Ensuring hospital patient satisfaction is a responsibility shared by every member of the healthcare industry. In your role as a healthcare food management professional, you recognize the importance of upgrading old attitudes toward in-house dining from cafeteria settings to menu options. These five healthcare food service trends represent welcome and exciting changes across the industry.
1. Patient Room Service
This food service model keeps patients happy, and it helps control operating costs. Patients are allowed to order a la carte from breakfast through a late dinner hour. Dietary issues can be addressed by menu sets modified for specific needs. Patient room service eliminates the pressure of three bulk food prep and delivery schedules every day. It also reduces waste, and that holds down food costs.
2. The Cafeteria as a Dining Destination
Successful healthcare food service management covers every detail from healthy ingredients to line presentations. Upgrade your cafeteria menus and services, and make it a dining destination. Include made-to-order offerings in a modern, attractive environment so that your cafeteria appeals to consumers in and outside the facility. Get an edge on retail competition with customer-pleasing espresso bars and upscale deli-style stations.
3. Authentic Culture-Crossing Cuisine
No one expects exotic Moroccan-Indian cuisine to replace favorite comfort foods on your facility’s menus. However, consumers in a healthcare setting brighten up to choices that offer ethnic flavors prepared with healthy twists. Think outside established borders with recipes like Hawaiian ahi salads nestled in hearts of romaine lettuce or spinach-stuffed Greek spanakopitas. Diverse dishes bridge cultures with flavors that broaden your facility’s appeal.
4. A Fresh Focus on Premium Produce
Plant-based menus are trending across the country, and they naturally fit into healthcare food service settings. As more consumers enjoy vegan options, you can be sure that more patients will appreciate a variety of high-quality produce selections. Give them freshly tossed salads crafted with locally sourced greens, and please their palates with healthy, premium veggies like Brussels sprouts and artichokes.
5. Community Outreach Through the Kitchen
It’s important to maintain strong community relationships by establishing outreach programs. Develop local wellness workshops for teaching healthy cooking techniques. Connect with area organizations by catering special occasions or offering on-site services for meeting and dining events. Outreach activities extend your opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles, and they keep you connected with the community at large.
Serving the Very Best
Whether they’re cooking at home or headed for a favorite restaurant, consumers continue to prefer settings that offer a variety of healthy food choices. They’ve come to expect that same attention to their evolving tastes when they dine in healthcare settings.
We’re proud to be a part of your ongoing commitment to ensure that patients, visitors and staff at your facility are always served the very best. You can depend on Hitchcock Farms as your premier supplier for the freshest produce available year-round.
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.