Almost everyone enjoys a good meal. Food is fuel, but it’s also a catalyst for connection, relaxation and, for many, an outward symbol of love. We provide food for most of the important events and milestones in our lives: cake for birthdays, casseroles when a new baby arrives, chicken soup for an illness, and, of course, all manner of pies and whipped cream/gelatin concoctions at family reunions. In some cultures, daily meals can last three hours or more! In Italy, for example, the main meal of the day has at least four courses, providing plenty of time to savor the food and company. While meals at our communities may not last quite that long, at Senior Lifestyle we understand that a meal is more than just the food on the table; a meal is an event to be celebrated with friends and family.
Senior Lifestyle communities understand the vital role of the dining experience in our residents’ lives. Each meal represents an opportunity to socialize, make connections, and build relationships with neighbors. Residents at each community play an important role in the process as well, meeting at resident councils to provide feedback on the dining experience and providing recipes to be included in the weekly menu. David Cyplik, Corporate Director of Dining Services for Senior Lifestyle relates that the incorporation of resident recipes has become a popular feature at many communities, along with the use of locally sourced products.
David shares that the secret of a top-notch dining experience comes down to good rapport between the team and residents, stating that “the best experience we can provide happens when dining teams have a close relationship with residents and know their preferences and habits, how they take their coffee, what their regular breakfast order is, and even what dessert is a favorite!” He also notes that interactive features such as taco bars, carving stations, and made-to-order omelets are popular with residents and the dining team, allowing them to interact with one another and build relationships. Tableside preparation of desserts like Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster are also a big hit in many Senior Lifestyle communities, providing each chef with a chance to step out of the kitchen and spend time with residents.
Hungry yet? For more information on the dining experience, or to schedule a tour of a Senior Lifestyle community near you, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com. Join us for a meal and we think you’ll see why we consider the daily dining experience an event worth sharing!