Care homes are facing arguably the most testing time financially in living memory. Like everyone, they have soaring energy bills and rising food prices. However, due to the national staff shortage in the sector, care homes are increasingly relying on expensive temp staff or are having to increase wages to lure people into roles. In addition, insurance premiums are rising, with Care England recently reporting that some care homes are paying 300 to 400 per cent more in insurance premiums since Covid-19.

Care homes are having to somehow swallow these increased combined costs and don’t have options to manage or control them in any way. They can’t vary their opening hours as they have to run 24/7. Lights need to be switched on, the inside temperature needs to be kept comfortable and bed linen needs to be washed. It’s a major crisis.

However, one cost area that care homes can control and manage is their food and catering. It’s a project that the team at Creed Foodservice have undertaken – to develop a genuinely useful solution that will help care home owners, managers and kitchen teams manage their food costs better. In their latest installment of their video series, Creed Foodservice’s Care Sector Specialist, Andy Williams, and Development Chef, James de Jong, discuss this more.

Andy Williams, says: “When we talk about care homes managing their food costs, we don’t mean finding cheaper ingredients and products and remaining hopeful that residents remain satisfied with their meals. We’ve gone far deeper than this, ensuring our solutions and recommendations cover every different aspect that impacts food costs and outline the steps to how these can be managed.

“We look at food waste in the kitchen and how leftover fruit and veg can be utilised in meals rather than binned and how weighing wasteage can help improve portion size. We cover menus and recipes reviewing how long a menu is, the recipes themselves and products being used. It might be tweaking a menu to embrace seasonal or local produce will help with cost streamlining or recipe and product switches will result in more cost-effective meals that deliver the same, if not better, quality.

“Reporting is also key. Are reports being done, are budgets being adhered to, are teams meeting internally to review expenditure and are meetings taking place with the food supplier.

“We’ll be encompassing all of this – and more - into our cost management workshop that will be taking place later this year, jampacked with actionable solutions that can be easily implemented within care homes and will enable real differences to be made.”

Creed Foodservice also welcome care home teams into their Food Innovation Centre where they can get their heads together on the food offering, how the quality can be improved, buying can be streamlined and costs can be kept laser-focused.

To view this latest installment of Creed Foodservice’s care sector video series visit: Care (

In addition, to arrange a call or session with the care specialist team contact [email protected]