RPAs stand out with their dining rooms- HRImag: HOTELS, RESTAURANTS and INSTITUTIONS

RPAs stand out with their dining rooms- HRImag: HOTELS, RESTAURANTS and INSTITUTIONS

Photo credit: Selection Group

Private residences for seniors (RPA) are increasingly differentiated by their dining room. They develop programs and partnerships to attract customers, relying on both food and decor, and do not hesitate to use new technologies.

“All the networks now have good building offers; residents’ questions then concern food: knowing if they are going to eat well,” underlines Maurice Chartrand, food chef at Le Groupe Maurice. After consulting with residents, he developed the program Fresh orientation which relies on market cuisine, with fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables. The transformation is then done in the kitchens of the residences, which makes it possible in particular to control the quantities of sugar, salt and fat – three challenges for the residents since they can lead to pressure or artery problems.

“Our program was innovative when we started and with COVID-19, it paid off! We took stock in 2019 and we were between 80% and 88% Quebec and/or Canadian products. If we had an impact on prices with the pandemic, we had fewer supply problems than other institutions because we were already buying locally and our business relationships were already built, ”insists Maurice Chartrand.

Proximity to suppliers also allows it to develop products for the Group. For example, elk, deer or duck à l’orange sausage is made by a Montreal butcher for the barbecues organized this summer in residences.

Photo credit: Groupe Maurice

Develop partnerships

Claude-André Mayrand, Senior Public Relations and Corporate Communications Advisor at Groupe Sélection, also announces that a collaboration is underway with food manufacturers to create recipes specific to Sélection Retraite complexes.

He refers to partnerships as an opportunity to differentiate themselves. Several have therefore emerged: Kinélite offers, among other things, personalized nutrition follow-ups for residents; Ricardo Media co-founder Ricardo Larrivee and nutritionist Isabelle Huot also participate with ready-to-eat meals that are healthy and nutritious.

Since last year, Sélection Retraite has also collaborated with the nutrition department of the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal. The objectives are to develop and promote various forms of popularization activities in nutrition, to enhance the balanced food offer in the living environment of the elderly as well as to contribute to the enhancement of professional work by reflecting on the academic background of students and the opportunities to connect with independent seniors.

“The RPA environment is competitive,” explains Claude-André Mayrand. It is certain that the food offer and the dining room, like the other common areas, allow the Sélection Retraite complexes to stand out. Our dining rooms with quality menus and neat decors have more the look of a restaurant than a cafeteria, which is greatly appreciated by our residents. »

In terms of decor, the dining rooms display an urban style that highlights the local context and have an avant-garde appearance with noble materials such as leather or stone, velvet benches, refined decoration focusing on elements such as works of art or candlesticks.

Photo credit: Selection Group

Socialization through food

“I regularly have people who tell me ‘We have a little problem: my parent has gained weight since he has been with you’”, smiles the food chef of Groupe Maurice. He explains that people who lived alone tend to eat more once they are in residence. He also evokes repercussions on food autonomy: some cook more to share their recipe for a dish they were able to eat in the dining room.

“Our residents are more and more knowledgeable about food and on the lookout because they are independent, so they still go to restaurants, still do their grocery shopping… They have a lot of comparisons. With us, the meal plan is not included in the lease, so if I want to have customers, I have to seduce them like a restaurateur, the menu has to please them,” emphasizes Maurice Chartrand. He adds that currently, more than 75% of residents eat on site, for lunch or dinner.

To ensure their satisfaction, annual surveys are carried out and every day, the chefs go to the dining room to meet with them and take note of their comments. “On the one hand, we listen to them and on the other, we are on the lookout for the market, while making sure to adapt it to the residences, specifies the food chef. Some have never eaten raw fish, so when I wanted to introduce them to the poke bowl, I started by presenting it only with raw vegetables. »

Every two months, it brings together the chefs of Le Groupe Maurice to test new products and every month, they organize an activity Fresh orientation such as a gourmet dinner. “These are sporadic activities that bring pleasure on the one hand and others. The residents dress according to the themes, for example a white ball, and the chefs appropriate the program, let their creativity run free, which brings “wow” effects. »

Photo credit: Groupe Maurice

Comparison with restaurants

Maurice Chartrand mentions several advantages related to RPA’s dining rooms, starting with the variety of menus offered within the same establishment: four different menus a day, seven days a week, on a minimum cycle of four weeks. It also highlights the presence of cooked dishes such as ham on the bone, duck pie, cabbage roll, beef bourguignon and veal blanquette. “There are fewer and fewer of them in the traditional catering offer, which favors grilled meats and items that are branded: steak, chicken, fish… There are more and more chains and uniform menus , so people appreciate that we have it. »

Like many restaurants and hotels, Sélection Retraite recently launched a pilot project in three of its complexes in Greater Montreal, by installing BellaBot robots. Their mission will be to assist in the distribution of lunch and dinner meals, in addition to picking up trays in the dining room. The objective is to support the employees so that the service is more efficient and allow them to have more time to devote to the needs of the residents.

The Group is also in the process of developing a mobile application to provide residents with information on the dining rooms, in particular the daily menus. In the longer term, various interfaces will be appended to collect feedback, with a view to continuous improvement.

Key words:

Quebec (province)
Institutional Services

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