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Room Trays to Room Service

Renee Greiner
Renee Greiner | March 5, 2019

Room service has a luxurious connotation to it, and healthcare continues to embrace this hotel-based concept and all that goes with it! Many hospitals have switched to room service and have enjoyed watching food quality satisfaction scores rise almost instantaneously. Senior living has begun to embrace this room service concept, as well.

In senior living, room trays have been in existence for a very long time for a variety of reasons. Room trays have often been used when a resident is ill, as a preference or when a skilled resident might not want to be in a community dining environment.

Room service as opposed to room trays takes this concept to the next level! In order to make room service work, it takes a team approach with coordination and planning. The time window is generally 45 minutes between when a room service order is placed and when it is delivered. In order for this time window to be met, your room service program must be well thought out and successfully managed.

Here are the first three things you’ll want to think about as you plan to implement a room service program:

  1. Assemble a Room Service Team: Make sure this team is multidisciplinary with staff from nursing, therapy, housekeeping and dietary as well as administration to talk through situations and understand the residents’ potential needs and preferences.
  2. Survey the Audience: Who will the room service audience be, and what sorts of foods will they enjoy?
  3. Be Prepared: Identify items similar to an Always Available Menu that can be prepared one serving at a time and held. Room service will also require a few new tools, such as trays and thermal plate covers and bases.

Remember, room service can be a great, marketable feature for your facility that residents can enjoy as a part of their dining program options!

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