In an insightful interview with Founder of Signature Dining, Paul Robottom, we share details on how the brand is sustainably revolutionising catering services in the care sector.

Please introduce Signature Dining to our readers

With a passion and vision to re-invigorate catering in care and healthcare I launched Signature Dining in 2016, bringing a person-centred approach for residents and patients and tailoring the service needs to each individual setting. Having previously worked on senior executive boards in larger organisations, I knew there was a gap in the market to create a company based on providing a fabulous food and service delivery exclusively for the care and welfare market. I carefully developed a team of vibrant and creative people, who share my vision and who consistently go the extra mile to enhance the lives of the residents and the patients that they work 365 days a year. 

Myself and the team have developed a truly bespoke service to Signature Dining’s clients, creating a one-of-a-kind service for each setting, built entirely upon the needs and preferences of the residents and patients. This unique approach has seen Signature Dining become multi award winners, securing the accolades of Public Sector Caterer of the year, Food Services Catey awards and Healthcare Caterer of the year 2023 at the Contract Catering Awards to name but a few as well as being voted ‘best companies to work for’, for the last three years.

What benefits are presented to Care Homes as a result of working with Signature Dining?

Working with us brings our clients a wealth of benefits. Our senior staff team have over 30 years combined experience in contract catering and have a deep understanding of the importance of a great food service, not just to meet the nutrition and hydration needs of our diners, but in providing valuable social interactions that support resident’s independence and ensure dining with dignity for all.

Our team work closely with our clients, getting to know them and their setting and developing a food service that is entirely unique to them and that meets CQC requirements. 

Bringing the fun to food service, our teams develop immersive foodie theme days that are celebrated in true Signature Style. Working with our clients, we tailor our events calendar, marking festivals and special occasions that are important to our diners and their families. 

You pride yourself on developing interesting and appetising menus, can you tell us how so and what makes these stand out? 

At Signature Dining we understand that menus are more than meals on a plate. Through creative and meaningful menu planning, we are able to meet the nutrition and hydration needs of our residents, offer them a great variety of choice and give them the flexibility to change their mind whenever they may wish to.  We meet with residents and their families, getting their input into the menus and giving each diner a sense of ownership of the menus…after all, we are cooking in their own home. Our menus are developed with a cooked fresh from scratch ethos and feature the best seasonal, locally sourced produce. Our menus feature classic dishes, cooked to traditional recipes, and served with a contemporary twist. Celebrating favourite dishes of the residents at each setting, our menus echo the flavours of yesterday, connecting residents with precious memories from their past.

As passionate promoters of Dining with Dignity, it is essential to us that our menus are fully adaptable for residents with swallowing difficulties. All Signature Dining chefs have received extensive, specialist training in modifying menus following the IDDSI framework, and are skilled at hand piping texture modified meals, creating dishes that look identical to their standard menu counterparts.  



Can you tell us about Signature Dining’s sustainability efforts?

Sustainability is very important to us. Working with regional/local suppliers who source local produce supports us as we strive to reduce food miles. Our fresh produce is predominantly UK grown- in fact 95% comes from these shores, and comes to us in cardboard packaging, without the need for single use plastics.

Working in partnership with our clients, we adopt the site recycling programmes. Our teams separate and recycle all cardboard packaging, and where plastic packaging is essential, will re-use or recycle. As a company we avoid using disposables, serving all of our meals on china plates and our bespoke hospitality on reusable platters, trays, and slates. Where disposables are needed, for example for a packed lunch for a hospital visit or picnics, sustainable products will always be used.

Reducing food waste is a key part of our sustainability promise. Not only does this reduce the waste that goes into landfill, but it also ensures that we give clients best value by using as much of any given product as we possibly can. Careful menu planning helps our chefs to make the most of our fresh produce, using meat bones to make stocks and gravies and vegetable off cuts to make soup.

How easy is it for a Care Home to work with you? Can you tell us about the process?

At Signature Dining we take the hassle out of catering for our clients, meaning that they can focus on providing the best care to their residents while we take care of the food. Our teams become true partners with their clients and their care teams, working with them to deliver a service that is tailored for their care home community. We manage all the day-to-day running of the food service, ensuring that the staff are well supported, and that the kitchen is fully complaint with food safety legislation.