When it comes to upholding community dining standards in senior living communities, creating meals that are enjoyable is really only half the battle. To thoroughly protect and satisfy your residents, and keep up with each patient’s evolving nutritional demands, safety must always be a top priority as well, which requires foodservice staffs to practice flexibility and have different strategies already in place for adapting to new challenges, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Only this type of progressive preparedness, and willingness to embrace innovative new ideas, will ensure your facility’s continued success. The following senior living community dining trends, for example, are just a few of the many currently growing in popularity and transforming facilities across the nation.
Virtual Teaching Kitchens
No matter what types of challenges your facility faces, offering nutrition education will always be a vital part of providing comprehensive care. That’s why, an increasing number of senior living communities are relying on tablets and other portable devices to allow patients/residents to tune in to virtual teaching kitchens where they can watch simple tutorials on how to make new, healthy recipes. You may even consider offering single serving ingredient kits so that your residents have everything they need to follow along, as well as utilizing Vision Software’s nutrient labeling software to pass on specific nutrient/calorie information for each meal being taught.
Take Out/Room Service
With social distancing initiatives spreading, senior living communities are thriving by offering more take out/room service options. Residents with compromised immune systems, or who simply wish to keep their distance, have access to all the same incredible meals they know they love, but without any of the risk or discomfort. Better still, with Vision Software’s incredible tray tracking and room service technologies, your kitchen can have all the additional support it needs to keep delivery operations organized and everyone safe.
Social Distance Dining
For residents demanding traditional dining options, many senior living communities are making full alternations to their public dining areas, including closing off buffet style spreads, using floor decals to direct foot traffic, setting up sanitizing stations, using large directional signs, and putting more distance between tables, aisles, and seating to limit contact. A significant number of seniors are enjoying having more outdoor dining options as well.
Local Gardens & Pop-Up Markets
Another effective solution to ensuring your senior living residents have access to everything they need to make healthy meals for themselves with minimal exposure is running year-round community gardens and implementing various seasonal pop-up markets. Not only will it further your overall goal of helping your residents learn how to better care for themselves, it’s extra income for your facility, it may reduce your total foodservice costs, plus offering an evolving seasonal menu will make menu planning much easier – as well as more enticing to your senior living residents.
Is your senior living community looking for better ways to keep things fresh and residents’ spirits high during these trying times? Custom mobile snack carts are quickly becoming a crowd favorite, and an easy way to safely break up the most stagnant parts of any day. Current common concepts include mobile ice cream carts, mobile cocktail (or “mocktail”) carts, mobile baked good carts, mobile fresh fruit carts, and more. The important thing is to keep things exciting so your seniors feel the excitement.
Innovative New Technologies
If you’re looking for more advanced means of ideally protecting your senior living residents, investing in progressive technologies designed to help automate your kitchens and diet offices will never disappoint. Between having automated beverage stations, code-locked food lockers for contactless meal pickup, state-of-the-art germ scanners, computerized hand-washing stations, and all the other dynamic new technologies; and all of the incredible, proven software applications at Vision Software keeping track of patient safety and operational efficiency/profitability behind the scenes, there isn’t anything your staff won’t be able to handle.
To learn more about how to utilize our innovative foodservice technologies to transform your senior living facility’s community dining operations, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable kitchen software specialists at Vision Software today. Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how Vision Software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.