Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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38 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES AUGUST 2019 "They're converting those big rooms into multiple venues. They're putting the kitchen in the middle and keeping it open, and creating different din- ing experiences around it, from fast casual to full service. If they can't do that, they're at least creating differ- ent experiences at each meal period, setting the tables differently, having different looks on different nights, different themes and distinctive menus for each meal period versus the old- school single menu with everything on it. Some are doing pop-up culinary events and/or creating rooftop and other outdoor dining options. It's all about giving people choice and keep- ing things fresh." Integral to the multivenue trend, Hollyday adds, is a shift toward retail- style branding of senior-living dining concepts, from menu design and graph- ics to packaging — even partnering with local food producers and coffee roasters to produce private-label products. "Anymore, you have to have a concept and a name beyond simply 'the dining room' or the 'magnolia room,' " Hollyday says. "It's about adopt- ing a hospitality model that's more like a country club or resort than a healthcare facility. The healthcare aspect is funda- mental, but the environments around it are changing dramatically." Garden Spot Village, a New Holland, Pa., continuing care retire- ment community for residents 55 and older, remodeled and revamped its foodservice program in 2013 to better appeal to next-gen seniors. Nearly a third of the people moving in over the past few years are in their late 50s and early 60s, says Scott Miller, chief marketing of‹cer for Garden Spot Communities. "The national average for retirement communities is 82-plus, so we cater to a very young audience. We had to make changes to meet changing expectations. These new residents expect a high level of quality and diversity." Partnering with Sodexo, Garden Spot created a diverse, market-driven foodservice model that's held up as a showcase both for the contract feeder and for where the segment is headed, Miller says. The community now includes ‹ve distinct restaurant concepts. Its signature and most popular con- cept is The Harvest Table, a fast-casual lunch and dinner operation with large salad bar and several themed action sta- tions that typically include sandwiches, hearth-baked pizza and stromboli, Lancaster County/Pennsylvania Dutch comfort foods, grilled items, pasta, stir- fry and desserts. Other options within the inde- pendent-living area include The Terrace, a more upscale, table-service dining room with an a la carte menu; The Creamery, an "always-packed" short-order breakfast concept; a coffee bar that serves Starbucks coffee and a variety of grab-and-go food items; and The Coop, a French bistro-inspired concept located in the community's personal care (assisted living) area. River Landing, a continuing care community in Colfax, N.C., follows a similar path, recently remodeling and recasting its foodservice program from one previously characterized by a large main dining room with a buffet and few menu choices to multiple smaller, branded restaurant venues. Among the most popular restaurant venues is the fast-casual Bistro 1575. There, action stations offer fresh salads, sandwiches, personal pizzas and strom- boli baked in a wood-‹red oven, and grilled items. "We still offer a salad bar for those who want to ‹x their own and a small three- or four-well hot buffet for residents who want to grab some- thing quick, but for the most part it's a cook-to-order, independent restaurant," notes Director of Dining Services Joseph Burdette, CDM, CCFP. For more formal table-service din- ing, River Landing offers The Water's Edge, which includes a broad menu of sandwiches, entrees and salads, while The Wayfarer features international- inspired cuisines with themes that change every two months. Core menus at all venues change frequently to highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients and off-menu specials help to keep the selection fresh and interesting. Rob Bobbitt, national director of dining services at Tucson-based Watermark Retirement Communities, says his company's portfolio has grown largely through acquisitions to 58 senior living communities in 21 states. They range from stand-alone independent and assisted living options to continuing care and memory care communities in addition to Medicare-certi‹ed rehab and skilled nursing neighborhoods. Display cooking, high- end finishes and varied seating create appeal- ing, on-trend dining experiences. Photo courtesy of Garden Spot Village 5 TRENDS IN eni ivin FOODSERVICE

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