BlueCross Community and Residential Services provide services for people with low and high care needs. With 23 residential facilities across Melbourne and 1 in Kilmore, they BlueCross understand the joy and pleasure that food brings to their residents lives, and therefore employ a dedicated team of 390 catering staff who deliver quality dining and hospitality services across their network of facilities.
In their pursuit to ensure the standard of their food service offerings matches the exceptional level of care, the team at BlueCross annually conduct two menu assessments and two food forums at all BlueCross residences. The information collected from residents and from family feedback is then used to plan and update the menus.
“We also keep ahead of industry trends by monitoring current food trends via social media, feedback from our Chef Managers, attending Food Fairs and liaising with our suppliers,” explains Hospitality Service Manager Liz Goldsmith. “Every season we incorporate new meals onto the menu ensuring they stay interesting for our Chefs and residents alike.”
BlueCross has had a long-standing relationship with Comcater and runs annual Chef Manager Workshops for all at Comcater’s South Melbourne demonstration kitchen.
“We have a great working partnership with Comcater,” explains Liz. “We take advantage of the RATIONAL Academy which has been very beneficial to our operation. We also hold an annual Chef Manager workshop at the Comcater South Melbourne Demonstration Kitchen which is always a lot of fun and very informative.”
It was at one of these workshops that the team were first introduced to RATIONAL’s VCC units, and immediately they knew it would be a perfect fit.
“Each facility is equipped with its own kitchen and employs a Chef Manager. It is very important that the equipment is reliable, multi-functional, robust and easy to use,” said Liz. “All our sites have RATIONAL commercial ovens, and we have just introduced RATIONAL VCC units into our repertoire of equipment at our newest residence -BlueCross Ivanhoe. They use it to make chicken casseroles, soups and a Shepherd pie mix – everything is cooked quickly. They are wonderful to use.”
Liz’s advice to chefs setting up a kitchen in the healthcare industry is to seek the opinion of experienced peers before making any decisions to have a full understanding as to what kind of catering service you will be offering as this will help plan your kitchens and equipment specifications.