Behind The Scenes: Holiday's Unique Menu-Planning
At Holiday Retirement, our residents eat with us as many as 21 times a week — that’s 1,092 times a year! And when you’re tasked with dining on that scale, at hundreds of communities, for thousands of residents, you start with what works.
We know that means doing everything with the residents in mind. And more specifically, what the residents have shared about what they like and want to eat. And then the balancing act begins, and the dining services team sets to work blending variety, flavor and nutrition.
To achieve this, the team works with 4-week menu cycles. During each 4-week cycle, the menu changes every day. And each menu cycle is planned with season, location and resident profiles in mind because we understand that the favorite fare of a community in Iowa may differ wildly from one in Maine. We plan our menus so that chefs can take advantage of fresh, local ingredients and create dishes that will delight residents. Additionally, chefs always have the flexibility to add a “resident favorite” to the menu on any given day.
The dedication to resident preferences and needs doesn’t end there, however. Every Holiday Retirement community has a kiosk dedicated to feedback so that residents can share their thoughts on the menu, individual dishes and their dining experience. Likewise, every community has a Resident Dining Council made up of residents who solicit feedback from their friends and neighbors and carry that information to meetings with the chef and general manager.
Information sharing goes both ways in the menu planning process, as new recipes are always chef-and-community-tested before being added to a cycle. Community chefs debuting a new dish take time to introduce it to the diners and will often send out sample plates so residents can familiarize themselves with the dish before it hits the menu for everyone.
It’s a bit of a balancing act to serve up a balanced meal, but our dedicated teams do it every day. Ready for a taste of life at Holiday Retirement? Join us for a meal at a community near you or get in touch to learn more.