Majority Rules

Residents’ votes determine menu at CCRC.

A shrimp Caesar salad that has been ground and remolded.

WARMINSTER, Pa.—When Diane Dougherty, assistant foodservice director at Ann’s Choice, a 132-resident CCRC, says the dining operation is resident centered, she means it. For the past four years, residents have helped plan every lunch and dinner menu.

Each Monday residents meet with Dougherty, Chef Lisa Sweeney and Dietitian Meredith Black to plan out the following week’s menu. “We feel residents should have a choice, especially when it comes to the food,” Dougherty says. “That means writing new recipes often.” Dougherty says the number of residents attending the menu planning meetings varies between four and 30. Items are added to the menu only if they receive a majority of the resident vote.

The foodservice team attempts to guide residents in selecting menu items that are healthy and aren’t budget-busters, but Black admits it’s not always successful.

“Residents will have junk food Friday with potato skins, mozzarella sticks and wings,” she says. “They are open to some of the healthier items. We’ve gotten quinoa on the menu.  I have very little weight loss in the building, so the satisfaction with the food is there.”

Dougherty says residents typically don’t ask for pricier items like filet mignon frequently because it takes away from its specialness when that dish is served. Salmon and Yankee pot roast are two resident favorites.

“Being in a corporate environment we’re very structured with recipes and it’s usually a standardized menu,” Sweeney adds. “It’s fun to have a little bit more freedom. It does create a good amount of work with writing and yield testing with the recipes. We have only four cooks for the whole building. It keeps them engaged. As far as food costs go that’s sometimes a struggle.”

Two entrée options are offered for dinner and several everyday options are available for those residents who don’t choose one of the resident-selected specials. The lunch menu is normally a salad or sandwich option.

In addition, there is a ground and puréed option for every entrée. The facility has always had an extensive puréed program, but the mechanical soft ground program is a new venture for the team. All puréed and ground foods are remolded to look like their non-ground or puréed counterparts.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

Industry News & Opinion

James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., recently hosted a weeklong program called Weigh the Waste, which aimed to show students how much food gets wasted in dining halls, The Breeze reports.

Throughout the week, students placed food they were about to throw away on a scale located near the trash bins at one of their dining halls. At the end of the week, the school tallied the waste and saw that 817 pounds of food had been wasted.

School officials hope that the annual program, which it’s hosted since 2015, will remind dining hall patrons to only take as much food as...

FSD Resources