Case Study

Collaboration Enables Edgewood Healthcare’s Dining Services to Increase Compliance, See Bigger Rebates and Improve Menus

January 31, 2024
Medium rate steak on a plate
Edgewood Healthcare’s Dining Services found a recipe for improving the bottom line. The Grand Forks, North Dakota-based company established and maintains healthy relationships among its supplier, distributor and group purchasing organization (GPO) partners to improve operations and boost profitability.  
With a weekly meeting cadence in place and a focus on Provista’s Impact Standardization Programs’ offerings, Edgewood increased contract utilization throughout 2023, achieving 90% in Q2 2023. This resulted in a 30% rebate increase. Provista’s Impact Standardization Programs  improve procurement processes on commonly purchased items. The programs financially reward standardization efforts while reducing product variation.

For Edgewood’s Dining Services, open and frequent communication and collaboration with partners contribute to the overall success of operations while providing a unified approach to problem solving. The partnerships have helped Edgewood drive high-value improvements across food services.
“I have learned that these relationships and partnerships are instrumental in standardization and cost-saving initiatives,” says Melanie Metz, RDN, LD, corporate director of Dining Services for Edgewood.


When Metz began her career with Edgewood in 2007, the company owned and operated 18 buildings in five states. Consistent standards for menus and purchasing had not yet been established, and Edgewood’s first GPO relationship was still brand new.
Metz and her team standardized distribution by using a single primary broadline foodservice company and quickly adopted standard menus, recipes and tools to manage food services. The processes Metz implemented scaled as Edgewood grew—the company now operates 63 communities in seven states. 
In addition to establishing and carrying out food-related policies, and participating in the hiring and training of dining leadership across the company, one of Metz’s most impactful and important job functions is leading and supporting the Dining Services departments.
“Resident satisfaction is top on the list, and so is management of established standards and the bottom line,” she explains.
Residents at each Edgewood location have unique dietary preferences, which Metz and her team strive to meet while offering nutritionally balanced menus. Beef roasts, fried or breaded chicken and hotdish are popular menu items, and items for special events have included prime rib, steak and walleye.

Because the menus at Edgewood drive all things dining related, creating an enticing menu using standard products is the best way for Metz and her team to grow the bottom line. Semi-annual meetings help achieve that goal.
“Twice a year, a group of our internal expert Dining Services directors gather to customize menus for the spring/summer cycle and the fall/winter cycle to the senior population we serve,” Metz says.
The three-day meetings are typically held at one of Edgewood’s foodservice distributor locations that have an available test kitchen. Food distributor representatives, GPO partners and food brokers all participate in the meetings and share ideas.
The collaborative events impact outcomes and help ensure standards in several ways:  
  • Develop new menus that incorporate new ideas and address changing times. “We like to tap into the experience and talent of the chefs who work for our distributor partner,” Metz notes.
  • Standardize and review recipes for accuracy based on Edgewood kitchens, cooking equipment, preparation and storage spaces.
  • Identify pack size availability and split case availability with distributor partners.
  • Review product specifications, nutritional information and product availability for each of the six food distribution sites that are used.
  • Determine and interface the foodservice distributor’s universal product codes into menu software, which become part of a shopping list for the 63 communities. “This removes the guesswork for which products to buy,” Metz points out.
  • Ensure Edgewood is taking advantage of contracted products for the menus, focusing on the Provista Impact Standardization Programs wherever possible.

“I have learned that these relationships and partnerships are instrumental in standardization and cost saving initiatives.” -Melanie Metz, corporate director of Dining Services, Edgewood Healthcare”


In addition to the semi-annual in-person food events, Edgewood’s Dining Services leaders meet virtually every week with their GPO and distributor representatives. These meetings provide opportunities to continuously evaluate how the food program is being utilized.
“As a former Intalere member, we were excited to transition to the Provista food program in Q4, 2022,” Metz says. “We immediately realized how the Impact Standardization Program supported our overall goals.”
During the weekly meetings, off-contract purchases are reviewed. They also discuss any manufacturer changes, new contracted product availability and collaboratively determine solutions as challenges arise.
“Since my first encounter with a GPO more than 16 years ago, I have been able to stay involved by participating in member input groups and food contracting councils,” Metz says. “I have always worked closely with vendors, brokers and distributor partners. The process is fun and educational in an ever-changing and evolving food-service climate—and it does contribute to overall success.” 

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