Gary Tetz

With all the issues you face in long-term care, it doesn’t surprise me you’ve never given a moment’s thought to one of the great travesties of modern civilization — that there’s way too much crème brulee in this world, and not nearly enough panna cotta.

You know what rhymes with crème brulee? Crème cliché. It’s common, it’s trite, and the act of eating it too closely resembles ice fishing. I don’t wish to have to cut a hole in the top of my custardy treat with a chain saw in order to enjoy three sickening bites of throat-gagging, diabetes-hastening sweetness. 

Panna cotta, on the other hand, is cool, smooth and refreshingly uncommon.  It’s approachable without the use of industrial-strength cutlery, and sits on the tongue like a soothing poultice of appropriately decadent deliciousness. While even hummingbirds refuse second helpings of crème brulee, panna cotta invites multiple guilt-free mouthfuls. Encouraging understatement and nuance, it’s the  sensible choice of all spiritually evolved humans.

That’s why, on my next secret-shopper visit to your facility, I expect to see panna cotta on your newly redesigned, hospitality driven dining room menu. Your residents and their families may not know it, but they subconsciously demand and deserve a cool, creamy, approachable custard, and you should give it to them. Within dietary, budgetary and logistical restrictions, of course.

On a more metaphorical level, as you refine your services and develop new ones, foster a panna cotta culture and mindset throughout your team and building. Anyone can provide merely acceptable services at a crème brulee level of listless, pseudo-innovation. To truly stand out in the marketplace, deliver the uncommon and unexpected. 

People don’t always know what they want, but they know it when the see it. So in a crème-brulee world of uninspiring, cookie-cutter amenities and services, give them panna cotta instead.