Care homes FAQs
Cooking & Serving
Do we need a full time chef?
- Our meals are frozen and ready to put straight into the oven. This means that preparation time is significantly reduced, leaving time for your staff to focus on making mealtimes enjoyable for all residents.
- Our simple meal service removes the stress of recruiting experienced chefs. All your staff will need is food hygiene training. With our training, anyone can help out in the kitchen - so there's no need to worry about holiday cover or sickness.
Do you cater for special diets?
- Yes, we provide a wide variety of special diet meals including:
- IDDSI levels 3, 4, 5 and 6
- Finger food
- Reduced appetite
- Energy dense
- Vegetarian & vegan
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- ..and much more in our delicious special diets range.
Do your meals come in individual portions?
- Our standard diet meals typically serve 8-10 residents. A smaller option is available which can improve order accuracy, minimise wastage and help you manage your costs. Our special diet meals are delivered as individual portions to ensure every component of the meal is suitable for your resident.
How do you prepare your meals?
- Our team handpicks each meal ingredient to ensure the best quality and taste. Our meals are then prepared and cooked by our qualified on-site chefs, with direction from our in-house dietitian. Each meal is then frozen to lock in nutrition, freshness and flavour.
- To prepare the meals in your care home, simply remove the meals needed from the freezer and follow the cooking instructions on the lid. Remove your meals from the oven, check the temperature, and serve!
Which mealtimes do you cater for?
- We offer a diverse range and variety of options for lunch, tea, supper and snacks.
Will we need additional equipment?
- During our on-site visit, we can discuss whether any equipment will be required, such as freezers and ovens, however most customers don't require additional equipment. If needed, we can support and provide a range of equipment purchase options to suit all budgets.
How It Works
How do I place an order?
- Your dedicated account manager will train your team on our online ordering portal, my apetito. Simply log in to your my apetito account, check you're happy with your menus and place your order in moments.
How do your menus work?
- Your team will be trained on how to create menus based on your residents’ preferences through our online portal. With over 200 dishes to choose from your menus will never get boring! Your dedicated account manager and our in-house dietitian can also advise on any special dietary requirements, such as dysphagia-friendly dining options.
How does your service work?
- Your team will be fully trained on how to use our service, from cooking the food to plate presentation, recording temperatures and portion control. We also provide best practice support to help your team with menu planning.
- Our simple online portal allows you to plan menus, review nutritional content and place your order with apetito. Once you’ve placed your order, we’ll deliver to you for free on an agreed day.
How much does apetito's care home meals service cost?
- The cost of our care home meals service will depend on the size of your business and the number of residents in your care home.
- As part of booking a tasting with us, we’ll listen to your needs and discuss the best way to partner with you.
- Once you partner with us, we'll evaluate your spending to make sure you’re getting the most out of your budget, giving you visibilty and confidence—all the while helping you serve delicious, nutritious meals for your residents.
How quickly can our care home use your service?
- We can get you up and running within just two weeks. Before launch, we will come to your care home to conduct a food sampling session, or arrange for you to come to our on-site Visitor Centre in Wiltshire. This gives you the confidence and reassurance that the food you’re receiving meets the needs of your residents.
- This is typically undertaken with a manager or owner, but we encourage staff and residents to try the food at this session too!
We don’t have much space within our care home—is your service still suitable?
- Our care home meals service requires minimal kitchen space. As part of becoming a new customer you will receive an on-site visit, where we can support and advise on best practice based on the size of your care home kitchen. We can also advise and provide equipment should it be required.
Where is your food sourced from?
- As proud supporters of the UK and Irish food and farming industry, we responsibly source ingredients that meet government buying standards to offer you better quality produce at a fairer cost.
- We source:
- 100% British peas
- Award-winning Bramley apples grown in Kent
- 100% sustainable fish
- Beef from UK and Irish suppliers - some just 15 miles from our Wiltshire kitchen
- Dairy products from UK and Irish suppliers (excluding UHT and regional products)
- Some products do have to be sourced from further afield, but all these carefully selected worldwide suppliers operate within the Ethical Trading Initiatives, commited to removing modern slavery.
Allergens & Safety
Can you support with allergens and intolerances?
- Providing food that’s safe for your residents is a key part of our service. Our online nutritional database gives you visibility on every meal and every ingredient, enabling you to create a menu tailored to every resident's needs. Our dietitians are also on hand to consult with you on all your residents’ dietary requirements, while the diversity of our range means it’s easy to cater for dairy, egg and wheat intolerances, plus many more.
Is your system CQC compliant?
- Yes, as our partner you will have 24-hour access to our online nutritional planning tool and nutritional database, accessed by the my apetito customer portal.
- With detailed nutritional information for every meal served, you can rest assured that if the CQC visited today, you will be able to report the exact nutritional content of each meal you’ve served. The results with our partners at The Willows speak for themselves.
What measures do you take to ensure your food is safe?
- With three industry leading, accredited laboratories and strict procedures, our meals are the safest catering options available for your care home.
- No batch of food is released until it has passed rigorous microbiological testing not just for indicator organisms, but also for the actual pathogens. We then freeze it to lock in the goodness, and ensure it has a longer shelf life than chilled food.
- We also consistently achieve the highest level of accreditation against the BRC’s Global Standard for Food Safety, conducting an audit across all our processes each year.
Do you deliver in my area?
- We offer deliveries across the UK, free of charge, using our own temperature controlled fleet of vehicles.
How frequently do you deliver?
- As our food is delivered frozen our service does not require the need for a daily delivery and the challenges associated with this. We typically deliver once a week on your chosen delivery day.
How is your food delivered?
- Food is delivered frozen in our own temperature-controlled vehicles. There is no charge for delivery and one of our friendly delivery drivers will deliver your food on your chosen delivery days.
How much storage space does my care home need?
- This depends on what you have in place already. During our on-site visit, we can discuss whether any equipment, such as freezers, will be required. If needed, we can advise on the type and size of equipment required, as well as potential sources of supply.