The much-anticipated expansion at Friends Homes will give existing and future residents a bigger menu of amenities from which to choose. According to Alex Perez, Hospitality Director for the community, he means that quite literally when it comes to the community’s dining options.
“The key with Friends Homes is how we balance our dining options to appeal to different generations…” says Alex. “how we provide more venues that each have their own unique menu and ambiance.”
As part of the overall expansion, the community is enhancing the dining experience throughout the entire campus. Plans include redesigning the main dining rooms in Friends Homes West and Friends Homes Guilford to provide table service with meals prepared to order. While the two environments will offer some of the same menu items on a regular basis, the featured menus and ambiance will be distinct from each other to provide greater variety.
The design process is still underway. However, Alex was able to share that the dining rooms will reflect a more seasonal, farm-to-table approach with changing daily specials. Brick hearth ovens are also in the works, which will give the environments and the cuisine even more of a local restaurant flavor.
As for new dining options, the new wellness center will be home to the community’s new bistro, offering a quick-casual menu with pizza, subs, sandwiches, bagels, a made-to-order salad station, and other specialties. The bistro will also offer indoor and outdoor seating areas, providing a welcome quick option in addition to the deli that is already on the Guilford side of campus.
“It’s a popular style of dining, especially with the new generations coming into Friends Homes,” he explains, “providing a quick concept with a great dining experience.”
The new venues are part of the community’s commitment to meeting and exceeding the expectations of current and future generations of residents. “When people feel they are in more control of their options,” explains Alex, “it makes for a more enjoyable experience.”
Friends Homes’ residents also had a voice in the direction of dining enhancements through surveys and meetings conducted during the different stages of planning. Residents can view renderings of the planned enhancements posted on campus.
“There are going to be a lot of exciting opportunities for residents,” says Alex. “The hardest part is the waiting — for us and the residents.”
As part of the expansion process that includes new homes, a wellness center and a bridge connecting the Guilford and West areas of campus, the dining updates emphasize the commitment to one, welcoming campus that offers all residents a variety of ways to live life to the fullest.