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apetito highlights rising costs and challenges of care home catering

Food waste, labour shortages and rising catering costs are among the challenges faced by care home caterers, according to a new survey by apetito.

In addition, care homes are dealing with growing demand for specialist nutrition and personalised dietary solutions. Every care home said they had between 3 per cent and 19 per cent of residents where they are catering for specialist dietary needs. Half of those residents are living with dexterity or coordination difficulties, creating further complexities at mealtimes.

Based on responses from 500 care homes:

  • Nine out of 10 care homes surveyed say their catering costs have been increasing month on month since the cost-of-living crisis hit in 2022.
  • More than three-quarters of care homes that cook meals from scratch say they struggle with labour shortages and see no sign of this abating.
  • Three out of every four care homes surveyed say they worry about the level of food waste (and associated costs).

Specific challenges include finding it difficult to juggle resident numbers against unpredictable events and schedules and inevitable compromises in residents’ mealtimes and their essential nutritional intake.

The “Nourishing Lives: A New Era of Dining in Care Homes” report, published in collaboration with Care England, aims to offer solutions aimed at reducing kitchen costs for care homes, whilst maintaining quality and nutrition standards for residents.

Access the report online  


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