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‘Fresh, made-to-order’

Signature services: Windsor Run dining

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April 6th, 2017
Two women chatting amiably at a table in a community sit-down restaurant.

Windsor Run is one of 19 Erickson Living communities to introduce Signature Dining, an all-new, cooked-to-order menu. Community members will enjoy a variety of freshly prepared entrées in three separate dining venues.

Virginia Woolf once remarked, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Dining well, both in taste and nutrition, is an important hallmark of living at an Erickson Living community.

At Windsor Run, Erickson Living’s first North Carolina community, three distinct dining venues will feature delicious and healthy food options presented as part of an industry-leading signature dining experience. In addition, dining at Windsor Run will provide opportunities to meet friends and experience new culinary adventures.

Something for everyone

By offering three separate restaurants, Windsor Run is prepared to meet the changing dining needs of its residents. For those looking for a casual meal, a pub-style restaurant will offer small-plate items, including pizza, quesadillas, sandwiches, and burgers.

“It’s the perfect place for a quick bite, happy hour with friends, or an afternoon watching football,” says Windsor Run Director of Sales Tom Senger.

The second dining option is a deli or “Panera-style” restaurant serving a variety of menu items in a fast, casual environment. 

And the third restaurant will provide guests with the more traditional sit-down dining experience enjoyed over three or four courses. Guests may also choose to relax in the restaurant’s bar and lounge area offering a specialty menu of small-plate options and signature cocktails. Outdoor seating is also available for dining under the Carolina blue sky. 

Signature service

Because enjoying tasty and nutritious meals are a keystone of the Erickson Living lifestyle, dining services staff throughout the company continue to look for new ways to bring the best dining options to community members. Three years ago, Erickson Living began rolling out its signature dining program, an initiative
designed to reimagine the culinary experience, to all of its communities. 

The vision of Signature Dining at all Erickson Living communities can be summed up in a single statement from the company’s corporate vision statement:

“Simply put, our goal is fresh, made-to-order, resident-focused menu offerings, executed at the moment of service to deliver an exceptional dining experience.”

Once open, each of Windsor Run’s three distinct dining venues will offer this signature dining experience. 

“Our emphasis will focus on serving fresh, hot entrées, prepared as they’re ordered,” says Senger. “Our goal is to create a true restaurant experience. Many retirement communities meet the needs of serving a large number of diners by pre-cooking meals and placing them in chafing dishes. We want more for the community members at Windsor Run.”

At Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., signature dining is also allowing chefs to best meet the many unique needs of the residents.

“By cooking meals to order, our chefs are able to better meet dietary restrictions and food preferences,” says Eli Ayoub, Greenspring’s director of dining services.

And according to community members, signature dining plainly means that food simply tastes better.

“We now have up to 25 different dinner entrée items on the menus,” says Greenspring community member Roy O’Connor. “The quality of the menu items, all cooked to order, is really very good. I think most residents would agree that the quality is clearly better than batch-type cooking.”

Greenspring community members Clint and Vicki Lambert also find numerous benefits of signature dining. 

“We know each evening that our meals will be fresh, appropriately prepared, and served at the right temperature on heated plates,” says Clint. We feel like we truly are going to a restaurant each evening and not just to a dining room. Entrées such as the cottage pie, meat loaf, shrimp and cheese tortellini, fried catfish, fisherman’s sandwich, and shrimp Alexander are our preferred meals.”  

Engaged in the process

Following the example at other Erickson Living communities, the dining services staff at Windsor Run will continually strive to keep community members engaged in their dining experience, welcoming feedback and taking suggestions to heart.

To ensure that Windsor Run community members continue to enjoy their meal options, dining service will review the number of dishes served each evening, removing less popular dishes with new choices. They will also invite feedback directly from residents regarding their favorite dishes. 

“Signature dining illustrates that Erickson Living is progressive and always looking for ways to meet the changing needs of residents,” says Clint.  “It is reassuring to know that management is sensitive to the needs and desires of the population and continually seeks to meet those needs and desires as best they can.” 

Making friends

For Erickson Living community members, dining with neighbors is often the number one way to meet new friends.

“Everyone is so friendly,” says Anne Braham, who lives with her husband Warren at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va. “We’ve met many wonderful people at dinner.”

Ron Torezan, a community member at Greenspring, agrees.

“My wife Linda and I met some of our first Greenspring friends at dinner,” he says. “Everyone is so friendly and each has their own wonderful stories to share.”

Playing with their food

Erickson Living community members also enjoy numerous opportunities to expand their culinary horizons. Both nearby Greenspring and Ashby Ponds provide events throughout the year celebrating food, including popular “Evenings With the Chef,” where “foodies” enjoy the unique opportunity to dine with the community’s highly skilled chefs at up-close-and-personal dining experiences.

“It is a special evening for adventurous diners who want to try new dishes and learn more about the food they eat,” says Greenspring Executive Chef Michael Ritt.

Other festive food events include annual chili cook-offs, themed dinners like the recent Mardi Gras dinners featuring Cajun favorites, cooking competitions, and heart-healthy eating seminars. 

“We are excited about dining at Windsor Run,” says Senger. “I am confident that our community members will enjoy daily delicious meal options for every palate and many opportunities for new dining adventures.”

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