According to recent research, 98% of hospitals said they were either actively considering adopting outsourcing or had already done it. Hospitals and healthcare communities outsource a variety of responsibilities like billing, laundry, food service, and more so that the hospitals’ core staff can focus their time on providing better, high-quality care to patients and residents.
As a senior living or behavioral healthcare community, it might not be realistic to outsource every aspect of your business. It’s crucial to talk with your team about what you have the time, resources, and expertise to handle and what you don’t. Then, prioritize from there.
Many senior living and behavioral healthcare communities around the country outsource their dining program because it can reduce operating costs, staff can be difficult to find, food service isn’t a simple operation, and it can give residents a more enjoyable dining experience.
Your Community Keeps Growing
Senior living communities are only going to get more populated as time goes on. In fact, The Center for Housing Policy estimates that by 2050, the population of those aged 65 or older will increase by 120% to more than 88 million. And while 2050 seems like a long way off, having the right systems in place now can set your community up for success in the years to come.
Bringing on a food service management company specializing in senior living, hospitals, and behavioral health care cuts down on the work your team needs to do as your community continues to grow. A food service provider with a senior living focus already understands the unique needs of the diners they’re serving. They’re constantly educating themselves about nutrition and the medical conditions that today’s seniors face. For example, Culinary Services Group has developed several food programs for residents with various conditions to help them eat more independently. Our Finger Foods Program was created for residents with dementia and our Fortified Foods Program helps those who are at risk of becoming malnourished. If your community were to develop similar programs on your own, it would take more time and resources than you most likely have available.
A World of Connections
By outsourcing your dining program to a food service management company, you also automatically gain access to that company’s resources. Good food service management organizations have spent years cultivating relationships with food suppliers, technology providers, and well-trained staff members. Your team will see the benefit of these relationships without having to do any extra networking.
Because of these connections, you might see that you’re actually saving money. Larger food service companies can typically get better quality products at a lower cost because of their relationships with food purchasing groups and the fact that they’re most likely buying in bulk.
Plus, as industry experts, your food service vendor should be staying on top of new trends and innovations in the culinary world (something you may not have a lot of time to do). They can automatically start implementing new ideas in your dining room to make sure you’re keeping up with modern times and don’t get left behind.
The Right Talent
Because senior living populations continue to grow, another big challenge communities like yours face is staffing. Annual staff turnover in nursing homes is about 69%. You may struggle with recruiting the right talent, retaining team members, training, onboarding, and professional development. Being understaffed can have a negative effect on team morale and on the services you provide to residents.
Outsourcing to the right partner helps you overcome these staffing challenges. An established food service management company will have a wide network of talent and help your community find, train, and retain the right people. When Culinary Services Group staffs the healthcare communities we work with, our focus is on their longterm goals, not on our bottom line. We make sure your staff is meeting federal and state regulations, goes through a comprehensive onboarding program, and has opportunities to continue education, develop, and grow.
Watch the video below to learn more about how Culinary Services Group can help you recruit, train, and retain the best leadership talent:
How to Find the Right Partner
If you’ve decided to outsource your dining program to an expert vendor, choosing the right partner is crucial. You need to find a food service company you trust and that can demonstrate their success in the industry. When vetting potential partners, ask them how they like to communicate with their healthcare communities. Will they send you reports on a regular basis? Will they be available for meetings? Good communication is key when bringing in an outside partner.
If the vendor will be recruiting, hiring, and training new team members, discuss how much of a role your executive team will play in these hiring decisions. Will the vendor be open to discussion before bringing on a new employee or before replacing an old one?
Finally, before making your final choice, talk through expectations. Chat with the vendor about some shared goals you both hope to hit after six months, after a year, and so on. By ensuring you’re on the same page from the beginning, you can set your partnership up for success.
If you’d like to learn more about outsourcing your dining program to Culinary Services Group, feel free to contact us here.