National media brand, McKnight’s Senior Living, provides news and analysis for owners, operators and leaders of senior housing — from independent and assisted living spaces to memory care facilities. The publication focuses on content that offers strategies for operational improvement from industry experts in policy, resident care, design and more.
McKnight’s Senior Living recently published a guest column co-authored by OZ restaurant design expert Megan Freckelton and senior living architect Jami Mohlenkamp with “Five dining design tips from the restaurant world.”
In this column, Megan and Jami discuss opportunities to improve the dining experience in senior living communities by incorporating some of the best design and service options from the world of restaurant design.
The first consideration is acoustics. According to Zagat’s “State of American Dining in 2015,” noise is one of the most common complaints during a restaurant experience. By limiting the number of hard surfaces and using acoustical tile or dropped clouds to absorb excessive sound, designers can help improve the experience — especially for the hard of hearing.
Similarly, natural light instead of fluorescent bulbs can make any dining experience more pleasant. Indirect ambient light also creates a soft glow and minimizes glare.
Interestingly, some of the top trends in the restaurant and dining scene today can be successfully incorporated into a senior living community. Megan and Jami discuss how open kitchens offer a sense of entertainment for diners — a great way to increase engagement and socialization. Trendy rolling dim sum carts also offer inspiration, offering residents the chance to see and choose from a spread of dinner or dessert items rather than reading off a printed menu.
At OZ, we are especially inspired when experience and expertise from multiple practice areas overlap. When we can blend ideas to create more innovative and enjoyable environments for our communities, we all win.
Featured image: The Carillon At Boulder Creek