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How to Create the Best Restaurant in Town

A little known secret among seniors is that senior communities are sometimes the best restaurants in town. The culinary teams at these destinations have honed their skills by working closely with patrons to create unique, delicious experiences.

Much of the credit also belongs with the community residents themselves. They are increasingly bringing with them a worldy, sophisticated palate after years of traveling and adventurous dining. This generation has been across the country or around the world. They can compare vanilla ice cream to the vanilla helato they had in Rome and the kind they churned as a kid on their grandma’s porch.

They’ve also been exposed to the boom in customer service, where top brands have learned to collaborate with customers and anticipate their desires. This means residents bring a willingness to share recipes and lend expertise, seeing their restaurants as a sort of extension of their own kitchens, with far more resources and a team of chefs, of course.

Recently, our top teams shared their best practices and we’ve developed a tip sheet we call “How to Become the Best Restaurant in Town.” Anyone from a chef to a kitchen manager to a party host can find inspiration.

1. Create a feeling of home.

Start with the welcome. Get to know guests and invite them to get to know you. One chef took an idea from Disney and has his team wear name-tags with their name, their role and their favorite ice cream flavor. It’s a great conversation starter! Also, use food and aroma to welcome as well. Right away, offer aromatic, visible, delicious 

2. Bring a curiosity to your kitchen AND to your patrons. 
Curiosity to try new recipes and flavors is crucial in the kitchen. At the same time, getting to know patrons’ backgrounds and experience will spark ideas and enliven menus. Some of the best creations come when the culinary team and residents collaborate on menus and projects.


3. See every meal as an opportunity to create a memory.
Chefs loves to impress and will do well to bring this instinct into the dining room. Table side demonstrations and food artistry are always appreciated. Create special menus with inspired decorations for events, such as a Derby party, Senior Prom, College Football kickoff and Spring Picnic. Understand that every meal is a show where you can leave a lasting impression.

Learn more about Sodexo Senior Living services & dining.

December 19, 2019

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Sodexo USA

9801 Washingtonian Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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