Prioritising better food provision for your Care Home

Mark McCarthy
Food service

Care managers and kitchen staff are having to do much more with far less resource. It's time for the Care Sector to make greater use of technology to eliminate the admin burden, control costs and improve operational efficiency.

For care homes, the by-product of previous lockdowns, combined with Brexit and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has had adverse knock-on effects on kitchen management and food service. From growing food shortages and uncertainty around product availability, to supply chain issues and shortages of delivery drivers, catering provision for care homes is becoming more challenging. All the while obstacles around staff recruitment and retention remain.

Essentially, care managers and kitchen staff are having to do much more with far less resource and with reduced control over their supply chain. Whilst turning to technology will help cut out the admin and save time on already stretched resources, the Care Sector is yet to embrace broader digitisation strategies.

Nevertheless, we are noticing a growing trend in the number of care homes wising up to making use of fit for purpose technology in their quest to eliminate the admin burden around procurement and kitchen management to improve operational efficiency.  

What care homes really need is a solution that better controls costs, eliminates food wastage and ensures quality service provision. To make this possible there needs to be complete visibility of the volume of food and beverage goods they are buying at any given point. And they also need to know exactly how much they are spending on those items. Without having accurate information available in real time, how can managers be expected to respond quickly and improve efficiency?

Overspend is a big concern for the care sector.  The industry has faced many hurdles over recent years and rising inflation is not helping matters.  Often, we see care providers managing tough budget cuts while still trying to retain the quality of service in their kitchens.  

Access to the right technology, like Zupa’s eProcurement and catering management solution, can help care homes reduce spend, even when supply chain problems strike:

- Building strong supplier relationships

- Facilitating the automation of stock control

- Making accurate inventory management possible

- Accessing operational data all in one central place for end-to-end visibility

- Creating, costing and sharing recipes in line with regulatory and dietary requirements

At Zupa we are focused on equipping and supporting the Care Sector with technology that is fit for purpose, easy to use and install, and delivers clear tangible benefits from the get-go.  

Care homes are under greater scrutiny than ever to operate as efficiently as possible. Managing a meticulous stock and inventory system is the perfect place to start making those efficiencies. Over ordering and paying over the odds for goods is a quick way to haemorrhage money. With the right technology you will have visibility of what food and beverage items you have on site means you only order what you need, when you need it.