Blog

Why improving the meal service is like playing chess

Too often improving the meal service can seem like winners and losers in a Chess game, with some moves knocking out the other side (staff, residents, family) and unintentionally compromising other parts of the meal service (quality, safety, compliance). Each “move” or idea should progress the service forward, without unintended consequences for the next move and other pieces of the strategy. With 45+ “functional stakeholders” who can […]

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How’s your Dining Experience outside the dining room?

Emphasis on the aged care dining experience has increased with a transitioning demographic, new providers entering the sector, influence of family & social media and movement towards a resident co-contribution model. Where does the focus on quality stop and the concentration on compliance, safety, task and process take over when providing meals in residential aged care? At the oven in the kitchen? When food is delivered to […]

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Future skills for aged care staff

Last night I went to the launch of the Australian Technology Network of Universities Future Skills Series at QUT Brisbane. Speakers discussed future learning, capabilities for future career success, internal entrepreneurialism and designing your life by Kaizen. I reflected on staff skill-building and knowledge transfer for aged care staff, particularly catering staff. Many caring, dedicated staff I work with have been in their role for 10, 20, 25 […]

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If your dining room was a restaurant, would your residents eat there?

When I visit residential aged care facilities, it doesn’t take long to get the feel for a place, as I have mentioned before here and here.  The same is true in the dining room – it is often reflective of the organisational culture.  Interestingly, dining rooms can have their own sub-culture and differ between dining rooms even within the same facility. Our starting point when reviewing a […]

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Assisting with oral care – one of the least liked tasks

Yesterday my friend rang me asking if I knew of any subsidised dental service her father could access.  He had difficulty eating his meals and didn’t want people seeing his condition so was feeling isolated. He could not afford to pay for private dental treatment and feared he would lose his independence. Coincidentally, this month’s The Lantern Project meeting was focussed on oral health and the implications […]

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Is your meal service digitally prepared for the millennials workforce?

A weekend visit to the Digital Futures Lab at the State Library of Queensland reminded me that in 3 years time – 2020 – 50% of the global workforce will be millennials. This will rise to 75% by 2025. Technology dominates every aspect of millennials lives. They will want EaaA (Everything as an App) and to have their smartphone at hand every minute of their working day as […]

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Staff culture aged care dining fish rots from head

Is your dining experience reflected in your staff culture?

There is a saying The fish rots from the head.  Board and leaders set the tone within the company.  Does your dining experience reflect your real culture?   I recently caught up with a colleague who had just installed some kitchen equipment in a residential aged care facility and trained the staff.  He reflected “If they were my staff, I would sack ’em”.  I knew those staff […]

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Chasm functional stakeholders waste constraints

Creating a great dining experience starts with your strategy

Change to the meal service is too often reactive. A dining experience strategy that begins with the end in mind better meets stakeholders needs and keeps residents and their family happy.   With aged care and health constantly under the spotlight, is meeting compliance good enough?   Newspapers and social media trumpet increasing instances where there is public outcry, even though “the perpetrators” have complied with “the […]

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Soft eggs in aged care

50 Shades of Eggs

I love soft cooked eggs! When The Lantern Project recently decided to look at the issue of soft cooked eggs in aged care residential facilities, I wanted to be a part of the team.  Soft eggs is a topic that exasperates staff, traumatises managers and frustrates residents.  There are many layers of people between the hen and the resident who can support or thwart efforts, as this […]

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Benchmark cost of food aged care nursing homes

Could driving down your food budget to meet benchmark cost you more?

According to a national benchmarking company, the average food cost for their benchmarked residential aged care facilities was $6.08 per resident per DAY.    The impact of striving to reach an external  food cost benchmark could  be very risky for managers, chefs and dietitians struggling to produce a nutritious, varied, appealing menu.  It must meet regulatory standards, satisfy residents and an increasingly judgemental family (and a 30-year […]

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