The Future of Senior Living Dining and Culinary Innovation

Good food is essential. And especially in senior living where residents are daily repeat customers, it should be fun, too. That’s where we come in.

We’re gathering leading operators and innovators who are building the future of dining in senior living for a one-of-a-kind event.

Here, it’s all about dining—from education to networking, amazing food and a whole lot of fun.

Event Details

8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Venue Six10, 610 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Who Attends
Presidents, CEOs, Executive Chefs, VPs of Dining, VPs of Operations, and more.
Dress Code
Business Casual
Sponsor Options
Happy Hour on the eve of DISHED
Registered attendees are invited to a complimentary happy hour on March 11 from 5-7pm at Buddy Guy's Legends, 700 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. RSVP when you purchase your ticket to DISHED.
Buy Tickets


  • 8:30 - 8:40 AM
    Opening Remarks

  • 8:40 - 9:10 AM
    Creating and Financing New Dining Concepts

    In a world of tight budgets, any new investment in dining needs to be approached carefully from an operational standpoint, with the possibility of a sound return on investment. Hear from leading operators and a capital provider on how to upgrade dining, from concept to execution.

    • Kyle Exline
      Executive Director
      The Clare
  • 9:10 - 9:25 AM
    No Filter: Harnessing Feedback to Improve Dining Quality in the Age of Yelp

    In the era of instant feedback and consumer reviews, senior living residents will speak up more about what they like and dislike about senior living dining. Hear some of the most common complaints that providers are hearing, and how they’re responding to please a wide variety of palates.

    • Gottfried Ernst
      Vice President of Hospitality
      True Connection Communities
    • Marjan Kodric
      Vice President of Dining Services
      Brookdale Senior Living
  • 9:25 - 9:40 AM
    A Dining Overhaul, From Pricing to Venues: Inside Grace Management

    Grace Management is a growing presence in the senior housing landscape as its portfolio expands — but growth through acquisition brings operational challenges. Frances Showa has responded by repositioning the culinary platform, introducing new venues — including farmstands — and switching to all-inclusive pricing that allows residents to eat whatever they want, whenever they want.

    • Frances Showa
      National Director of Dining Service Operations
      Grace Management
  • 9:40 - 10:10 AM

  • 10:10 - 10:30 AM
    Topic Coming Soon

  • 10:30 - 10:45 AM
    SHN Research Presentation - Dining Trends Survey

    • Elizabeth Ecker
      Director of Content
      Senior Housing News
  • 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
    Keynote: Delivering Memorable Customer Service

    A discussion featuring a speaker from the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center on creating an emotional connection, becoming a service sensation, the power of anticipatory and more.

  • 12:00 - 1:00 PM

  • 1:10 - 1:20 PM
    DISHED Talks

  • 1:20 - 1:45 PM
    Dining at All Price Points: Serving Different Consumer Demographics

    As senior living providers create more diverse portfolios to meet different consumer price points, dining programs must adapt. Hear how Pathway to Living approaches dining across affordable, middle-market and market-rate communities.

    • Eli Ayoub
      Corporate Director of Culinary Experience
      Pathway to Living
  • 1:45 - 2:05 PM
    The Intersection of Food Halls and Senior Living

    Hear from Willow Valley CEO John Swanson on creating a food hall and culinary arts center next to a senior living development.

    • John Swanson
      Willow Valley Living
    • Helen Foster
      Foster Strategy, LLC
  • 2:05 - 2:20 PM
    Topic Coming Soon

  • 2:20 - 2:40 PM

  • 2:40 - 2:50 PM
    DISHED Talks

  • 2:50 - 3:15
    Innovative Partnerships: Tapping Local Food and Beverage Brands in Senior Living

    Forming a joint venture with a local brand, from a restaurant or coffee shop to an ice cream maker, can generate excitement and credibility for a senior living dining program. Hear from three providers who are pursuing this strategy.

    • Diane Hood
      Mary’s Woods
    • Ben Butler
      Director of Culinary Services
      The Kendal Corporation
  • 3:15 - 3:30 PM
    Topic Coming Soon

  • 3:30 - 3:40 PM
    Q&A with Morrison Community

  • 3:40 - 4:00 PM
    Zero Waste, Big Margins: The case for sustainable dining in senior living

    Senior living residents are demanding more sustainable operations, and providers are seeking more margin on their dining operations. The move toward zero-waste kitchens and other eco-friendly practices helps fulfill both objectives.

  • 4:00 - 5:00 PM
    Cocktail Reception

    Sponsored by Morrison Community Living

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