Senior Living Raises the Bar on Dining Experiences By Investing in Culinary Training

May 1, 2019


Current senior care dining trends point to a need to better engage staff and elevate the dining experience for residents.

According to a recent study by Unidine in collaboration with LeadingAge, senior living dining service providers currently face two major issues.

First, workforce instability and high staff turnover rates. Like many industries, senior care is facing a cook shortage and needs to attract, train and retain employees.

Second, the changing expectations and tastes of the next generation. As baby boomers start transitioning to senior living, they bring with them greater education about food, broader interests in creative and international cuisine, and higher expectations around the dining experience.

Culinary training programs, like those offered by Rouxbe, address these challenges head-on.

By offering culinary training, senior living dining services can attract new talent and help staff improve their skills and advance their careers. Investing in training also provides an ongoing engagement opportunity for staff that leads to greater job satisfaction and higher retention.

Regarding staff benefits, training helps staff develop strong foundational skills, expand their toolkits, and improve their culinary talents. With these abilities, dining services staff can enhance the dining experience for seniors and their families who now expect high-quality food and exceptional service. With boomers embracing culinary trends like a-la-carte pricing, family-style dining, farm-to-fork cooking, vegetarian and vegan menus, and more, senior living dining services need to train their staff to keep up with their residents’ changing interests.

Training is a win-win for dining services staff, management and residents – employees feel engaged and empowered, dining programs become more flexible, and seniors get the elevated dining experience they seek.”
– Chef Kirk Bachmann, VP of Culinary Training & Development at Rouxbe

Rouxbe partners with senior living organizations to offer online training that helps upskill their culinary teams and enhance the dining experience for residents.

One such partnership is the Ohio Living Culinary Academy, powered by Rouxbe. This innovative, groundbreaking online training and educational initiative is changing the way that Ohio Living invests in the development of its culinary services team.

Led by John Andrews, Division Director of Culinary and Nutritional Services, Ohio Living’s food service programs have transformed into nationally recognized and award-winning culinary and nutritional centers of excellence. The Rouxbe online training program is the latest initiative to be embraced organization-wide. It is positively affecting resident satisfaction and increasing options for workforce development.

“Innovation in the culinary space reflects the ability of great leaders to present new ideas that lead to improved consistency, effective processes and high-quality food preparation and service,” says Chef John Andrews, Division Director of Culinary and Nutrition Services at Ohio Living. “The introduction of the Ohio Living Culinary Academy provides innovative training that is accessible anytime and anywhere. It presents Ohio Living learners with the ability to improve their culinary skills in a way that ultimately improves the daily dining experience of Ohio Living residents.”

Other leading senior care providers are exploring online culinary training programs and seeing great results.

In late 2017, Rouxbe partnered with Trilogy Health Services to create a new Culinary Apprenticeship Training Program.

“Rouxbe has been an amazing partner to work with,” says Landon Nicholson, Director of Customer Service Education and Strategy. “The content is world-class, and our culinary teams can’t get enough of it. Our cooks love the web-based interface, the beautiful instructional videos and the learning components like the flashcards and practice quizzes. All of these elements come together in a way that is easy to access, fun to learn and exciting to practice in our campuses.”

Ken Rubin, Rouxbe’s Chief Culinary Officer commends Trilogy Health Services for investing in their teams.

“Trilogy has demonstrated a true commitment to supporting their culinary teams with the Rouxbe Training Program. The residents who depend on quality food and dining experiences will undoubtedly find that the increased training and attention to culinary competencies will result in more delicious and healthy meals. The development of the culinary team will have a positive and lasting impact on staff morale and retention.”

Todd Schmiedeler, Senior Vice President, Foundation and Workforce Development at Trilogy agrees:

“Rouxbe and Trilogy Health Services are natural partners,” he says, “because we share the values of high customer service standards, an employee-first culture, and innovation that produces unparalleled results.”

With a focus on foundational training, Rouxbe’s online training programs offer teams a scalable, affordable and flexible solution to attract, develop and retain their staff. Click here to learn more about professional online culinary training.