Hospitals and healthcare institutions are increasingly embracing healthier options in their foodservice operations for the benefit of patients, employees, and visitors. The stressful nature of the hospital environment often leads foodservice patrons to choose more comforting options rather than healthy choices. When initial efforts to implement change by removing sodas and the fryer are met with resistance, a more subtle approach can yield big results.
In a time where hospitals are faced with the challenge of feeding an increasing number of customers while controlling costs, it seems counterintuitive to lower prices; however, at the University of Wisconsin Health, a 60% reduction in the cost of fruit resulted in triple the daily sales of produce. The next shift brought in locally sourced lettuces and other produce. This initiative was so successful that the team that manages foo service decided to continue the momentum by implementing another small change each week and building a health awareness program around the changes.
The first change of the new program dropped the price of salads from the salad bar, and weighed dressings separately. Removing the dressings to another station improved service times, and helped dietary staff keep up with the larger volumes of fresh vegetables and fruit needed to supply a 50 percent increase in salad sales. The discount program has been expanded to include low-fat yogurt and healthier drink options, like sparkling and bottled water. Other changes include a switch to using exclusively pasture forage beef from local producers, more vegetarian selections at the entrée station, and the addition of healthier hot cereal options. The improved pricing helps customers feel like they are getting something great, instead of just losing the fryers and ice cream machines.
In setting and achieving the foodservice and nutrition goals for your facility, consider the benefits of automation with Vision Software. Vision Software has been the world’s leading provider of web-based software solutions for health care foodservice operations for over thirty years. With software applications like Nutrient Labeling and Nutrient Analysis, Vision Software helps you provide nutrition information for everything in your patient meal service or retail food operations. Nutrient Labeling provides complete nutrition information for everything in your retail inventory. Cost Analysis gives you the tools to calculate the suggested selling price of retail service items based on actual food cost, and functions like a spreadsheet to help you achieve desired profit objectives while continuing to improve food quality and service. To learn more about the many ways our innovative software suites and applications can help you exceed your sales and nutrition goals, call Vision Software today at 629.777.8989 or complete the contact form in the sidebar to schedule your free demonstration and consultation.