Creating Your Residents’ Favorite Dining Destinations
Open, inviting spaces that offer flexible dining options pave the way to create your residents’ favorite dining destination and supports increased marketing of hospitality to prospective residents.
Take a look at the dining space transformation the Morrison Living team did as a partner with Hoosier Village in Indiana which was featured as an Innovator of the Month in Food Management Magazine.
“We really wanted to open the space up and give flexibility to our residents by turning the area into a multi-function/multi-use venue,” says Mark Perry, director of dining services. “The space now gives residents the option to get breakfast and lunch with table service in the bistro, or just get a grab and go meal or snack to take away.”
“When we designed it, we opened up the whole lobby service area, which used to be a closed in space, but we thought it was important to see the entire dining complex as you enter,” Perry notes.
It allows Morrison to maximize staffing, production and service efficiency while giving residents personal service. “Interaction between residents and our staff is one of the best things about our business and something both we and the residents wanted to continue,” Perry comments.
Renovation planning began in 2019 but hit obstacles when the pandemic struck in early 2020. However, the project continued under the tight constraints, said Phillip Dobson, Senior VP of design and retail for Compass Community Living.
“The challenges really started on the materials side with the realization that we weren’t going to get things as quickly as we thought—or even when we were told—so communication was vital, as it was a moving target beyond our control,” he recalls. “Later, the general contractor had some subs who were unwilling to come to the project site because of all the hoops they had to jump through just to work there each day, and then some workers became infected and couldn’t come, so it was just one thing after another.”
In response, “we put more resources on the job from a corporate level from our side to help get ready,” Dopson adds. “Then, the community had its own challenges in where they were in the pandemic cycle. It it didn’t go exactly as planned, but it wasn’t horribly delayed either. You just had to be very flexible.”
It has been operating more or less as originally conceived since its opening, and “has been received well,” Perry says. “We’ve been very busy in the dining rooms because the majority of residents do come down. Breakfast is a bit slower, but we pick up at lunch and the dinner service is one of our bigger meals. The residents have commented on how nice and inviting the space is. It had been a tough year and there have been challenges we’ve had to face, but this has been a very welcome addition to come back to.”
These types of transformation provide what are often much-need opportunities to increase efficiency for staffing, production and service while enhancing personal interactions with guests which is key to how we make great first and lasting impressions.
This article first appeared in Food Management Magazine.
About Morrison Living
Building Community – One Meal at a Time.
Food builds community. It’s that simple. Morrison Living believes that a culinary experience, aligned with your culture and your residents’ dining preferences, is the heartbeat that makes your community one of a kind. Our experts in culinary, wellness, design and marketing will collaborate with you to find that magical blend of options that offers a little something for everyone. By making every breakfast, lunch and dinner a chance for growing communion, we make food the Best Part of Someone’s Day. That’s a winning recipe. For you, your business and your residents.
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