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

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code