Is your community twenty years old and does it look it? Can you add fresh flowers on each dining table to spruce it up? Are linen tablecloths and napkins a standard? Or have you cut these items from your operations budget? You may have a great chef, the best service and a beautiful dining room, but the wrong words can also leave a bad impression…
On a recent trip to Seattle, my family decided to go to McCormick and Schmicks – a nice dining restaurant on the water. The waiter greeted us and shared his steak and lobster special of the day. Hmm, I thought – that sounds good. We asked what type of steak it was. Then he said, “The steak is the shoulder of a cow.” He walked away from us, so we could contemplate the menu and we immediately started saying – what??? Why would someone talk about the steak as the shoulder of cow, which is not very appetizing? My sister-in-law said, I envision a cow with a hacked off shoulder.” We all started getting grossed out and laughing. When the waiter came back, we teased him and told him that the shoulder of a cow did not sound good. He apologized and said he forgot the proper term to say which was “Terrace Major.” We all agreed that was not appetizing either.
What descriptor words are on your retirement community’s menu? Is the dining staff trained to sell the food? We’ve all been to fine dining restaurants where they describe the desert in a magnificent way or they bring a tray to show the yummy deserts – then it is really hard to say no. Many senior living communities that I have visited – say, “Would you like desert?” That’s it!?!! They should say we have 10 deserts for you to select from, can I share the choices with you? (Most retirement communities have many ice creams to choose from, a sugar free desert, a baked desert, fresh fruit and canned fruit.)
Let’s make our residents feel special every day of the week! Dining should be a stimulating experience for them! What does your senior living community do to make the residents feel like they are experiencing fine dining?
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com. If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. For more information: Twitter: @market2seniors Web: www.marketing2seniors.net Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/