4 Ways to Create a Sensation in Senior Living dining

July 2024

4 Ways to Create a Sensation in Senior Living dining

Foodservice operators in the senior living space play a crucial role in keeping residents happy and improving their quality of life. As residents’ tastes and expectations change, their dining options should too. Get inspired with the trends that are shaking up the dining experience in these communities.


  1. Flexible Dining Hours

Residents today want more control over their daily routines, including when and how they eat. This has led to a growing demand for flexible dining options like grab-and-go meals and takeout. By offering these choices, operators can cater to a wider range of preferences and schedules. This flexibility doesn’t just make residents happier––it also fits with the broader trend of personalized care in senior living, helping residents feel that their individual needs and preferences matter.


  1. Restaurant-Style Dining

The bar for culinary quality in senior living continues to rise, with many communities now offering experiences that feel like dining at a top-tier restaurant. While global flavors, expanded options and attention to special dietary needs are still important for this group, residents are now looking for something extra. For example, pairing menus for wine, microbrew selections and themed dining events are becoming more popular and add a touch of class to mealtime.


  1. Experiences Beyond the Dining Room

Demand for variety is rising at senior living dining programs. Residents are interested in non-traditional dining settings, including outdoor meals like barbecues and wood-fired pizza events. Open-air experiences like these provide a change of scenery and create opportunities to socialize and build community. By getting creative with dining venues and formats, operators can turn mealtimes into engaging events that residents will look forward to.


  1. Farm-to-Table Emphasis

Ryan King, VP of Culinary Services at The Arbor Company, notes that seniors are getting more curious about where their food comes from. By using locally sourced ingredients and sharing information about their origins, operators can help residents feel more connected to their meals. This approach can boost food quality and freshness, support local producers and help residents feel more in tune with their wider community.


When you serve Butterball turkey, you can rest assured that your diners are enjoying hormone- and steroid-free protein, in accordance with USDA requirements. We also work hand in hand with the America Humane Association (AHA) American Humane CertifiedTM program to ensure the health and comfort of our turkeys.


By adapting to changing expectations and tapping into broader culinary trends, senior living operators can improve resident satisfaction and promote community engagement. Which of these trends would you bring to your dining program? Let us know on Facebook or LinkedIn.







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