Senior communities are competing for health care and private pay dollars in an increasingly competitive marketplace. As an administrator in senior services, your approach to dining services has a major impact on the level of success you achieve. At one extreme, a poorly run dining program can cause illness, threaten the health of residents or result in loss of licensing and accreditation. More commonly, it will affect resident satisfaction, state inspection ratings, and may even result in resident defections to other nearby facilities with a reputation for better food. Bad food can even undermine the reputation of a facility with an otherwise good reputation for health care services.
In our experience, senior services administrators are truly committed to providing quality health care services to the seniors in their facility, so in a marketplace where prospective residents have a choice, the quality and distinctive characteristics of the dining program may be the key differentiator that provides a competitive advantage. This advantage can manifest itself in several different categories, including marketing potential (attracting new business), resident satisfaction (keeping existing business), and meeting business objectives (managing the business).