If you are in charge of managing or own a nursing home and you are not happy with your current food service management team, it is time to switch to a different vendor. Here are three things you need to make sure you do in order to find a vendor that fits your specific needs.
#1 Get Specific With Your Needs
Before you start searching for a new food service management team, make sure that you know what you really need and want. Sit down with your nursing staff team and come up with a detailed list of everything that your current provider does well as well as a list of areas of improvement for a new provider. Also, make a wish list of sorts of what your dream food service provider would do for your nursing home.
Go through this feedback and make a master list of the traits that you are looking for in a new food service management company, and be sure that any company you seriously consider has all of those traits.
#2 Ask For A Demonstration
Don't just trust their word that they can meet the dietary needs of your nursing home residents; put them to the test. See if they will do a trail run for a weekend or week so that you can really see what kind of food they can prepare and if they can meet your resident's needs.
This is also a great way to involve the residents in the process. Let them know what you are doing and ask the residents for their feedback on the quality of food, how it meets their dietary needs and how the service was if that will be provided as well. For a comparison, be sure to ask them the same questions before the test run about your current vendor. Comparing your residents' responses could give you insight into how well the new vendor meets your needs and if they are able to provide things that your current vendor isn't.
#3 Ask For & Follow Through With References
When hiring a food service management company, do not just take their word for it that they will be able to meet your needs. Ask for at least three or four references that you can call and speak with privately. You are more likely to get an honest response if the reference knows that the vendor isn't sitting in on the phone call.
Don't just ask their references if they are happy with the service that the food management company provides them with; get specific. Ask them how the food management company handles special dietary restrictions and requests, such as dairy allergies and specific diets. Find out how responsive they are when an order goes wrong. If you will be having them prepare the food as well, ask and see if they have had any safety concerns in their kitchens or questionable quality of food. Getting specific will help you learn more about the vendor and determine if they can meet your unique needs based on past performance.
When searching for new contract food service management vendors, make sure that you know what you exactly what you want, and find out from other customers as well as through a demonstration if the new company you are interested in can really provide those things for your nursing home.