Joe Abuso - Genuine Hospitality Consulting

hollyhall_logo3GHC was first hired to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether HH could provide better food and service to their residents than an outsourced provider was offering by bringing their foodservice in-house.  It was determined that they could, and for the same or less money.

GHC was then contracted to develop an entirely new foodservice operation and transition to it, seamlessly, from what was then their existing, outsourced service. The food would all be made-from-scratch, comfort foods, and the service would rival that of a good restaurant. There would be no hint of Institutional Foodservice about what we envisioned and produced.

First, we wrote a budget including every cost associated with the undertaking: food, kitchen and dining room management and staff, Registered Dietician, chemicals, linens, disposables, uniforms, repairs and other items.

In consultation with various leaders in the field of gerontology, we wrote a 28-day menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a scalable recipe for each and every item. The menus and recipes were all approved by a Registered Dietitian and conformed to the budget.

We determined the staffing requirements for all front- and back-of-the-house positions, the qualifications necessary for all positions from Executive Chef and Dining Room Manager to Steward and Busser, conducted all interviews and selected the candidates to fill those positions.

Beginning with breakfast on August 1, 2013, we transitioned seamlessly from the former, outsourced foodservice to the current, in-house model. The new team has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, 365 days a year to approximately 180 residents ever since. The residents are divided among those in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Health Care with, as much as possible, the same high-quality, made-from-scratch food in each area.

GHC continues to oversee the entire operation, achieving extremely high satisfaction rates, while consistently performing under budget.


  • Conducted the initial feasibility study about bringing the foodservice in-house.
  • Wrote the foodservice departmental budget.
  • Developed all menus and recipes.
  • Determined all staffing requirements, both management and hourly, and filled the opening positions.
  • Developed and implemented all foodservice systems and procedures.
  • Transitioned seamlessly from an outsourced foodservice to an in-house operation.
  • Trained all staff, front- and back-of-the-house.
  • Work with the staff on numerous successful special events including holiday dinners, large fundraising events and regular Sunday Brunches.
  • Continue to provide oversight of various aspects of the operation; culinary, staffing and financials.
Joe Abuso and Chef Peter Huber standing in the garden at Holly Hall Retirement Community.

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