The Good Kitchen


The Danes, like citizens in most developed countries, recognize that the aging of their population presents many challenges. Danish municipalities deliver subsidized meals to people who suffer from a reduced ability to function, due to illness, age, or other conditions. It is estimated that 60% of Denmark’s seniors have poor nutrition, and 20% are actually malnourished. The result is both health problems and a low quality of life for the elderly and a greater economic burden on the government. In response to this growing social problem, the Municipality of Holstebro applied for an innovative program that provides funding to municipalities and facilitates partnerships between those municipalities and Danish design firms such as Hatch & Bloom. Both Holstebro officials and the leaders of the Hospitable Food Service (Holstebro’s meal preparation and delivery organization) came to a common conclusion: the current menu just needed some updating. In their view, they already offered high-quality food and service, so the Hatch & Bloom team’s role would be to ask elderly clients about their menu preferences. As the project progressed, however, this view shifted radically. The result was the design of a wholly new meal service that offered higher quality, more flexibility, and increased choice – The Good Kitchen project. The results of the transformation from the Hospitable Food Service to The Good Kitchen spoke for themselves. Reorganizing the menu and improving the descriptions of the meals drove a 500% increase in meal orders in the first week alone. Within three months, the number of customers had increased from 650 to 700. One of the most important elements of the transformation has been the shift in employees’ perception of themselves and their work. Kitchen workers are now much more satisfied and motivated. As a result, customers are happier with their food. “Good food has to come from the heart! This experience generated so much positive energy. We have received positive reactions from everywhere—from users and partners and colleagues in other municipalities.” The Good Kitchen’s success was noticed outside of Holstebro as well. The Good Kitchen and Hatch & Bloom shared the Danish Design Prize for Service Design, as well as the Local Government Denmark Prize for Innovation in 2009.


Development of a new high-quality menu offering increased flexibility and freedom of choice of meals delivered to seniors under a local government aid program. More persons covered by the program.










Hatch & Bloom




Holstebro Commune