Senior Dining Transitions from Restaurant-Style Service to Delivery Service for Residents
In a recent interview with Charles Radka, a Thomas Cuisine Food Service Director at Oak Trace, a Lifespace Community, we learned what it has been like to transition a full service restaurant into a delivery service to accommodate social distancing requirements of COVID-19.
Deliveries are a common feature of food service for Continued Care Retirement Communities, which means Charles was already familiar with the process of creating accurate food orders that would be delivered on time, at the appropriate temperatures, and with a smile. The biggest challenge was to scale the service and keep things feeling not only light hearted and entertaining, but safe as well.
In the past, when Norovirus and H1N1 were concerns, Charles successfully implemented delivery systems saying that, no matter what, a mainstay of service is to still provide excellent service, cuisine, and check-ins with the residents about their food. During COVID-19, this looks like staying six feet back from resident doors and wearing masks when team members make rounds to gather feedback on deliveries. Team members, no matter their title, get the chance to participate in deliveries and round with a minimum of ten residents per day. This allows team members of all levels to gain confidence in their skills and interact with our residents in a meaningful way.
Below, you’ll see food services has kept things lively by offering Tiki Bar themed carts for specialty drinks, high quality offerings such as glazed salmon, ribs, and gourmet sides and desserts that are all house-made, adhering to the strictest of sanitation standards.
Charles wants the residents to know that our whole team looks forward seeing them in the dining hall again and that a very exciting surprise in dining room décor will be awaiting them upon their return. Charles is especially proud of the willingness of his staff; their ideas, solutions, learning abilities and attitudes during this change have been exceptional and praiseworthy.