13 Nov 2018 HLAC Facility Catering Services Award – Lifeview Residential Care
Parma for a farmer to Sardines on toast. It’s all about resident choice.
This was the question that spurred Lifeview Residential Care to create the ‘Food Appreciation Program’ four years ago, to put decisions squarely back in the hands of residents.
The program involves quarterly meetings with residents, the Manager of Hospitality Services and the individual Facility Chef to discuss the previous quarter’s menu, what they liked, what they didn’t like, seasonal variations, new recipe ideas, and plan for the next round of menus. Residents give their thoughts on special event menus, the quality of the overall food service and presentation.
A major change was the introduction of breakfast buffets, which gave residents the choice to eat breakfast anywhere between 6am and 10am. This change also had the unexpected benefit of making for a more relaxed morning routine for morning staff with shower and dressing assistance times staggered. Notable menu items that have resulted include ‘Parma and Pot Day’, ‘Chicken and Champagne Lunch’, ‘Roast and Red Wine’, and ‘Sardines on Toast’. Parma and Pot Day flowed from a discussion about going to the pub for lunch and some of the foods residents missed. The meal has been so popular it remains on the monthly menu 18 months after its introduction. Similarly, Sardines on Toast was a request by residents at one home when they were reminiscing about favourite foods. On the day it featured on the menu, 57 out of 60 residents ordered this meal.
Not only has resident satisfaction in catering improved from 77% to 92%, there has also been an increase in resident satisfaction with regard to cultural diversity. Special food tastings and featured cultural days, such as Chinese New Year and Sri Lankan Day, have made non-Anglo residents feel more at home and proud to present their cuisine to others.
Recently when residents decided they wanted to raise money for drought stricken farmers through the ‘Parma for a Farmer’ campaign, the chefs came together and changed the menu to add a Parma lunch – residents and staff were delighted, raising just under $1,000 for the cause.
Importantly, resident designed menus have not led to a lack of nutrition – all meals on the menu are still approved by dietitians and meet all standards. In fact, many under-nourished residents have flourished after admission through this approach. The overall food wastage has also reduced, reflected in a decrease in waste removal costs. And, the per-resident per-day food budget has not increased, remaining at just under $7 per-day per-resident.