12 January 2017
A home from home: The philosophy behind our high-quality hospitality and dining experience.
Hallmark Care Homes aims to deliver residents great home cooked food presented in an attractive way, in a sociable environment. We sat down with Group Hospitality and Services Manager, Rob Burcher, who shared with us what differentiates Hallmark’s hospitality experience from other care providers.
I joined Hallmark Care Homes in early 2016 and it was the philosophy and family feel that really drew me to the company. Since starting, I have been working with each of our 15 care homes to enhance the dining experience and overall hospitality that we offer to both our residents and their families.
Hospitality has been my passion ever since I was young. My grandmother was always having parties and cooking delicious food for her guests. She loved seeing other people enjoying themselves and making sure they had great food. From an early age I would always be helping her out in the kitchen and learning different recipes and techniques.
In my role no day is ever the same and that’s one of the reasons I love it. One day I’m helping to recruit a Head Chef or Hospitality Services Manager, the next I’m training team members or helping to serve lunch to our residents. I like to get involved and help out wherever I’m needed. I spend four days of my working week with the team at our care homes, seeing how residents feel about our service, from the standard of the food to how clean their rooms are. Listening to what our residents want is key and that’s why I’m so insistent that our hospitality teams spend time with residents, it’s the best way to make a difference and provide an excellent service. It’s this attention to detail that has helped us maintain 5-star Food Hygiene Ratings in all 15 care homes in the group.
Since my appointment, I have been consulting with Brian Lane, our Group Executive Chef, to ensure we are providing tasty, nutritious meals and to constantly improve our menus. Feedback from our residents is always welcome and we use this to tailor our menus as individual tastes vary. We want the dining experience we provide in our homes to be a home from home and food is a big part of this, from cooking a resident’s favourite meal to having snacks available throughout the day for when they are feeling peckish.
At Hallmark Care Homes we also try and incorporate residents’ hobbies into what we do. If a resident loves to cook or prefers to clean their own room, then why not support them? To do this, a number of our homes have open farmhouse style kitchens, enabling residents to get involved at meal times and treat others to their tried and tested recipes. We also have resident laundry rooms in some homes, which means residents can still do their own laundry with assistance from our dedicated care team.
The best part of my role is being able to chat with residents to understand what they would like to see from the homes’ hospitality and services experience and understand where improvements can be made so we can deliver a high quality service. It is this attention to detail that helps our residents to live life to the full, which is why I feel honoured to perform my role.
My top tips for creating a great hospitality experience are:
- Spend quality time with residents
- Have fun, as teams and with residents.
- Always take into account the individual needs of residents
- Create a homely atmosphere in dining rooms, café’s and lounges
- Provide a good choice of food
- Regularly review menus
- Always have snacks and drinks available
- Ensure cleaning is of a high standard
- Handle maintenance issues quickly and effectively
- Maintain gardens to a high standard
- And above all, remember that this is our residents’ home
Click here to find your nearest Hallmark care home.