|NOSHES FOR NIGHTOWLS. U-Wisconsin Hospital’s Mendota Market is open 24 hours, giving even overnight workers a foodservice option.|
The cash register never stops ringing during the week at the Mendota Market, a c-store located on the premises of the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics in Madison. Named for a nearby lake, the store is open 24-hours Monday through Friday (it is closed 3 pm-6:30 pm on Saturday and 6:30 am-6:30 pm Sundays and holidays).
During its round-the-clock operation, Mendota Market rings up an average of nearly 1,600 transactions in a 24-hour period, generating about $5,000 in sales, says John Hofman, director of food services for UW Health. Naturally, the busiest period is the lunch daypart, when nearly 550 transactions generate over $1,600 in sales. However, even the graveyard shift—12:30 to 6 am—sees about 50 customers and $200 in average daily sales.
“Mendota offers people working these shifts a foodservice option,” says Hofman. Food selections at Mendota range from hot pizza and calzones and a deli case for fresh-made sandwiches to graband- go pre-made sandwiches and salads, frozen entrees and UW’s own ice cream. There are also bottled beverages in a cold vault and Starbucks coffee drinks. Baked goods come courtesy of UW’s in-house bakery. “They make a great carrot cake, and the pizzas are made with freshly made dough,” Hofman notes.
UW Health has a 512-bed hospital with an average daily census of around 425. Some 7,000 staff and visitors are onsite on any given weekday, giving the foodservice department a deep potential customer base. In addition to the Mendota Market, Hofman oversees a recently renovated cafeteria and a couple of retail cafes as well as retail and patient dining services at a couple of other facilities in the system, including a children’s hospital.