Boring meals no more! Current research shows that menu fatigue and dull foodservice top “new” seniors’ (the Baby Boomer generation) lists of concerns as they make the move to senior living. This is propelling operators to survey seniors on their preferences and combat menu fatigue one creative dish at a time. One Nevada senior living/memory care facility is doing so by conducting “Chef Chats,” asking residents what they like and dislike about current menus, then adjusting their offerings to suit their desires. The facility found that its senior population gravitates more toward vegetable-forward dishes like eggplant parmesan and mushroom burgers. Other innovative dishes that are making a splash include wild-caught salmon, hand-carved meats and fresh salads prepared at action stations.
Ideas for your operation:
- Draw inspiration from “Chef Chats” and ask your senior residents for feedback with pen-and-paper surveys or face-to-face discussions. This is a great way to find out which foods seniors want included on menus. Once implemented, mention the surveying to prospects who might be touring the facility to differentiate yourself from competitors.
- Feature a wild-caught salmon bar or other location where seniors can customize sustainable seafood dishes like seafood medley, seared tuna salads or gluten-free glazed shrimp stir-fry.
- Action stations are an excellent way to beat menu fatigue. Set one up weekly, monthly or around the time of a particular holiday or celebration. Allow seniors to choose the dish you prepare in front of them.
Want more ideas for your senior living facility? Download entegra’s 2018 Top Ten Trends Paper for the Senior Segment.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.