financial support to PTs and exercise professionals in getting back to work after the lockdown
Features
Supplier showcase
Working with Precor, Aberdeen Sports Village has undergone a £500k overhaul to strengthen the user experience and put digital connectivity at the core of its offering
Features
Training
Balance training is set to become a major fitness trend, with exercisers increasingly appreciating the benefits of having a strong core and good balance, particularly as they age. Lauren Health-Jones rounds up the latest product releases
Features
Reopening
David Lloyd Leisure has launched a raft of outdoor classes, including an enhanced role for its Battlebox concept, as Liz Terry reports
Features
feature
As the health and fitness industry gears up for reopening, Caroline Constantine, MD of Right Directions, shares critical guidance about safe operating procedures
Features
Talking Point
The fitness industry has shown incredible flexibility during lockdown, pivoting to digital to keep people active. But as lockdowns end, we ask what impact the pandemic will have on facility provision
Features
Statistics
More than 65,000 people responded to a survey designed to gauge what members want and expect from the sector after lockdown, as Leisure-net’s Dave Monkhouse reports
Features
Latest News
A free-to-access training platform has launched to help the sport and fitness workforce confidently return ...
Latest News
Glasgow Life, which runs leisure and culture facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council, has ...
Latest News
Fitness equipment firm Nautilus Inc is looking for a buyer for its commercial equipment brand ...
Latest News
Technogym has announced the launch of live streaming and on-demand classes. The new content will ...
Latest News
A number of gym operators are concerned that local lockdowns could come into effect in ...
Latest News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that gyms may be able to reopen in a ...
Latest News
UK consumer confidence has improved significantly since the beginning of the lockdown, with a fifth ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Fisikal chosen as tech partner for ‘JP4’; new health app from fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka
Fitness expert and television host, Jessie Pavelka has collaborated with Fisikal, experts in digital management solutions, to create the new JP4 app, a premium 12-week personal health and fitness transformation programme that takes the user on a journey of change through four key elements of health.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Focus Training
Focus Training is a leading provider of Active IQ and YMCA Awards certified Personal Trainer ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Nutrition: The importance of a healthy in-house F&B offering

The provision of nutritious food and drink is integral to member health and can bring in significant revenue, yet is often neglected in health clubs and leisure centres. We explore how operators can raise their game

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
Most members welcome the option of a healthy drink post-workout / PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Most members welcome the option of a healthy drink post-workout / PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
We’re helping the people of Sheffield to get fit in our venues and we want to support and inform them to make healthy choices on food and drink too - Rob Womack, Sheffield City Trust

Doctors are increasingly referring obese or diabetic patients to weight management programmes held at local leisure centres. However, any progress made stands to be undone at on-site cafes where chips, biscuits and fizzy drinks take centre stage.

It’s a disconnect that arises, at least in part, from the belief that unhealthy meals and snacks are cheaper and less laborious to prepare than nutritious ones. However, some operators are finally taking action.

SUGAR TAX
In July 2016, Sheffield City Trust became the first sport and leisure operator in the country to introduce a sugar tax on all soft drinks sold in its venues. A 20p premium was placed on drinks containing at least 5mg of sugar per 100ml – a move that resulted in a 13 per cent swing towards the purchase of low- and non-sugar drinks just one year after the sugar tax initiative was launched.

Rob Womack, healthy partnerships manager for the wellbeing charity and leisure operator, says the soft drinks levy was long overdue. “As Sheffield’s health and wellbeing charity, we want to send out a consistent message. We’re helping the people of Sheffield to get fit in our venues and we want to support and inform them to make healthy choices on the food and drink they consume too,” he explains.

According to Womack, the sugar tax has led to 1.3 fewer tonnes of sugar being sold through Sheffield City Trust’s 11 entertainment and sports venues across the city. The initiative has also raised approximately £20,000, which will be used to develop new anti-obesity programmes for young people.

While targeting the consumption of unhealthy drinks appears to have worked for Sheffield City Trust, approaches focused on food also have a role to play.

GROWING MARKET
Theresa England, contract and partnerships manager at marketing consultancy Bigwave Media, and former national head of food and beverage at 1Life Management Solutions says: “Industry data shows that the food and beverage market within the leisure centre and swimming pools sector alone was £96m (€105m, $123m) for the year to July 2016. This typically represents around 10 per cent of a facility’s turnover. For an operator with a £20m (€22m, $26m) turnover, that’s £2m of sales!”

She believes that operators can tap into this revenue stream while encouraging customers to make healthier choices, simply by making a few changes to their existing food offerings.

“One easy change is moving from a traditional cake-style flapjack to a sport-specific one, with only naturally occurring sugars and lower saturated fat,” says England.

MAKING CHANGES
“Another step is to offer savoury grab-and-go choices, such as olive packs, veg sticks and hummus, or protein-rich snacks such as a boiled egg with spinach. They’re great for people who want something after the gym, and there’s a good margin on them too.”

England recommends sourcing the products externally. “Specialist suppliers can do this a lot quicker than your own staff could, and consequently the price and consistency of the product will be better.”

