“Word of Mouth” Goes Next Level

There are so many adages that begin or end with “everyone has an opinion,” that we are a bit hesitant to start this article that way…but it’s true! And if you are a leader in senior living, you know that residents may not always be able to gauge the level of care they are receiving, but everyone has a strong opinion about the food they are being served. Whether it comes from feedback forms, resident councils, or is personally delivered, you are probably confronted with the good, the bad, and the ugly about your food program every day. And that “word of mouth” doesn’t stay within your community. It is shared over and over again with friends, colleagues, and family members.

What are your residents sharing about your food program? Have the frozen, re-heated Lasagna, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Salisbury Steak left your residents frosty? Are poor dining reviews undermining the experiences of your residents? Communities that are what we call “Food-Forward” know that your dining program can be a cornerstone of your occupancy strategy, while those that aren’t will be at a competitive disadvantage.

It Starts with the Food

NEXDINE fresh food approach
Of course, to leverage food as a centerpiece in your occupancy strategy, the food has to be exceptional. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every meal must be Caviar and Beef Wellington. Sometimes a simple Minestrone Soup, Artisan Flatbread, or an authentic Pasta Carbonara, is as mouthwatering and delicious. The key is to let the flavors of whole, fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables and proteins, and the artistry of a passionate culinarian shine through. NEXDINE is committed to using only 100% fresh ingredients in our food, and we empower our culinary teams to use their talents and creativity to delight your residents. Quality and consistency builds resident anticipation, amplifies staff pride, and generates a buzz in the community.

Strategic Partnership Drives Occupancy

When the food is exceptional, there are so many ways that your dining program can be leveraged in your sales and marketing to gain competitive advantage, boost occupancy, and even build a robust waiting list of prospects who can’t wait to enjoy your community. Here are just a few of the ways that NEXDINE Hospitality supports our client partners.

Partnering in Community Tours

NEXDINE inspiring chefs

Imagine prospective residents and family members sitting down with you for a delicious meal featuring one or more of your distinctive signature selections prepared to perfection and finished table-side with a dazzling display. The chef engages the prospect while describing the menu and the local sourcing of ingredients as she demonstrates her passion for exceptional cuisine. A friendly and efficient server drops by later with a couple of artfully displayed dessert samples to complete the performance.

Or perhaps you’ve invited the public for a walking tour of the community grounds with culinary stations at each stop, offering samples of different menu selections and signature items. Each feature of your community paired with flavors and aromas that deliver a memorable experience and leave a lasting impression.

Ambassador in the Community

Do you participate in community fairs, Taste of (Your Town Name Here) events, or other seasonal activities to promote your community? There is nothing like a cooking demonstration to draw a crowd. The entertainment value of a chef practicing his art, the aromas of fresh food preparation and the flavors of sample distributed at your booth will have prospects signing up for tours on the spot.

Partner in Reducing Readmissions and Improving Health Outcomes

If you have a community that partners with hospitals and health systems for referrals from acute care into skilled nursing or assisted living, then you know that readmissions are a primary concern. In recent years, hospitals have drastically reduced the number of communities they trust as partners to improve readmission rates and avoid reimbursement penalties.

Two common causes of readmissions are dehydration, which can lead to urinary tract infections, and unprescribed weight loss. To address these and other nutritional challenges in senior living, including dysphagia, dementia, and supplemental nutrition, NEXDINE developed TASTEFUL.

TASTEFUL consists of four separate programs – all featuring our 100% fresh food culinary philosophy – and has been designed by an exceptional team of dietitians and culinary experts to provide an amazing dining experience to all residents, regardless of their different abilities and needs:

  • TASTEFUL Textures: Texture-modified foods designed to enhance the dining experience for people who experience dysphagia or difficulty swallowing.
  • TASTEFUL Plus: Enriched foods and supplemental nutrition for individuals who require added calories or protein as they recover from injury or illness.
  • TASTEFUL Sips: An enhanced hydration program consisting of infused waters, hydrating aromatic teas, refreshing juices, and energizing smoothies.
  • TASTEFUL Bites: Innovative finger-foods delivering a more nutritious, manageable and dignified dining experience for residents experiencing dementia and memory loss.

Distinctive Branding for Your Community

NEXDINE custom branding

Building a distinctive brand is one of the ways to position your community to compete in your local market. We work with our client partners to develop distinctly branded and unique dining destinations that go beyond the traditional dining room. We create signature menus that reflect the unique culture of your community. And your perfectly paired Executive Chef serves as an ambassador to your residents and the greater community, representing your brand at events, chef competitions, prospect tours, and more.

Resident Retention & Resident Satisfaction

Senior Living Residents

At NEXDINE, we learned long ago that the most important thing we can do is listen respectfully and recognize that the experience of each individual is real, and it is important. We commit to treating all of your residents with the dignity and respect they deserve. They will always remember the way that they were treated and the effort we take to ensure each resident’s concerns are addressed to their satisfaction. That exceptional service – day in and day out – is the key to resident satisfaction and supports your strategy to retain residents.

Getting to the Next Level

Your dining program impacts your occupancy strategy. What impact does it have today, and what impact would you prefer it to have in the future? It all starts with great food and a strategic partner committed to your success. NEXDINE is committed to delivering exceptional dining experiences, because when your residents are happy, word of mouth goes next level.


To learn more about NEXDINE Hospitality and our commitment to health and wellness contact us today.