“These residents are my everything,” Jessica Heino told us when we asked her what her leadership role at Copper Terrace Long Term Care means to her. Her passion for making a difference in her resident’s lives was so clear as she continued “it just tears me up a little bit because I feel like this is my purpose in life, it's not just a job to me.”
A Dietary Aide of fifteen years before moving up to her current position as Culinary Director, Jessica knows the positive impact great quality foodservice can have on residents in care communities. Because after all, mealtime has the power to bring comfort, connection, excitement and smiles like nothing else.
“I just felt like I needed to go to a higher up position to help continue to make a difference in these fields,” she added. That’s why alongside her team of four Cooks and fourteen Dietary Aides, Jessica is dedicated to delivering meals that ignite smiles and meet the personal needs of her 130+ residents living in the CARF-accredited Copper Terrace community.
When you have an entire community of diverse preferences and diet orders to accommodate, how do foodservice leaders streamline their operations to ensure they can deliver the personalized experience residents deserve?
For Jessica, it’s been using her all-in-one foodservice management technology from MealSuite® to support her team in every aspect of their operations, so they can focus on what matters most to them: putting smiles on their residents’ faces.
Watch the video and read on to discover what a “day in the life” with end-to-end foodservice technology looks like for Jessica’s team – and, ultimately, how it helps her fulfil her career of purpose as a senior living foodservice superhero.
“I use the program all day long... I use MealSuite® for all kinds of things,” Jessica said. Fully integrated software and hardware solutions help support her from menu planning through to production, forecasting and more so she can deliver the best experience to each individual in her community:
When foodservice leaders like Jessica choose a resident-centered technology like MealSuite®, they know that their team will always have important resident data at their fingertips, no matter where they may be referring to diets. From preferences to allergens, diet orders, textures and even service notes, comprehensive People Profiles empower teams like Jessica’s to deliver the most personalized mealtime experience for each and every resident.
“We have our resident profiles on there so when I need to change or implement anything, I use the program for that. If a resident becomes on (an) intervention, like a ‘high energy, high protein’, I'm able to go into MealSuite® and add that to their profile,” Jessica explained.
And with her Connect interface, Jessica doesn’t have to worry about transferring data from her PointClickCare system – it’s done automatically for her. “I know that any information put into PointClickCare transfers over to MealSuite® in regards to residents,” she added.
“My Dietary Aides use (MealSuite®’s Service Tools) for accurate serving, ensuring that our residents get their textures, and anything that's required,” Jessica explained.
In her foodservice system, Jessica continues, she inputs “all the information that's given to me, whether it be from the Registered Dietitian or other members of the team... and then that information is transitioned over to my staff’s computers in the serveries” so they always have the up-to-date resident information they need to ensure the right resident receives the right meal, every time.
The Copper Terrace foodservice team also uses hardware attachments fully integrated with their People Profiles on their Snack Cart: “I have iPads that are attached to our snack cart so my PSW's... access the iPads while they're doing our snacks three times a day, and they're able to get the information from there what residents require,” said Jessica.
Jessica explained that MealSuite®’s dedicated Support Team “definitely helped me transition as a new Culinary Director... I can't say enough about the support that they offer me.”
For instance, when she was new to her leadership role, Jessica described her first menu rollout as a bit of a “scary time” for her: “I had to be honest, I was nervous and scared coming up to the date of the new menu rollout”. However, with the help of her foodservice technology paired with MealSuite®’s Support, she no longer felt alone taking on this once intimidating task.
“The (MealSuite®) program is great but the people that stand behind the program and help roll the program out makes it that much easier and simpler to use,” she added.
“MealSuite® was able to walk me right through the process with ease. MealSuite® was constantly there saying, ‘okay, we're going to do this together’... (they) took me through rolling out my menu step by step by step, and also gave me that encouragement if I ever need any help, (they’re) there for me. And I think that alone... there’s no words for it,” Jessica explained.
The best foodservice software includes a Forecasting Module designed to help predict accurate quantities – while saving time through automated processes – so foodservice leaders like Jessica don’t have to spend time doing manual forecasting on a daily or weekly basis:
“It's so much simpler. I used to have to go through each day, each meal and forecast. Whereas, (with) this system, I can just go in and forecast across, and it does it itself...it's already set and I only have to do it once rather than every single Friday,” she told us.
“The time savings is amazing, because that would take me... like 30 minutes maybe, whereas (now I) forecast once, and I'm done.”
Through data-backed order forecasting, to the elimination of show plates, MealSuite® has been known to help foodservice operators save on their food waste.
While Jessica adds that her Cooks have always been excellent at forecasting quantities, she mentions that “from what I gather from my cooks and what I've seen so far, I do see less waste, I've heard there's less waste – and they find (using the technology) more simple and convenient”.
When you choose an all-in-one foodservice management technology, not only are you avoiding having to juggle multiple vendors – but your solutions can be so well integrated that all of the information you need is in one centralized location.
For instance, Jessica explains that she “used to have to navigate different pages to find different information with the residents, whereas with the system, everything is on one page. Adding that she finds it “much simpler and – again – it's time saving as well!”
I think we can all relate to Jessica when she says that sometimes, learning something new can be scary. And while she explained that “at first, I was intimidated” by the prospect of learning a new technology, she that “once I dove into this program, with the support of MealSuite®, it just unlocked the doors to... Convenience! It’s time savings, it’s easy, it's simpler”.
“It's a phenomenal program and I hope that everybody gives it a chance, you just kind of get over that fear of new things, or fear of change, and kind of just jump into it. And I think that people will be quite surprised and happy,” she added.
If you’re ready to embrace all that foodservice management technology has to offer, turn to MealSuite® for a customized solution that you, your team, and your residents will love. Click here to schedule a personalized demo with one of our Technology Specialists!