Discovery Senior Living is launching a new a la carte services and dining program for independent living residents.
In the new lifestyle program, dubbed “FlexChoice,” independent living residents will be able to choose and pay for certain services on an a la carte basis. The program is structured into three tiers — classic, premium and supreme — with residents receiving different levels of service in each one.
“This is our independent living program that we believe will differentiate us and set us up for the baby boomers, the consumer that wants choice,” Discovery Senior Living Vice President of Operations Gottfried Ernst told Senior Housing News. “The opportunities of FlexChoice are really limitless, and that’s how we feel our customer of tomorrow is going to want to experience retirement.”
The plan is for classic tier residents to pay a flat monthly rate and receive many of the services typically offered in independent living, such as housekeeping, basic activities, scheduled transportation services and a continental breakfast. Residents can also purchase the community’s a la carte services for an extra fee.
Under the premium and supreme service tiers, residents receive all of the above plus FlexChoice cards loaded with dollars that can be spent on a la carte offerings, including salon services, food or drinks in restaurant-style dining venues, opera tickets or chauffeurs. The only difference between the two tiers is the amount of FlexChoice dollars that residents receive, with supreme tier residents getting more to spend each month, and at a discount.
Independent living residents who already live in Discovery communities will be grandfathered into the premium plan by default, and the classic tier will only be offered at certain communities. The new program will also include the rollout of some offerings that Discovery has not typically offered before, such as new dining, salon, spa and concierge services.
Discovery officially announced the arrival of the program Tuesday. The Bonita Springs, Florida-based operator has already launched the program at four communities in Florida, South Carolina and Texas, and the company is planning to introduce the model to other independent living communities in its portfolio by the second quarter of 2022. Discovery has more than 70 communities in 15 states overall.
The program is the lynchpin of Discovery’s resident-focused “experiential living” model, according to Ernst. The company is planning to roll out more experiential living components in future phases, both in and out of the FlexChoice framework.
“There will be more coming on the technology side, the fitness side and in other areas,” Ernst said.
The FlexChoice program is informed by Discovery’s business intelligence platform, which launched in 2016. And Ernst said having robust business intelligence helped the company formulate the program’s financial structure, operations and sales and marketing.
Discovery is not the only senior living provider tweaking the senior living pricing model by adding more a la carte flexibility.
For instance, Tucson, Arizona-based Watermark Retirement Communities is giving residents of its Elan Collection communities monthly “spend-downs” to use on any of the community’s amenities and services, from beer and wine to personal training.
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