Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, Westerville, Ohio

Creating a warm inviting bistro brings in staff and guests.

Also adding to the warmth of eatery are Corian counters—which replaced those made from stainless steel—and tile floors. Deli counters are now well-lit with menu items on display. The cramped tray line, a pet peeve of both staff and customers, has been replaced with an open format. Before the renovation, employees were on top of each other, says Baker. Food carts had to be left in the hallway because there was no place to store them. “We were bursting at the seams,” says Baker. When Janet Meeks, the hospital’s COO, spent time shadowing foodservice, she compared the tray line to the “I Love Lucy” episode in the chocolate factory.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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