As CEO of an assisted living company that operates memory care facilities in multiple states, I continue to learn daily the importance of the things that we often overlook in favor of what we consider “more important” or “pressing”. When it comes to the quality of life for our residents I am often amazed at how the little things are the center of their universe. And food is at top of the list.
It is critical to stop and pay attention, better than we do, to how well we are preparing meals, and how we present them on the plate. Do we take seriously putting together menus that balance what the residents really prefer (not just what is easiest for us to prepare) as well as what will help them feel the best they can.
I often walk into facilities, even those I oversee, and watch as staff move rapidly through mealtime with minimal concern for product and service, let alone the perceptions and feelings of the “customer”. With just a little more care and sensitivity for these details we would provide a better service and value, and significantly improve the quality of life for our residents.
My mother-in-law currently lives in a very nice assisted and independent living facility which presents itself as “upscale”. If I can count on hearing one comment about her living situation every day, it is a complaint about the food. No matter what is done well in that facility, if the food service and quality are not right, her experience there is tainted.
In this business we need to pay a little better attention to what our customers feel and think. And when they talk about things that seem of little importance to us, we need to remember it is of great importance to them.