Beau Sejour – the only community leisure centre in Guernsey – shows how several small changes to a fitness facility’s food and beverage offering can make a big difference. For years, the centre’s refreshments, which were sold at a separate café and bar, featured the usual drinks, sandwiches and range of hot meals that were cooked on-site, blast-chilled and served in fridges for customers to microwave.

Last September, however, the two areas merged into a single new healthy eating facility. According to Leisure-net Solutions director David Monkhouse, who inspected the facility in April as part of Beau Sejour’s two-yearly quality assessment, the end result was worthy of an excellent rating and was “the best food and beverage offering this assessor has ever seen.”

The changes – made after consultation with dietitians from the Committee for Health and Social Care – ranged from adding hidden veg to cottage pie or a portion of fruit to a child’s jelly, to removing the oil from the pesto pasta and offering it on the side. Portion sizes were also addressed, with toddler portions introduced and adult portions decreased by up to a third – better for customers’ health and the centre’s profit margins.

Similar results can be achieved from tweaking drink offerings too. England says: “Water has a brilliant margin, and can be held so there’s no wastage. Some operators don’t sell it across the counter at all, leaving it to the vending machines, yet it’s a complete no-brainer from a commercial perspective and in terms of giving consumers healthy choices.”

She also suggests that the leisure market should offer smoothies, ideally ones containing vegetables as well as fruit. The coffee range is also key, says England, forming the bedrock of any successful café operation.

Once the menu has been developed, the final consideration is pricing. The provision of nutritionally-optimised food and drink options is important for customer health, and operators must recognise the value in this and not feel afraid to charge more for high quality products.

PROFIT MARGINS
England, who helps leisure centres expand their food and beverage income by redesigning their menus, explains: “Many operators still undersell their products; part of my job is to help them find the right gross profit margin. Generally, if they don’t achieve a minimum of 60 per cent gross profit margin, they won’t be able to make net profit on the revenue.

“One benefit of offering high-protein or sport-specific products is that they tend not to be widely available elsewhere, making it easier to charge a higher price, as it’s harder for customers to make a price comparison. Plus the products are likely to be seen as more desirable.”

Finally, a tailored marketing strategy cannot be overlooked as it is crucial to the success of a healthy food and beverage offering. This ranges from ensuring the cafe is easy to find within the centre and has a high profile on the website, to promoting it through other services.

Personal trainers and other leisure centre staff should also be trained to recommend the cafe as somewhere customers can access products to support their training goals.

Encouraging healthier choices

Nathan Dicker
Nathan Dicker

When Beau Sejour leisure centre overhauled its F&B service, the team drew on the advice of dieticians and psychologists, giving product placement careful attention. Area manager Nathan Dicker says:

• Unhealthier choices have been placed out of customers’ lines of sight

• Healthy snacks such as pots of dried fruit and seeds now sit by the tills

• The first drinks cabinet reached is full of water

• Subliminal messaging has been used: fruit displayed in tall containers rather than short ones makes customers more likely to buy it

One of the biggest game-changers was the decision to display the calorie or sugar content of every product. Dicker says the results have been dramatic: “One of our popular drinks used to be an orange drink which parents often gave to young children. But once they realised a 330ml pouch contained the equivalent of eight sugar cubes, sales plummeted.”

If you would like to get each issue of HCM magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly HCM ezine, sign up now!
Operators should be selling much healthier food to their captive market
Operators should be selling much healthier food to their captive market
Centres could offer healthy smoothies as an F&B option
Centres could offer healthy smoothies as an F&B option
Beau Sejour's healthy F&B makeover has proved very popular
Beau Sejour's healthy F&B makeover has proved very popular
Good coffee attracts custom
Good coffee attracts custom
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/754732_853592.jpg
A healthier in-house food and beverage offering can improve revenue and member health, yet is often overlooked by gyms. We take a closer look at how gyms can improve their F&B...
Latest News
A free-to-access training platform has launched to help the sport and fitness workforce confidently return ...
Latest News
Glasgow Life, which runs leisure and culture facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council, has ...
Latest News
Fitness equipment firm Nautilus Inc is looking for a buyer for its commercial equipment brand ...
Latest News
Technogym has announced the launch of live streaming and on-demand classes. The new content will ...
Latest News
A number of gym operators are concerned that local lockdowns could come into effect in ...
Latest News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that gyms may be able to reopen in a ...
Latest News
UK consumer confidence has improved significantly since the beginning of the lockdown, with a fifth ...
Latest News
The PGA Tour has recently bought 1,000 Whoop bands for its golfers, after PGA Tour ...
Latest News
ukactive has announced that Active Uprising and the National Summit are going digital as part ...
Latest News
Industry body ukactive has today (1 July) hosted a delegation of government and public health ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Fisikal chosen as tech partner for ‘JP4’; new health app from fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka
Fitness expert and television host, Jessie Pavelka has collaborated with Fisikal, experts in digital management solutions, to create the new JP4 app, a premium 12-week personal health and fitness transformation programme that takes the user on a journey of change through four key elements of health.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Focus Training
Focus Training is a leading provider of Active IQ and YMCA Awards certified Personal Trainer ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym