What is in this article?:
- Healthy Hospital Food: a Middle Management Quadruple Squeeze
- Contrasting Successes and Failures
- A Matter of Approach
Contrasting Successes and Failures
Healthcare foodservice today is rife with stories of both the success and failure of efforts to change retail programs, customer behaviors and hospital food perceptions. Consider some of these:
A food service director at a major Southern medical center says, “if we don’t have fried hush-puppies, fried okra and fried chicken on our comfort food bar every day, I don’t have a job!”
A former food service director and now hospital administrator frequently observes that his cafeteria customers always complained that the French fries portions were too small!
A Northeastern food service director tried offering a “meatless Monday” program—that lasted one week!
Another offers that only 1% of her cafeteria menu comes from the deep fat fryer but that percentage alone generates 15% of the cafeteria's total revenue.
And yet one more says 40% of his total cafeteria revenue (and most of its net revenue) comes from beverage sales—mostly bottled and fountain drinks.
A mid-western director who initiated a quiet, go slow approach that over the course of two years converted a conventional retail program to a largely healthy-choice orientation:
New, open front refrigerated merchandizers were installed to improve the visibility of and access to healthy choice items.
One healthy entrée and one traditional entrée are featured at each meal, with all vegetables prepared in a healthy manner,
90% of starch items are healthy, three of four daily soup selections are healthy, only low fat mayonnaise is used, the number of salad bar ingredients increased, only 2% and skim milk are offered, only healthy snack items are displayed.
No discounts are offered for healthy items, the reaction has not been negative and sales and net revenue have not been negatively affected.