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Innovative Food Service Delivery Model


How could the organization change their model to provide fresher, more diverse food options to their culturally diverse client base?


Empower the local site leadership and chefs to develop menus around their clients’ needs and use the production facility as a prep and pantry to delivery fresh ingredients to each site.


Drastic reduction in food waste and an increase in resident satisfaction.




Carewest had been delivering the same eight-week rotating menu to their residents for the last 60 years. They would create dishes within the central production facility, flash-freeze and then store them for up to six months prior to being sent to a site to be reheated and served to residents. Previous attempts to change this model were unsuccessful, and they continued to provide this same service for years.

Service design


User interviews

Codesign workshops

Service blueprint

What we did

The Design Lab was brought in to look at this challenge and better understand the barriers to change that were existing within the teams. The Lab decided to go and follow the journey of the food, from delivery to service, and talk to staff who intersected with the food along this journey. We started to understand the nuances that were happening that allowed a system to go unchanged for so long.

“The feedback is so much different, even family members come to us with positive feedback, they were sitting with their loved one and it smelled delicious. People are clearing their plates, and asking for second helpings”

Carewest Manager

How we did it

Through a discovery and co-design workshop we knew the teams would be able to come together and develop a new model. During the discovery workshop we served lunch before we got started, and we served the food that the residents were receiving that day. With VPs, leaders, frontline staff, and residents at the tables we shared what we had learned, got them to vote on the most important problems, and let them share their stories. This step was imperative to the team, as they had received many questions of why change was needed.

The next day the design team came together to complete a prototype service delivery model, which two facilities volunteered to prototype and test.

“We get a lot of fresh things on site here, and the quality is, it’s amazing, just the difference since I first got here. The menu has changed, and I think it’s grand, I think it’s great!”

Carewest Resident


Chefs  are now able to order   fresh ingredients and prepped food to prepare meals that they develop alongside dieticians. 

Food arrives the site prepped but not frozen, and allows individual sites more autonomy to develop menu items that meet the needs and cultures of the population that they serve. This has imporved not only resident food satisfaction numbers but also chef job satisfaction.

“The Design Lab did so much along side us to keep us on cue, I think that’s made a huge difference”

Carewest Manager

Contact us for a free 30 minute consult.

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