Dec 12, 2017
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The Hospitality Concept and Health Care Food Service

The long term care industry provides meal services to thousands of residents daily.  Providing a meal service that complies with state and federal regulations can be daunting.  It is easy to get so caught up with meeting regulations and day to day operations that the overall goals of the food service department become lost.  The mission of any health care food service department is to meet the nutritional needs of its residents per the regulatory requirements of each particular type of facility as well as provide a dining experience that is conducive to resident satisfaction and pleasure.  The concept of Hospitality needs to be practiced on a regular basis as a part of fulfilling this mission and as a means to remain competitive in the healthcare market.

The residents and family members in our long-term care facilities – whether they are short term for rehabilitation or long-term residents- are customers of the facility.    The customer or client services provided affect facility reputation, public perception, profitability and competition with similar facilities in the area.  This not only is necessary to meet regulations and provide the appropriate nutritional care but is needed to retain the customer.   One of the most important considerations made by a prospective customer in any facility includes an evaluation of the food service and dining services.  Healthcare facility customers of today expect food service that approaches the services they are accustomed to in a restaurant.
Guidelines to include in the Hospitality Concept:

  • The dining areas should be clean, tidy, inviting, cheerful, warm and friendly
  • The actions and attitudes of the staff should be cheerful, friendly, non-confrontational, pleasant, enthusiastic, helpful and considerate of customer preferences and needs
  • The food service staff should have neat/clean appearances with neat/clean uniforms or clothing, hair, etc.)
  • There is no such thing as a “perfect food service 100% of the time”.  There are numerous problems that can occur in a food service. Be willing to listen to your customers and honestly evaluate and address a concern with an open mind.

In this competitive health care environment; and, in addition to meeting all the other requirements, it’s the dietary manager and food service department that have adopted the Hospitality Concept will be the most successful.


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