Pandemic Put Hospitality Professionals Out of Work. Senior Living Should Hire Them.

Just about every bar, restaurant and hocallto across the country has been hit hard by COVID-19.  At the end of March, unemployment filings were up by more than 1000% for people in the food services industry and those working in hospitality.

This is a great time for the Senior Living Industry to hire them! According to a Senior Housing News article, “Senior living providers will no doubt need more workers in the coming weeks and months as Covid-19 rages on. And since many operators already hire from the hospitality talent pool, why not try to help those laid-off workers get back to work?”

We spoke with Ashley Lodi, Executive Director with a Senior Living Community located in Orlando, Florida, and she agrees and added, “Hospitality and senior living industries totally align since both require a caring heart, compassion for people, and the desire to serve. I would say that furloughed hospitality professionals in culinary, sales, marketing, and management could make an easy transition.”

Ms. Lodi is also concerned about the many students who are expected to graduate this spring and summer with a certificate or degree in hospitality, “In these uncertain times, finding a job in hospitality will be extremely difficult.  Senior living providers should try to attract these students now by partnering with schools and universities where hospitality programs are offered. They represent a large talent pool that our industry needs.”

What other places can senior living providers draw talent from? Ms. Lodi thinks that those who work for theme parks such as Disney would be a good fit, “Theme parks train workers on how to provide an amazing customer experience. There’s no doubt that these workers would be a good fit for senior living plus we can offer them an opportunity during a time when they need income.”

Income is not the only attractive feature of a job in senior living. Ms. Lodi shared that if a senior living provider wants to attract the best hospitality workers, they need to adopt and promote incentive programs such as employee of the month, education assistance, 401K, vacation, sick time, holiday pay, generous benefits package, rewards for employee referrals, etc.  Additionally, the more creative, the better.

While this unprecedented situation has caused the loss of thousands of jobs in hospitality, there’s certainly an opportunity for these workers to take advantage of the many jobs within senior living.



Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since then, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry.  She previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

(Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Oregon Health Care Association, and Virginia Assisted Living Association.)

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294.



MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Ask us about our Interim Talent Solutions including: Interim Executive Director, Interim Nursing Home Administrator, Interim Assisted Living Director, Interim Director of Nursing, Interim Resident Care Director, Interim Health Services Director, and Interim MDS Coordinator.

Contact MedBest at / 727-526-1294

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