Due to the shortage of staff and the increase in cost, coupled with the limited consumption capacity of the elderly, the average daily sales of some elderly dining tables is only more than 10 copies.

  It takes multiple efforts to run the table for the elderly

  The "Worker's Daily" reporter learned from the field visit that some elderly meal business units have insufficient delivery services, unclear business concepts, and even run into business difficulties that are unsustainable.

  "When I get older, it becomes difficult to eat." Recently, in a community outside the North Fifth Ring Road in Haidian District, Beijing, Uncle Zhang and his wife in a wheelchair were basking in the sun in the square, killing time while waiting for lunch at the pension station.

Since the children are usually busy with work and have no time to take care of the two elderly people, since last year, after the wife was paralyzed due to a stroke, the daily meals of Uncle Zhang and his wife have been maintained by the elderly meals in the community pension station.

  In order to solve the problem of eating for the elderly, various places have piloted services such as dining tables for the elderly and meal assistance in pension stations.

Since Beijing launched the construction of dining tables for the elderly in 2009, as of October last year, there have been 1,000 meals for the elderly.

  Shortage of manpower "difficult to deliver meals"

  "The elderly, lonely and disabled elderly people in the community, who can't cook at home, want to order meals at the pension station. First, it is convenient, so you can eat it when you take it back. Second, because the station is in the community, you can rest assured to eat the food. ." Uncle Zhang told reporters that the elderly meals provided by the pension station have provided great convenience for his life.

  The reporter saw at the inn that meals for the elderly were packaged in plastic lunch boxes.

The staff told reporters that every Monday to Friday, the elderly call and make a reservation one day in advance according to the menu of the week or verbally inform them that the “central kitchen” will deliver the uniformly prepared meals to each station the next day, and the elderly can order the meals. You can take it home to eat, or you can go home after eating at the inn.

  It is understood that in the early days of the establishment of the pension station, there are two methods of delivery and dine-in meals for the elderly, but the delivery service has been stopped since the second half of last year.

"If there are special circumstances, it can also be delivered, but the delivery range is limited to one kilometer, and an additional 6 yuan delivery fee is required." The staff told reporters.

  The reason for stopping delivery is also simple.

"There are only two staff members in the entire pension station. In addition to completing the six basic functions of day care, call service, meal service, health guidance, cultural entertainment, and psychological comfort as required, we are also responsible for more than 200 disabled elderly people. There is no time to deliver meals for family pension bed services," the staff said.

  Door-to-door meal delivery is the real demand of many elderly people, and some elderly people even believe that this service should become a "golden signboard" for "old institutions".

However, the problem of "difficulty in delivering meals" not only exists in the busy elderly care stations, but also the elderly dining tables in some communities face different difficulties in delivering meals.

  In an elderly dining table shop in Laiguangying Township, Chaoyang District, an elderly man came in and asked if the food could be delivered to the home. The staff immediately gave a negative answer, adding: "There is only one chef and two helpers in the shop, so they are too busy." According to the staff, in order to control costs, in addition to the owner and his wife, only one distant relative was hired as a dishwasher.

This elderly dining table was contracted by a special person and then leased to other businesses for operation. The current owner has just taken over it for two years.

  The average daily sales of some elderly tables is only more than 10 copies

  "Although it's called the Senior Dining Table, no matter what age you are, you can come in to eat," said a staff member at a senior dining table in Xueyuan Road, Haidian District. "People often ask at the door if young people can go in to eat, it's definitely possible."

  At this senior dining table, there are many people eating, not only the elderly but also the young people, and the young people account for more than half of the customers.

"Because the food is cheaper than outside, and it's clean and hygienic, many young people come to eat, such as community parking guards, security guards, etc." said Tian Qingwei, the person in charge of the senior dining table.

  However, in the interview, many elderly people suggested that since the relevant departments have corresponding subsidies for the elderly dining tables and pension stations, they should only be open to the elderly to avoid young people "scraping food".

But merchants have difficulties. "Many elderly people are reluctant to spend money. Even if there are subsidies, it is difficult to rely on elderly customers to maintain operations." The owner of an elderly dining table in Jiuxianqiao Street, Chaoyang District said.

  It is understood that the subsidy policies for dining tables for the elderly vary from place to place, and some only provide subsidies for construction and operation.

Although there are some subsidies, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic in the past two years, many elderly dining tables have been weak in operation and even closed.

"The business of the elderly is not easy to do. Many young people don't want to come in when they see the sign of the elderly table hanging on the door. The labor cost is getting higher and higher, and a chef is afraid to use it. It all depends on the husband and wife. ." The owner of this senior dining table in Jiuxianqiao Street said that last year's epidemic made many senior dining tables worse.

  An elderly dining table located in Laiguangying Township, Chaoyang District, the operator has been changed several times, the staff told reporters, "We can't continue to open, the store is opened in the community, no one eats the expensive food, and does not make money when it is cheap. ." During the visit, the reporter found that at 5 o'clock in the afternoon on weekdays, there was only one young customer in this elderly table shop.

The sales of senior meals in some pension stations are also not optimistic, and the average daily sales of some are only more than 10 copies.

  Sustained development still requires joint efforts

  How to make the elderly meal service truly meet the dining needs of the elderly and promote the sustainable development of the elderly table?

At the "two sessions" in Beijing this year, Wang Feiling, a member of the CPPCC, suggested that the community's self-hematopoietic ability should be strengthened through resource support and market behavior to promote the sustainable development of meal assistance services for the elderly.

  Wang Feiling said that social resources should be fully mobilized, social enterprises should be encouraged to participate, and multi-party advantages should be used to strengthen cooperation and reduce government subsidies.

It is possible to increase the income-generating space for catering enterprises by opening community public places at a fixed time as the breakfast land for community residents.

  Wei Xiang, a professor at the Institute of Financial and Economic Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in an interview that in view of the current operation of the pension station, it is recommended that the elderly with better mobility go to the meal assistance point to buy and receive meals on their own. The elderly who are able can deliver meals to their homes through classified statistics and graded evaluation methods, and the cost of home delivery can be solved from subsidies.

In terms of service groups, it is not recommended to only serve the elderly, and to implement low-cost subsidies for buyers who hold senior cards, and sell them at market prices for ordinary people.

  In addition, in order to realize the sustainable operation of elderly meals, the participation of social forces and social enterprises should also be encouraged.

The government should establish corresponding supporting policies, such as strengthening subsidies according to the actual situation, so as to ensure the quality of table service for the elderly, and at the same time allow enterprises to have the possibility of long-term operation.