By Leigh Ann Hubbard

Commercial chefs are invading senior living … and never looking back.

Well, “invading” isn’t quite the right word.

More like, being recruited, thinking about it for a few years, finally deciding to try it out … and then never looking back.

So, “hesitantly tip-toeing in?”


Alyssa Bruns, of Arrow Senior Living (who I caught up with at this year’s Synergy conference) will tell anyone who asks all about the joys of working in senior living dining. … And some who don’t. She keeps recruiting her friends.

That’s ’cause she loves it so much, and she knows there are misconceptions.


Here are five ways working in senior living beats working in commercial restaurants, according to chefs like Alyssa. If you aren’t recruiting dining pros with this messaging, what are you waiting for?

  1. Work-life balance. No more 80-to-90-hour weeks. You might even get weekends and holidays off! Oh, the vacations!
  2. Pay. Alyssa says the pay rate is higher in senior living and it’s even possible to make more money with fewer hours. Caveat: Most communities don’t allow tipping, so for front-of-house staff, your mileage may vary.
  3. Benefits!
  4. Growth opportunities. Psst … have you heard about the staffing crisis?
  5. All that plus great food. “You can do all the fun, creative things that you would do in a restaurant but have a better work/life balance.”

Watch her share her infectious passion about the industry, and then send this to all the dining pros you know! Show them what they’re missing out on.

Senior Living Foresight is an industry partner to the Senior Dining Association’s Synergy 2023 conference.