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Creating Extraordinary Dining Experiences for Residents of Life Care Services Communities

Life Care Services communities offer unique, innovative and flexible dining programs, focusing on providing high quality, nutritious options to all residents, with outstanding service. Menu options are delicious and diverse, with made-from-scratch and farm to table options that are elegantly and tastefully prepared. Enjoy this guest blog by Cole Marvin, Executive Director of Friendship Village in Tempe, Arizona on how his community developed their unique, exciting dining options to meet the needs and wants of the community’s residents!

Friendship Village Tempe’s dining program is the product of an ongoing commitment to provide top-notch experiences for all residents. Evolving from the traditional buffet-style service found in senior living communities of the past, we created a community dining program featuring a variety of cuisines and dining experiences where residents can choose from sit-down meals in a more formal setting, to appetizers in our sports bar, to grab-and-go items to support our active seniors on the run!

As we looked to expand our dining services, we first decided to add the Village Café, which is the only venue on our campus that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  At the Café, menu items are made-to-order and residents have flocked to this new spot to enjoy our excellent, freshly-prepared meals.

We also created an elegant dining venue called The Fireside.  Top-notch servers help create a formal environment and our strongest culinarians are responsible for creating exquisite menus and preparing the delectable plates. We feature wet aged Certified Angus Beef with a robust rotation of seafood, farm-to-table produce and other specials that our culinary team creates.  We offer a full wine list developed by our residents as well as a signature cocktail menu featuring top shelf liquors.  Residents and their families enjoy using this venue to celebrate special milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays.

As part of our efforts to create unique dining experiences for all of our residents, family members and guests, we made an investment in a commercial-style trailer smoker, which paved the way for our smoked barbecue program.  The dream was for Friendship Village to offer smoked meats throughout our dining venues that were on par with the area’s top barbecue restaurants.  Since then, we have truly mastered the craft and use our barbecue as a means to get residents, staff and their families together -serving up to 400 people at one time.  We have utilized our smoker for numerous large events including fundraisers for causes such as Alzheimer’s Awareness.  It has become a signature item that Friendship Village is highly regarded for, and residents would say it’s one of the best investments we have made.       

We believe exceptional dining offerings should be located throughout our entire campus, which led to the creation of the Garden Café, located in the garden area of our health center. The Café features a variety of panini sandwiches, frozen ice cream and coffee drinks, in addition to other offerings.  This venue provides residents and guests visiting loved ones a place to enjoy a dining option other that what was previously offered in smaller dining rooms in each neighborhood in the health care center.

Last but not least are our cocktail lounge and our sports bar. The Embers is a refined cocktail lounge offering comfortable seating, appetizers, wines by the glass and bottle as well as cocktails, including a signature line of the classics featuring top shelf liquors.  Residents looking for a little more action can visit our sports bar, Del Fuego, where we feature draft beers, popcorn, and multiple big screen televisions broadcasting sporting events. Here, residents also have other opportunities for entertainment including shuffleboard, oversized Jenga and Buzztime Trivia. 

We take great pride in the positive feedback we have received from residents, knowing that they are enjoying the dining program we have built here at Friendship Village. Like all Life Care Services communities, our commitment to providing excellent experiences throughout our entire campus has helped us develop a strong relationship with our residents, their families and guests.

To find a Life Care Services community near you and to learn about the wide variety of dining options offered to all of our residents, visit the Find A Community page today!

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