Changes caused by the onslaught of COVID-19 will not only remain for the long-term future but serve as a catalyst driving the next round of innovation in a post-COVID-19 world. Industries hit hardest by the pandemic such as travel, sports and entertainment, as well as restaurants will continue to struggle to regain consumer trust and restore pre-pandemic traffic. In a study done by McKinsey, full-scale recovery is predicted to occur around 2025, calling on business everywhere to re-think their contingency plan for the long-term future.
In 2019 Grandview Research announced that the size of the senior housing and care market is estimated to be over $475 billion within the US. The growing number of opportunities within senior living provide both job stability and security long-past the restoration of other hospitality sectors. This promised stability in tandem with the assurance of opportunity for advancement propels the senior living Industry forward as a leading foodservice growth sector – calling on the next generation of hospitality professionals to step up and step forward into the future of senior living.
Dean Lowman, District Manager West, joins Unidine from the higher education industry. His transition was put in motion by the mass closures of college and university dining programs across the country. Like Dean hundreds of talented hospitality professionals serving in the education sector had to step back, rethink and refocus their job search on other growing industries with job security for the long-term future. Dean noted “I reached out to a connection at Unidine who couldn’t say enough great things about senior living and the organization as a whole.”
Dean went on to exclaim “In my first five months, everything has been just that. It’s truly an under-the-radar industry with undeniable explosive growth. The growth trajectory only points to bigger and better.” Often what talent prospects overlook is the full scope of the amenities communities create to attract new residents. Dining plays a critical role in not only delivering positive wellness outcomes, but in establishing brand differentiation. In-coming populations of Baby Boomers demand variety, culinary innovation and five star service experiences that replicate their active independent lifestyles. Astute continuum of care retirement communities leverage this strategy when creating their resort style infrastructure.
“Even in my short amount of time at Unidine I’ve witnessed several new accounts open along the West Coast. It’s been incredible to experience such growth in this short period of time.” The senior living industry is set to expand exponentially in the next decade calling on the next generation of hospitality professionals to enter the marketplace and deliver on the service excellence aging Americans desire.
Best of all the only skills required are a passion for exceptional hospitality experiences, the desire to make a difference in the lives of others and the dedication to deliver on a promise. As Dean explains “The skills needed to ensure high quality service is universal across industries. I am amazed at how easily I was able to take on responsibilities and learn the business; it felt like second nature.” Senior Living holds the same requirements of any hospitality industry: service-first, adaptability, teamwork, interpersonal skills, detail-oriented, empathy and communication.
Unlike other hospitality sectors, no two days are the same. Delivering on fresh-from-scratch cooking, service excellence and quality care require adaptability in all aspects. Dean explains “We truly honor our commitments to our clients – that in and of itself is a very dynamic task. Every community has different expectations, desires and commitments making it complex in the best way. Crafting great service and great food for the people that depend on us is so special.”
As a District Manager Dean is afforded the opportunity to work across our partnered communities and witnesses firsthand the variability of resident preferences and geographic influences across facilities. He notes “I was surprised to experience the diversity across accounts. In some locations we focus exclusively on fine-dining and in others it’s more bistro and tapas focused. There is a huge range in what we offer, it’s truly one-size-fits one which is an incredible approach to any business model. My Monday can look totally different to Tuesday and that is really exciting.”
Dean closed his sentiments by detailing the most rewarding aspect of his role – fulfilling those needs of the clients and the residents and knowing that doing so delivers on live-enhancing care. Unidine is uniquely positioned as the leading provider of food and dining management services and due to its reputation as best-in-class is experiencing marked expansion in tandem with overall industry growth. Unidine is driven to disrupt the senior living industry by delivering culinary excellence via exceptional hospitality.
Interested in joining an industry with rapid expansion, opportunity for advancement and life-enhancing service? Don’t have experience in senior living; don’t worry we’re always looking for the next generation of hospitality professionals to join our team and enliven our culture of service excellence. See our open roles here: www.unidine.com/join-us/
About Unidine: Unidine operates in over 400 facilities and is the leading provider of food and dining management services for discerning clients throughout the United States. Since its founding in 2001 by President and CEO Richard B. Schenkel, Unidine’s success derives from consistent execution in four key areas – and exclusive focus on food and dining management services, a commitment to seasonal, fresh-from-scratch cooking, exceptional customer service and a corporate culture enlivened by each team member’s passion for culinary and service excellence. Unidine’s network of dietitians and culinarians leverage the latest research to support cultural enrichment and wellness strategies for senior living communities, and also exceptional service for hospitals, behavioral health facilities and corporations.
For more information visit: https://www.unidine.com/