Homestead Village café sees growth after renovation

homestead-village-cafe

When Homestead Village, a retirement community in Lancaster, Pa., decided to enlarge its main dining room, it took the opportunity to meld the desires of two cultures—younger baby boomers who wanted casual dining and older residents who preferred a more formal setting. Working with a $150,000 budget, dining services, which is managed by Cura Hospitality, designed a more open servery that improved traffic flow and increased menu choices, and a seating area with tables and booths that gives the space a restaurantlike feel.

The resulting space is known as the Glasford Room, a dining room that offers sit-down waitservice at breakfast and dinner and a scatter servery for self-service at lunch. The servery features an action station, deli, entrée station, and a large soup and salad bar.

“This has struck a chord that appeals to everybody,” says Doug Motter, president, Homestead Village. “Older residents missed the formal dining, and newer residents love the new action station.”

The dining program has had several iterations, Motter explains, going from a meal plan to a pay-as-you-go plan called Homestead Dollars that residents buy into depending on where they live in the community.

“We once had a very traditional one-meal-a-day plan with a formal dining room,” he notes. “In the 1990s, we built a more casual dining space that served breakfast, lunch and dinner. It became so popular that in 2004 we had to move it to the main dining room because more people wanted that than wanted formal dining.”

In 2006 the space—known as the Village Café— was renovated and remained the main dining component until the latest renovation.

“Basically, the deli, entrée station, soup and salad bar and action station were all in a line,” says John Lush, general manager for Cura. “The speed of service was very slow. So what we did with this new renovation was, we purchased a new action station and we split up the line, placing the deli on one side and the action station on the other. It’s made for much smoother service.”

The other move was to bring the salad bar out to the front of the servery, to allow people who want hot food to select their cold items from the salad bar first.

Also, with the new action station, cooking to order is now a daily occurrence, Lush adds, explaining that it used to be operated about three days a week.

Finally, a wall was built separating the servery from the dining space. “Before, it was all open so if you were sitting anywhere in the dining room the congestion of people trying to get food was all on display,” Motter says.

The net effect of all the changes has been improved customer satisfaction. Motter says participation is up 25% and revenue has increased 15%.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to reduce turnover, lunchroom supervisors at elementary schools in a Chicago-area district will see an increase in pay at the start of the new school year, the Chicago Tribune reports .

The board of education for Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 on Aug. 8 approved a proposal to increase wages for those supervisors, boosting starting pay from from $12 to $14 an hour. Returning employees who already earn above the new rate will see an hourly increase of 2%.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Joel Martin said he hopes the increased wages will allow...

Ideas and Innovation
coffee shop trailor graphic

A familiar face is coming to the roads of Rutgers University this fall: the Starbucks mermaid. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based school is testing a Starbucks truck throughout the upcoming semester, NJ.com reports . The company began testing trucks on college campuses in 2014, and now has mobile locations at Arizona State University, James Madison University in Virginia, East Carolina University in North Carolina and Sacramento State in California.

The trucks will serve the full lineup of Starbucks beverages that’s available at the outlet’s brick-and-mortar location at Rutgers,...

Industry News & Opinion

A study from Virginia Tech has found a connection between school meal participation and obesity in students. From data that predates the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act , the findings raise questions over whether nutrition standards go far enough.

The research evaluated data from 1998 to 2007, comparing first through eighth grade students who partook in free and reduced-price lunch and those who qualified but opted out. Wen You, associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, says she expected to validate theories that increased breakfast...

Industry News & Opinion

Buffalo Public Schools is turning to local chefs and a little competition to help create new menu items, the Buffalo News reports .

In October, local chefs will compete against each other and a team of seven to 10 students led by chef Bobby Anderson, a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” to create lunch recipes that comply with USDA nutritional requirements and use seasonal produce sourced locally.

“This Chef Challenge is another way to engage our youth in a fun, friendly competition with local area chefs who can help create appealing recipes that will be incorporated...

FSD Resources