National Nutrition Week provides an opportunity to take a look at how our National Catering Manager Melinda Beilby and her teams are making a difference in the lives of our residents.
After taking on various hospitality roles including managing cafés, contract catering, coffee training and even cake making, Melinda Beilby joined Regis in February 2011 and embarked on a career that has been enriching and diverse.
Mealtimes at Regis are not merely about nourishment; they are opportunities for residents to connect, create memories and enhance their quality of life. Regis is continually exploring innovative solutions to cater to the evolving needs of older adults.
Regis takes a meticulous approach to nutrition. Before each new menu release, a qualified dietician evaluates it from a nutritional and balance perspective. The focus is on ensuring that the menu meets the nutritional needs of residents with readily accessible food and beverage options. The menu planning adheres to good principles, offering variety, minimising repetition and aligning with dietary guidelines.
Regis firmly believes in offering residents choice across all meal periods. Whether residents prefer a light meal or something more substantial, the menu caters to diverse preferences. Special diets are accommodated, with substitutes available for gluten-free, vegetarian or low lactose meals. Regis is also working on a model that allows residents to choose not only their preferred meals but also where and when they’d like to enjoy them.
Regis actively involves residents and their families in shaping menus through food focus groups in each Home. These groups engage in discussions about menu items to keep or introduce. Residents and families have a platform to suggest dishes, which Regis adapts to meet the specific requirements of aged care. All new recipes are rigorously tested and trialled by qualified Regis chefs, with residents’ feedback playing a vital role. The menus also feature a range of resident-driven choices, influenced directly by their feedback, including cultural meals and Home favourite meals.
Regis distinguishes itself in its approach to catering through robust support teams, including Mel’s teams, which play a pivotal role in coaching and mentoring chefs dedicated to enhancing residents’ lives. The organisation encourages team members to dine with residents, fostering a valuable feedback loop. Regis’ systems and processes are rooted in stakeholder input and every recipe undergoes rigorous trial and testing. The establishment of strong relationships with suppliers ensures the use of the freshest ingredients in Regis Homes.
For Mel, being part of a large organisation like Regis offers several advantages. Beyond economies of scale and national standardisation, one of the most significant benefits is the wealth of knowledge and experience that Regis can tap into from all its employees, extending beyond the catering team. This collective expertise enhances Regis’ ability to provide top-tier service to residents and their families.
Mel describes Regis’ approach to food in three words — Fresh. Diverse. Delicious. She said it’s hard to narrow down her favourite dish on the menu, but she particularly loves the vegetarian korma with naan bread and the new addition of a maple syrup and walnut scroll.