Food Service Trends and Advancements
Posted by Conner Gesbocker on Fri, Sep 15, 17
Quality control, resident satisfaction are cornerstones of successful foodservice
To contrast, consider the operation of a tray line that uses food service management technology.
First, every meal is supported by a complete nutritional analysis. This electronic analysis calculates exactly what food items, and how much of each item, should be placed on each resident's tray by automatically accessing each individual resident's nutrition profile and producing an individual meal ticket. The resident profile contains all the pertinent information such as required calorie count, likes, dislikes, allergies, and any dietary restrictions. Thus, the technology takes the guesswork out of which food items the food service employees should place on each tray. In addition to avoiding errors, the automation allows the entire tray line process to run more smoothly and that gets the food to the residents quicker and warmer.
Remember, poor resident nutrition is rarely caused by the menu itself. On the contrary, by contracting with expert dieticians to procuring the best possible ingredients, facilities spare no expense in creating nutritionally balanced menus. But, even the most carefully prepared menus will result in problems when not executed correctly.
For food service management, this same technology offers the tools necessary to execute improved cost analysis, control production, and eliminate costly waste. For example, when a menu is selected for production, the quantity produced is driven by the resident profiles and how much of each menu item should be prepared based on what each resident will consume. This precision production can easily cut food costs by 5% to 10% depending on how facilities currently calculate production.
Make sure to choose a food service management program that is easy for employees to learn and operate. Ideally, the technology selected should look and feel like commonly used software that people are generally comfortable with. Be thorough when asking questions about customer support. No matter the software it’s only as good as it’s available customer support. Finally, make sure the system pays for itself. With assisted living facilities under constant pressure to do more with less, automation should offer a relatively quick payback period. Generally, this is easily accomplished with just a small reduction in waste.
Honor Residents' Preferences
Good nutrition strengthens not only the residents but also the entire assisted living facility facility. Recognizing this, many homes have already risen to the challenge of improving food service through education, organization, and automation. These early adopters are reaping the rewards of more satisfied residents, family members, and employees as well as improved quality measurements. While serving every resident more of what they like and less of what they don't like will never be simple in the complex environment of today's assisted living facility, it is more possible with the assistance of foodservice management technology.