What I have seen is that in most hospitals, there are two goals for the cafeterias. First, many hospitals are ranked, or graded, and possibly funded based on patient satisfaction. In many cases that satisfaction is tied to the food. An improved dining experience and increased perception of the quality of the food can improve a hospital’s patient satisfaction scores.
The second goal is using the cafeteria is a tool to keep patients, visitors, doctors and staff on-site. If an emergency arises they would rather have their staff in the cafeteria than down the road at a restaurant. If the food options are better, visitors may stay longer, or visit more often. This leads to a more positive experience for patients, faster recoveries, and increased patient satisfaction.
Bringing Food Merchandising Insight to Palos Community Hospital
Palos Community Hospital, located in the Chicago suburbs, has 428 licensed beds, 2,844 employees and 567 volunteers. When they tapped Hubert to help provide merchandising insight, they had already determined new concepts for a new kitchen, retail dining café and room service system.
“We are located in a beautiful natural environment, so we wanted to bring in elements of nature while upgrading to a contemporary feel,” said Cheri Boublis, assistant director of nutrition and food services for the Hospital. “Hubert captured the ‘look’ of a contemporary setting with elements of nature that we wanted. I am not sure I could have found this visual appeal with any other vendor because of Hubert’s broad line of products, level of detail and excellent support through the entire project.”
The Role of Food Merchandising in Hospital Food Service
At Hubert, we connect with food and nutrition services in hospitals and senior living facilities. Together we can provide a more valuable dining experience to increase the overall satisfaction of the patients, staff and residents. Hubert brings food merchandising, customized services and innovative ideas to the table.
Our customers are people like Cheri, who care about the way food is displayed and want to increase the perceived value of the food. Whether they are looking for increased sales, or increased satisfaction in the dining experience, we can help them accomplish those goals.
“Over the course of three to four months, Patrick Casey visited the hospital, took pictures, and viewed our blueprints so he could make a detailed plan based on our vision,” Cheri said. “The items were shipped and delivered when we wanted them. He brought a team out to unpack all of the items, set the items up and helped make revisions if we wanted to make a change. Hubert stuck with us through the entire renovation and that made the experience great.
Get the Woodland Café Look
How Healthcare Food Service Providers Can Give Seniors a Better Dining Experience
In the case of senior living it is more about providing a better dining experience. The generation now residing in senior living facilities have grown up experiencing all-inclusive vacations and they want their experience at a senior living facility to resemble that. The dining options and experience become a sales tool for the facility. A better looking food display allows them to charge more for the food. But, it can also be used as a selling point
The appearance of meals may even be more important than food quality, according to research obtained by Gallup. For example, residents may not even try food that appears unappetizing. This study also found caregivers are oftentimes providing the feedback, and rating food poorly simply because it appears to be.
Contact us for food merchandising ideas and concepts for your dining facility.