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Lakeside’s SuzyQ Cart – Improving Health Care Dining

By Lee Davis, CFSP


Last week, I attended a training event hosted by Suzanne Quiring, CDM, Registered Dietician, and inventor of the SuzyQ Cart System, manufactured by Lakeside. The SuzyQ Cart System is more than just a compact, high-end steam table on wheels; it is a completely improved system of how we provide meal service in heath care communities (HCCs).


Tray service is the typical method of serving meals in HCCs. Each tray is loaded up with basically the same menu items and same portions. Then a tray is placed in front of each resident in the dining room. Not only does tray service result in a lot of food waste, but residents have little choice about menu options or portion sizes. There is no opportunity for residents to communicate with the cooks, or to benefit from social interactions with the staff.


The SuzyQ cart system is completely mobile. It allows staff to deliver a selection of hot and/or cold menu items to tableside. Residents can see the food, select the items they want, and portion sizes they feel comfortable with. They feel more empowered when given real choices and benefit from the opportunity to interact and chat with staff members. Serving “seconds” is easy and quick.


The SuzyQ cart system also benefits staff. The cart is easy to maneuver and there is no running back and forth to deliver trays. There are no more tray lines and no reading or updating long preference lists. Cooks can get out from behind their serving stations and interact with their residents, learning first hand about their likes and dislikes. The SuzyQ cart system holds food at the proper temperatures until the moment it is served, and because residents control selection and portion size, there is dramatically less food waste at the end of each meal.


The SuzyQ cart is stainless steel and is available with laminate colors. It has two separate wells. Each is large enough to hold a full size hotel pan or any configuration of smaller pans. The SuzyQ features pull-out drawers, roller bumpers, locking casters, a plate shelf and a pull out condiment rail. It is available with a heated drawer, cutting board or heated plate shelf. The mini SuzyQ serves up to 20 residents, while the regular cart serves up to 40. The SuzyQ also comes with RD support and educational resources.


To learn more about the SuzyQ cart system by Lakeside, go to