When premier senior housing and care company who continually strives to reach the highest industry standards in rehabilitation and senior services, seeks partnership with a supplier – the request for proposal selection could easily fall into the category of “mission impossible.”

When Brooks Rehabilitation went looking for a new food service vendor, their criteria looked like something out of Mission Impossible. They continuously set extremely high standards for all that they do and they wanted a vendor who would be compatible with their commitment to excellence. Here is how it unfolded:

The Process

Bob Shryock, Director Managed Care at Brooks, set out to find a food and dietary service for the newest Brooks campus. His Brooks_Rehabilitation1goal was to find a fresher solution for the dietary portion of their business. He invited five food vendors to participate in the process. The initial result was something of a bidding war except that all of the proposals were very close in price which is a tough or good place to be.  Tough because the decision becomes more subjective and good for the very same reason.Shryock upped the ante; He invited each vendor to give their best proposal to the Brooks executive team addressing a singular question:  “How would your program fit into our mission of providing seniors with a world class experience?”  Sizing up business partners from the vantage point of first class capacities made Shryock wary about the selection process, he wondered if he was making it too difficult.  But he trusted his instincts and the result was outstanding. Instead of just contracting with another food service vendor, Brooks ended up with true dining partner who will create a holistic package of healthy foods and nutritional value; a program that includes planting, growing and tending an on-site vegetable and herb garden, and creating a superb dining experience for residents and staff. Not only are they getting a great food program but residents will be engaged in the growing of fresh foods that will ultimately end up on resident plates.

Here is why Unidine made the cut:

1.  Unidine and Brooks have similar core values of providing a world class program of services. Patrick Johnson, Unidine’s V.P. of Operations,  worked as a partner with Brooks to create a highly customized program that aligned with Brooks requirements and budget.

“Patrick Johnson got involved in every aspect of our food service from selecting the kitchen dinnerware, to other supplies Brooks needed for delivering food and dining. Johnson became entrenched in our dining products and service’s needs and buying  .  .  . Unidine helped us save tens of thousands of dollars by steering us to the right distributors. That’s why Unidine is a true business partner for us,”  said Shyrock.

2.  Unidine’s approach to seniors’ health and dietary nourishment was the big differentiator. They see the residents’ diet needs being met through eating whole foods instead of taking daily supplements. Unidine sees fresh food and made-from-scratch cooking as one of the remedies to health concerns. Their kitchens are filled with fresh ingredients, not frozen or pre-packaged prepared food. They make the soups and stocks from scratch too and roast their own meats. All meals are seasoned with fresh herbs. The kitchens are staffed with true culinary professionals who know how to maximize the flavor and nutrition of these fresh ingredients.   The new Brooks campus includes assisted living, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services.  They are expecting to have residents begin moving in during the month of July, 2013.  They will hold a campus wide grand opening on October 26 and if you are in the area please come join the celebration and check out their dining program. Just one question for you: What would be your make or break criteria for a dining service contractor?