4 Recipes for Foodservice Success from Software Superuser Melanie Jones

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Three words we’d use to describe Melanie Jones, Manager of Nutrition Services of Marianhill community in Pembroke Ontario?




Melanie Jones, Manager of Nutrition Services
Marianhill Senior Living

Here’s just a few reasons why...

As the head of her nutrition team, Melanie and her staff serve smiles to up to 200 patients and residents across a range of services from long term care to adult day programs.

Responsible for managing all aspects of her community’s foodservice, from the kitchen to the food production and procurement, Melanie is a shining example of exceptional leadership in senior living foodservice – even when faced with challenging times.

That’s why we wanted to take a moment to share some of Melanie’s knowledge and best practices she lives by to lead her team and community in safe, satisfying and successful mealtimes!

Watch the video and read on to learn more about her operations, and discover some of her key recipes for senior living foodservice success:

1. Always stay on top of patient and residents’ evolving dietary needs.

As you know, resident allergies, textures, dietary requirements and even tastes are always evolving. And the unfortunate truth is that mix-ups can be dangerous.

Managing foodservice across multiple programs and levels of care, Melanie knows the importance of carefully tracking the changing needs within her community as well as ensuring new patients and residents’ EMRs are always up to date.

Using her MealSuite® Connect system, Melanie drives diet order, allergy and admission, discharge & transfer (ADT) data from her PointClickCare EMR system in real-time so her teams always have the most current care data at thier fingertips.

“Having that information flow through automatically is definitely helpful. It makes me aware that the diet changes are actually happening, that they’re being inputted properly into PointClickCare and the allergies are not missed upon admission. By having that information available every day when I come in, I can then let the staff know if there were any changes overnight to diets,” Melanie explains.

This best practice not only mitigates foodservice risk within the Marianhill community – but saves Melanie and her team valuable time and excess energy worrying about what patients and residents are being served at each meal.

2. Involve them in the meal planning process!

Melanie lives and breathes this key factor to a successful dining program: hearing right from those they serve every day!

The Marianhill nutrition team is so committed to ensuring their residents are happy and satisfied at mealtime, they have a dedicated Residents’ Food Committee.

When operations are as usual, Melanie says, she meets “with the Residents’ Food Committee on a regular basis to address any concerns related to food and dining.”

Plus, at Marianhill, residents are always encouraged to participate in the meal planning process, with a meal planned by the residents offered every month. Talk about personalized care!

3. Be prepared in case of an emergency.

As recent times have proven, the safety and wellbeing of your community largely depends on your ability to plan ahead and adapt to unforeseen challenges.

And with the developments of COVID-19, Melanie was able to act quickly, working with her team and available foodservice management software to serve her patients and residents as safely and efficiently as possible.

“Once we decided to move on and do full tray service for the entire building, we did move forward pretty quickly using the Advanced Ordering portion. Then we had that technology available to us to train the staff on how to take orders from the residents using MealSuite® on the iPads,” she explains.

Early on in the developments, Melanie also made the wise decision to create a simplified “pandemic menu” to take a load off of her kitchen staff and allow for easier order-taking with each meal. While Melanie typically loves to provide her community more choice at mealtime, she felt this was the best decision for the time being, to keep things running safely and smoothly with her staff at hand.

4. Choose an all-in-one technology to support you!

Foodservice professionals who do it all – just like Melanie – deserve to be supported with technology that can assist in all aspects of meal service.

That’s why, when searching for a foodservice management software, Melanie was seeking something that could cover her end-to-end operations, all in a single program.

“Everything was encompassed into one program: the diets, the resident preferences, the food production, the inventory. Because everything was all in one, that’s what really sold me.”

She was happy to discover that MealSuite® does just that – so she decided to go “all-in” with her solution, and has been a dedicated superuser (using the software multiple times a day) for almost three years now.

“We went all-in and got all of the menu boards, the tablets for all the dining rooms and we did tableside select at the beginning. We started from scratch and we did it all.”

We take pride in partnering with and get to know foodservice managers like Melanie who are blazing an admirable path when it comes to senior dining.

If you’re a care foodservice professional, and want to learn more recipes for success through foodservice management software, we would love to connect with you! Simply send us your most burning questions about resident diet systems, and our technology experts will fill you in on anything you need to know.

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