Operators value dining but face staffing challenges: survey

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Executives at senior living communities and skilled nursing facilities are placing increasing value on the ability of dining to attract prospective residents at the same time that workforce stability challenges their ability to manage food service in-house, according to the results of a new survey.

LeadingAge and the Unidine Senior Living Culinary Group, a provider of food and dining management services, said they collaborated on the survey to better understand the evolving nature of foodservice in aging services.

Among those surveyed, 86% said they prominently feature dining as part of their marketing and sales strategies. Almost two-thirds (65.2%) of respondents, however, said they faced challenges with workforce stability, 37.1% said they were vexed by cost control issues and 33.3% said they experienced difficulty integrating departments.

LeadingAge members aren't the only ones reporting a staffing pinch.

Staffing in the food service area also scored high as a need in research by Argentum. Its “Getting to 2025: A Roadmap for the Senior Living Industry” report indicates that food server and cook are two of the top six senior living positions that will have the greatest hiring needs through 2025. More than 96,000 food servers and more than 60,000 cooks will be needed to serve the increasing number of older adults becoming senior living residents and to replace existing workers who leave their jobs, according to the report.

See the links in “Related Articles,” below, for additional views on dining in senior living.

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