Huntingdon, PA, March 1, 2022 – A new app is generating tons of excitement at Presbyterian Senior Living’s (PSL) Westminster Woods in Huntingdon, Pa. Westwoodsdining.com was recently created to make it easy for residents and staff to order food, view menus, make reservations, and more. The addition of this technology also streamlines labor and staff efficiencies for Cura Hospitality, the community’s dining services provider.
According to Paul Sprowls, Cura director of dining, 90% of Westminster Woods independent living residents successfully use the site for placing orders on their tablets or smartphones. This was a direct result from workshops led by the Cura team to help residents ease the transition from an order-by-phone system. “Step-by-step, we took them through the process from how to create an account, log in, navigate the menu, and place an order. We also provide a tablet in the dining room, so residents can place orders there, or if they have questions about the system, we can help them to troubleshoot.”
“Since WestWoods Dining was introduced, residents are sharing rave reviews. Expanded dining hours better fit our busy lives; flexible (a la carte) ordering lets us have light meals when we want; and more sides, soups, and starters let us customize our meals. The lessons from staff to introduce the program were a huge help in flattening our learning curves while the outreach of caring neighbors supports residents who occasionally struggle,” says Sandy Loughlin, resident dining chair.
With only the nominal implementation costs, the technology replaces a person who previously received and tracked food orders by phone. “We purchased a standard laptop and printer designated to WestWoodDining.com. A chime alerts the team when a new order has been received, and allows us to track sales, record what items are popular, the number of times residents have logged on, or just viewed the menu,” says Sprowls.
Residents can also select from dine-in, pick-up or curbside service, as well as choose the exact day and time to receive their freshly prepared meals. “This also helps us to streamline back-of-the-house operations, and decreases the need for additional staff,” Sprowls says.
Friends and family can also log on. “For example, we have family members who live two states away and want to make sure that their independent living mom or dad doesn’t forget to place their dinner order. Some of them will order their family member’s meals a week ahead of time. This helps them to make a connection with mom and dad and gives them a way to feel like they are helping without physically being there,” adds Sprowls.
Ordering ahead of time also benefits West Wood’s staff, as they are also able to order in advance, decreasing their wait time for lunch or dinner, while increasing the time they can spend enjoying their lunch or dinner break.
WestWoodsDining.com features the week’s current menu and next week’s menu for The Garden Cafe and The Commons Dining Room. Residents can easily place online orders from the grill and order grab-and-go entrees, a la carte sides dishes, desserts, and beverages. Residents can also choose from the Daily from the Hearth Specials like sundried tomato ravioli with crab cream sauce. Or they can select from Cura’s Always Available specials, menu items that residents can always select, such as grilled chicken breast or vegetable lasagna. Cura also offers Always Available grab-and-go, which are single items like a bag of potato chips or a quart of milk.
Residents who still prefer a printed menu have the option to print at home on their printers which decreases the cost to print multiple sets of menus for circulating in the dining room.
“I love the optional/menu format which finally allows me to spend my dining dollars exactly as I wish. When you combine it with a plan that allows me to access to a hot meal any time between 11:30 am. to 5:30 pm., the versatility is enhanced beyond anything I could have wished for,” says resident Barb Herrera.
Special events, like a recent bourbon tasting, also give residents the opportunity to sign up for food and beverage-related activities.
Westwoodsdining.com will soon be offered to other PSL communities that Cura manages at the Long Community at Lancaster, Pa., and Glen Meadows in Baltimore, Md.
Contact: Grace Hoyer, Manager of Public Relations