Catering equipment supplier, Euro Catering, is urging care providers to ‘cater with care’, providing those in their charge with dishes that will promote health and wellbeing, but also provide a talking point and become the highlight of the day.
Euro Catering says many care homes are hampered when it comes to dish selection by the limiting equipment they have in their kitchens. Rather than maximising the space by installing multifunctional equipment that facilitates the delivery of exciting and diverse menus, many care homes have not caught up with what the new high end breed of homes are doing on the catering front.
Many are sticking to stews, pies and corned beef hash-type dishes without recognising that the 70-plus age group of today is one that has grown increasingly familiar with ethnic food as well as traditional British dishes. Yet, with the right type of equipment, both could be offered and sit alongside other exciting options that regularly rotate on the menu.
Only some care homes are recognising the central role that food plays in the life of a care home resident, with meal times being an opportunity to try new taste sensations, discuss food with other residents and enjoy the social side to dining. Even fewer are using food to evoke memories to assist those with dementia who can sometimes recall times and places through the food being enjoyed.
While nutrition, hydration, dietary requirements and easy-to-digest dishes are of paramount importance, care homes should also be looking at a business model which can earn them additional income by catering for the friends and family of residents, as well as those living under their roof.
Euro Catering’s sales director, Justin Towns, says: “Care homes have been undergoing a revolution in terms of their remit and the catering expectations of residents and their families. Many need to catch up with the new-build homes or be left behind.
“The right equipment can also deliver huge energy savings, particularly when induction hobs are used, and this can have a major positive impact on a care home’s balance sheet.”