5 Ways Senior Living Operators Can Navigate Rising Food Costs

food costs

As a senior living operator, you are likely well aware of the challenges that come with managing rising food costs and inflation. Not only do these factors impact your bottom line, but they can also make it difficult to provide high-quality meals for your residents.

Food inflation is up almost 10% in the last year. Staples like eggs, milk, and proteins have been rising at unprecedented rates. This has caused Senior Living Operators to miss the target PRD’s (per resident day costs) and exceed their planned budgets. Since prices have gone up across the board it has been difficult to manage through this by changing menus. Operators need to find a way to get costs in line while enhancing resident satisfaction.

Let’s explore some strategies that senior living operators can use to navigate these challenges and ensure that they are able to provide nutritious and affordable meals for their residents.

reduce food waste

Find different ways to maximize the use of your ingredients. Struggling to use ingredients before their expiration date? Run a limited time offer (LTO) and make sure to get the full value out of all the food your operation purchases. By reducing the amount of food that ends up in the trash, you can reduce your overall food costs and position your brand as an environmentally friendly operation.

source locally grown ingredients

One way to manage rising food costs is to focus on sourcing locally grown and produced products. By supporting local farmers and producers, you can often get higher quality products at a lower cost. In addition, sourcing locally can help to strengthen your community and provide additional economic benefits. Joining a managed produce program can help you get access to locally grown ingredients in your community.

menu planning

Another strategy that senior living operators can use to navigate rising food costs is to get creative with menu planning. For example, you might consider incorporating more plant-based options into your menu. Plant-based protein sources tend to be less expensive than animal-based protein sources, so this can be a cost-effective way to provide nutritious meals for your residents. Additionally, you might consider incorporating more seasonally available produce into your menu, as these items tend to be less expensive when they are in season.

leverage technology

It’s important to stay up to date on the fluctuating costs of your ingredients. By using technology to monitor food prices, you can discover saving opportunities to reach maximum profitability. Leveraging technology can help you can stay ahead of rising costs and ensure that you are able to provide high-quality meals for your residents at a reasonable price.

communicate with residents

It’s important to communicate with your residents about the strategies you are implementing to manage rising food costs. By keeping your residents informed, you can help to build trust and understanding, and ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the meals that are being served.

Managing rising food costs and inflation can be a challenging task for senior living operators. However, by implementing strategies such as reducing waste, sourcing locally, getting creative with menu planning, staying up to date on industry trends, and communicating with your residents, you can navigate these challenges and ensure that you are able to provide high-quality, affordable meals for your residents.

By becoming a PRIME Service member, you get access to savings on commodity based products, GPO programs, and food cost management. With a blend of Technology, Purchasing Power and Market Intelligence, your operation can hedge inflation while bringing the best possible ingredients to your Culinary Team. We can be a game-changer for your Residents and bottom line.


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