A changing dynamic

Long-time FSD in long-term care sees the foodservice model changing.

If you want to know how dramatically the healthcare model is changing in long-term care, start with the wine. At least, that’s what Rich Daehn says.

“We have started wine lists, where guests can order wine with dinner,” says Daehn, the corporate director of culinary services for Benedictine Health System (BHS), the Duluth, Minn.-based company that operates 40 nursing homes and senior living facilities in seven Midwestern states. “Ten years ago, I would never have thought we’d be serving wine in a nursing home. So things are definitely changing. It’s a different model altogether.”

The food is changing, as well. Even Daehn’s title reflects the altered dynamics that are leading long-term care, with “Culinary Services” in place of “food services”—or even “dining services.”

“We’re offering much different types of foods,” says Daehn, as we talk at Tuscan, the Italian bistro in Daehn’s hometown of Lake Geneva, Wis. “These are not your meatloaf and baked chicken menus any more.”

Well, he admits, that could be a bit of an overstatement. There is still a place for the old standards. But there is no denying that the breadth of menus in long-term care facilities is growing. Daehn points out that not only are menus becoming broader, they no longer come in one size. That is, the menu at each BHS facility is unique to that program, in order to reflect the tastes of that particular unit.

It’s all part of the shift from a healthcare model to a customer-centered model—BHS calls them guests, by the way; not residents and certainly not patients no matter what their condition.

Daehn likens what culinary services at BHS is doing to the Disney model. “At Disney parks, they build a berm around the outside so that when you’re in the park, you don’t think about the outside world,” he says. “That’s what we’re trying to create in our dining rooms. We want them to forget they’re in a healthcare model. They are there to enjoy a meal, spend time with friends to have an enjoyable social time. That’s what we’re trying to create in all of our buildings.”

For more on what Rich Daehn is doing at Benedictine, be sure to read our June issue.

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...

FSD Resources