Photo by @emcarr42 via Twitter

Because death is less scary with a hot slice

Rebecca Firkser
January 31, 2018

A funeral home in Wisconsin thinks that planning for death might be more fun if you’re eating pizza. According to Fox News, Krause Funeral Home, which has several branches around Wisconsin, recently sent out promotional flyers advertising their “Pizza and Preplan” program. On January 30, Krause Funeral Home provided pizza to all customers who come in ready to make advance arrangements for their impending demise. 

"We’re trying to educate the public in regards to making their funeral homes ahead of time,” Mark Krause, president of Krause Funeral Homes, told me on the phone. “But who really likes to sit down and think about a funeral? With food, people relax, [they] start sharing, [they] feel comfortable.”

The promotion may sound gimmicky, but it could actually save you a lot of money. A funeral today can cost several thousands of dollars, and industry trends predict that the cost will only rise in the next decade. By preplanning, customers’ money is put into a trust that is accessible by whomever will be executing their plans following the customer’s death. Even if the customer makes arrangements in Wisconsin and moves, the money for their funeral will still be available. 

It’s clear that Krause is thinks of clients as real people not just customers, and treats his company’s services as another family event of sorts. “Everything we do in life is surrounded by food,” Krause said. “Every family event that you have, somehow food and drink is always involved.” 

Customers definitely appreciate Krause’s efforts. Krause Funeral Homes has run this promotion on several occasions at many of their locations—almost 100 people attended yesterday’s event, and Krause expects similar numbers at their upcoming dates.

After doing a bit of research, it appears as though Krause Funeral Homes isn’t the first funeral home to have a pizza promotion. Penzien-Steele Funeral Home, Inc., Sneider & Sullivan & O’Connell’s Funeral Home & Cremation Service, and the now-out of business Crosby N. Gray & Co. Funeral Home & Cremation Service, all appear to have run their own Pizza and Preplan deals in the last few years. Krause said that promotions like these become common in his business, and it all comes back to the fact that people are comforted by food.

“A funeral is a family event, only with a different focus,” Krause said. “And what do you do at a family event? You eat, drink, tell stories, socialize, celebrate.” By offering a slice of pizza and encouraging clients to feel more at ease while planning their funerals, ultimately Krause hopes to take away some of the fear or hesitation that people may have when coming in for a meeting. 

“Unfortunately death affects everyone,” Krause said. “By offering something that makes people comfortable, it helps to start the conversation that will benefit their family.”

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