Lakes Region Community College Restaurant Management students have partnered with Taylor Community of Laconia as part of their required experiential learning. Nestled amidst the scenic landscape and beautiful mountain vistas of the Lakes Region, this retirement community offers lifestyle unlike any other. As part of the offerings, the community provides delicious and satisfying dining options onsite at their Community Bistro, Fireside Room, and The Lake Room.

What makes this new partnership so special, is it provides the opportunity through service learning to “connect generations,” by offering these young students not only the opportunity to gain valuable restaurant skills, but also exposing them to the benefits of serving the residents, many of whom may be similar in age to their own grandparents.

According to Moe Memmolo, General Manager of Glendale Senior Dining, the company that manages the food service, “Students were nervous at first, given the new environment, the age and health of residents; but were overall enthusiastic about the opportunity and eager to engage with the residents.” He  also noted that "residents were equally excited to have the opportunity to engage with these young students, meet new people, and share time and experiences.”

The students go through an orientation prior to entering the restaurant, to better understand and become sensitive to senior living and how best to engage with residents, nursing staff and different kinds of care management offered. “This partnership is a perfect learning platform for our students, providing the opportunity to work and engage in the local community, as well as showcase a different career path for students,” said Professor Carlene Rose, chair of the LRCC Business Studies, Hospitality, and Culinary Degree programs.

This need is echoed by a recent study where “demand for increasing diversity in senior resident dining experiences is creating a shift in how continuing care retirement communities approach food service management.” An article in Senior News noted that, “Former hospitality leaders are making a notable mark on the industry, showing there are many more opportunities for senior housing to take cues from the hospitality sector in operations, development, guest experiences, and design.” This is good news for students studying hotel and restaurant management.

To find out more about this great learning opportunity or to discuss a potential learning partnership with our students, or how to jump start your future, you can contact Professor Patrick Hall, at phall@ccsnh.edu

Nelson A. Barber, PhD, is a consultant who teaches hospitality, hotel and food-and wine service education, and career development.

Lakes Region Community College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire that serves over 1,200 students annually.

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