Dining options play a major role in a potential resident’s decision when choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Variety, pricing and overall service are just a few aspects they consider when choosing their new home. It is no surprise the CCRC industry is focusing on dining and food service, offering multiple dining venues, experimenting with newer trends, and investing more time and money into chefs and equipment.
One aspect that residents of any generation can agree on is that variety is essential to any menu. Retirement communities are veering away from one “dining room” option and are instead offering multiple dining venues to give residents more choices. These venues are designed to run like restaurants, offering options like coffee shops, made-to-order cafes and full service dining.
Everyone has a different preference in food, and this is especially true when looking at various age groups. While some retirees prefer more traditional meals, others are interested in trying new foods that might be the current trend. Healthy options are becoming more popular than ever. It is not uncommon to see gluten-free, sugar-free, and heart healthy options offered. Other popular menu items might include diverse foods from other countries or adventurous spices added to classic meals add a new spin.
Retirement Community Dining Trends Toward High Standards
As the food industry in CCRCs become a center focus, ingredients, service and staff are being held to higher standards. Regardless of whether the meals are old favorites or a bit more modern, the ingredients used for them are fresher and more nutritional that ever before with micro greens, locally sourced produce and made-from-scratch entrees becoming popular trends in retirement communities. (1) This guarantees that every meal a resident orders is made with care from start to finish.
All chefs need to have a background in dining and most communities even require their chefs to be professionally trained. This helps with not only planning a creative yet balanced menu, but also handling the equipment in the kitchens. CCRCs are starting to look more similar to the restaurant industry with its use of Combi equipment and speed ovens. (2) These machines help to ensure meals are prepared as quickly and efficiently as possible for residents.
A Variety of Dining Options at Riddle Village
Here at Riddle Village dining is not only a necessary luxury, but also a fun option for socialization. With four different venues to choose from, everyone is sure to find something they enjoy whether they are looking for a three-course meal, a laidback lounge or a quick stop at the café. Every menu has a few staple items mixed in with daily specials that are inventive takes on foods we already love. Our dining style has helped accommodate our residents’ busy schedules and we even offer take-out options for those who are just looking for a relaxing evening at home. Currently, we are planning renovations that will help us to make dining at Riddle Village an even more enjoyable experience.
Communities are working hard to continue satisfying current residents as well as attract future residents. Not only is the focus on delicious and healthy food, but also the dining environment and service. In the past, you may have associated eating in a retirement community to be similar to a cafeteria. Today, you can expect to find high quality food, luxurious dining settings, and a vibrant atmosphere.