As the resident age in senior care continues to get younger, many facilities are looking at their food service as a way to not only attract new residents, but to save costs on food. The fact is that residents today are more active and are younger than in years past, therefore, many facilities are finding themselves having to rethink their food service.
In the past, residents were more sedentary and did not have much to say about their meals. They were offered three entrees, four vegetables, and a dessert and were happy! Today, however, seniors are on the go more – visiting with family and friends, staying active, and are looking for a variety when it comes to what they eat.
This has sparked a trend in many facilities across the US to start implementing a sort of “fast-food” concept, where the seniors can choose their meal from a sort of a la cart menu. Most are offering their meals made to order, which gives them more freedom in choosing what they “want” to eat at that moment.
Not only is this giving the residents more options in their food choices, but it provides a more relaxed atmosphere where the seniors feel like they are part of the “normal” scene. Many facilities that have implemented this have seen the engagement of their residents increase. They are happier, more satisfied in their meals, and feel like they still have a say in what they eat, which may seem insignificant to us, but for them is critical to feeling like they are still in control.
Many of the facilities that have implemented these café’s, have also noticed a large savings on food costs. Since they are now making meals to order, they waste less food, therefore spend less. Another great advantage has been in their marketing efforts. They are now attracting more residents, especially younger residents that want more say in their care.
While the concept is still fairly new, many facilities are quickly adopting the concept. Have you considered it for your facility?
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