Nutrition Food

Resident collaboration may be the key to dynamic dining in senior living

Jim Bain
Jim Bain

It comes as no shock that dining and menu decisions can be a deciding issue for older adults researching housing choices. For those that take pleasure in good food and anticipate it every single day, how does a retirement group meet and surpass these expectations?

At Watermark communities, we use a mixture of resident selection, creativity and dedicated dining associates to pique and please our potential and present residents. During Healthcare Food Service Week, let me share some concepts with you.

Welcome options

If your group is wanting to revamp its menu, look no additional than the residents in the dining room. Direct enter and ideas on menu gadgets can be a significant factor in creating an pleasurable dining expertise distinctive to your group. By establishing a suggestion field, initiating a resident dining council or holding month-to-month “menu meetings,” dining providers can host conversations with residents to talk about nutrition, food selection and dining tendencies.

Explore all dining rooms

Remember, regardless of new menus and specials, residents usually will dine in the similar venue every single day with the similar tables, partitions and other people. Try to discover an thrilling area of interest with demonstration courses or motion stations the place residents can watch the carving, choose contents of their stir fry or order distinctive gadgets akin to escargot with a walnut sauce or Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls.

It is turning into extra commonplace for a group to supply totally different restaurant-style venues or bistros. Make your dining room, café, pub or lounge stand out with an evolving menu that matches its distinct setting.

Stick with resident favorites

Residents who share their concepts and options with our dining groups have jumpstarted a few of the hottest dining choices. Daily vegetarian dishes, resembling a candy chili-glazed tofu, and easy consolation meals we name “plain Jane” specials, reminiscent of a easy baked cod made with seafood inventory and lemon, have develop into menu requirements.

Nutrition typically is at the forefront of those conversations, with residents steadily requesting gluten-free, sugar-free or heart-healthy dishes, in addition to the inclusion of entire grains and recent produce. Listen to their recommendations and craft a menu that’s nutritious, scrumptious and hitting the mark with buyer satisfaction.

Make offering suggestions handy

Residents ought to be supplied with handy alternatives to voice their opinions and wishes. This opens a line of communication that empowers Watermark’s dining associates to present the greatest culinary expertise attainable. An additional advantage is the cultivation of private and professional relationships, the place residents and associates can study from and get to know each other. We have seen that when associates are dedicated to enhancing residents’ lives, they may go above and past to guarantee a memorable meal each time.

Communities striving for an thrilling dining expertise want look no additional than the dining room itself. When it comes to pleasing the crowd and delighting every particular person, resident enter may be the key ingredient. Start the dialog and a profitable collaboration will comply with.

Jim Bain is the first regional director of dining providers for Watermark Retirement Communities. Before being promoted to this multi-community useful resource place, he served for 25 years as the dining providers director of The Watermark at East Hill in Southbury, CT. Bain additionally based a bigger group initiative that creates intergenerational alternatives between residents and Boy Scout troops from surrounding space. 

McKnight’s Senior Living welcomes visitor columns on topics of worth to the business. Please see our submission guidelines for extra info.

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