As the population ages, senior living communities continue to grow. But many residents are still healthy and vibrant and interested in taking an active role in their dining experience. Just because someone is no longer able to live independently doesn’t mean they want to give up all control. They look for more than bland, cafeteria-style fare.
Consider adopting these growing trends in senior dining.
Provide individual attention
Residents will have food preferences, allergies or special needs. It’s important to consider them while still providing tasty, quality food. Some people experience reduced appetite as they age, so meals must appeal to all the senses.
Make it like home
Preparing foods that taste like homemade is a positive goal, but why not take it to the next level. Make it just like their home, not just like home. It may take a little extra effort to find out the unique qualities of how they are accustomed to preparing or having their food prepared. This topic can be especially sensitive if the resident has lost a spouse who was the family cook and that meals no longer taste the same.
Offer plenty of options
Some of the most successful senior living centers offer a range of dining options to their residents, such as a variety of restaurants, cafes, and buffets. They can eat in a cafeteria-style environment if they want to enjoy the company of others. They can also choose more intimate settings such as café tables or outdoor seating where they can dine alone or with a friend or two.
Make it casual
While a formal dining experience has its place, many diners are more accustomed to a fast-casual experience. Offer places to grab a quick sandwich or snack, maybe with extended hours so residents can eat when they want, not just when the clock dictates.
Make dining an experience
Offer entertainment for diners or even open kitchens where they can watch their meals being prepared.
Partner with a specialized recruiter.
If you need a hospitality recruiter who understands the unique needs of senior living and can help you find and retain managers who can bring fresh ideas to your business, contact Horizon Hospitality. We are trusted experts in hospitality management recruiting nationwide. Contact us today!