The food service program on campus is about more than just preparing nutritious and delicious meals. It’s also about creating an enjoyable dining experience.
“Our goal is that we prepare food and provide service that creates memories and pleases all the senses of our residents and their families,” said Johny Patwary, dining services director.
Johny and his team accomplish this in a number of ways.
“We update our menu every six months so we can keep it seasonal. We also provide a side menu called ‘Chef’s Corner.’ It is a restaurant-style menu that we created for residents who want to try something different. This menu is very creative and attracts residents wanting something unique,” said Johny.
But before anything on the menu is rolled out, plenty of preparation goes into the process.
“We do a huddle called ‘Showtime’ where we meet before our meal and go over each dish and their ingredients to make sure servers understand what is made and how it is made so they can educate the residents when they have questions. Then, after the meal, we do a ‘Post Service’ meeting where we all meet again and talk about how the meal went if there were any comments, suggestions or concerns,” said Johny.
Feedback from residents is highly encouraged.
“Residents’ feedback has a big influence in our menu design. We created a platform called ‘Johny Time’ where I, or a member of my management team, sit with residents and go over the current and upcoming menus, listen to suggestions and discuss service. It is open to any residents. We also do a monthly resident’s council where they can share their point of view and suggestions, and we have comment cards available. Every week we go over all of the comments and acknowledge all of the suggestions, comments and constructive criticism. We try our best to execute most of them and follow up with them in future meetings,” said Johny.
There are some new, non-menu items that you may have noticed recently, too.
“We have introduced a new program called ‘Teaching Kitchen’ where we do a cooking demo with residents and they get to participate making a dish with us. It is very simple cooking with fresh ingredients where Chef David Paine and our Nutrition Care Manager Emily Prouse help residents create the dish and understand the function of each ingredient they are utilizing.”
Johny continued, “We recently upgraded our platewares and service program to create a casual bistro feeling in the dining room. We are sourcing our produce locally through our vendor to make sure we are getting seasonal products and designing our menu accordingly.”
Curious which dish is a favorite among residents? “The beef stew, due to the fact that is a comfort food and very familiar.”
As we celebrate National Nutrition Month in March, we hope you enjoy every meal the dining services team dishes out for you. Be sure to share your feedback with them, too!