The Big Idea 2013: Trayless Patient Service

System uses carts to deliver on-demand service for patients.

Published in FSD Update

Renato de Leon
Food Service Director
Winchester Nursing Center
Winchester, Mass.

We have a trayless system. In a nursing system you normally do trays and then you send them out on trucks and the nurses pass them out. With the economy the way it is, I was looking to find a different way to save money. On a tray you would usually get the food of the day, which is what we thought the resident would want. So we started a trayless system. We bought some carts that we fill up with food and we go room to room and we ask the residents what they would like. I put some metal inserts into the carts and put in pizza stones that have been warmed in the oven. The stones keep the food warm in the cart.

Residents have the main meal and the alternate meal. In addition, I offer all kinds of sandwiches on a daily basis because that’s sometimes all they want. I have pizza and a cottage cheese and fruit plate. We also have pasta and sauce. They have a pretty big range of items to choose from.

On our end, we are able to save money and have less waste, and people are eating. We don’t have to use as many supplements. We were at the average of weight loss between 13% and 16%. Right now I’ve been able to take it down to 2% or 3%. With this system the residents have been able to get their voice back because now they have an option. I restructured staff and I’m now working with one less FTE. I’ve been able to save 9% on my budget since starting the trayless program. Nursing has a lot more time as well now that they don’t have to pass out trays. I’m able to serve 145 residents in 45 minutes.

The staff has more interaction with residents and they’ve gotten to know the residents better. Before, we knew them by a name on a piece of paper.  

Residents are no longer served meals on trays. Instead meals are delivered by carts and residents have more options from which to select. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
desserts plate

We’re knocking down a wall in our bar area, which will create a more inviting atmosphere and allow us to host a coffee and dessert bar in the space on off nights when the bar is closed.

Industry News & Opinion
nacufs award

Ohio University Director of Culinary Services Rich Neumann was on Wednesday evening awarded NACUFS’ 49th annual Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest honor.

Neumann’s foodservice career began as an undergraduate at University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. After his first day as a student cook, he says, his production manager wanted to fire him because he was striving for perfection, not—as she put it—“now and fast.” But he kept with it, eventually moving up to student manager. “If I had quit, I would not be here today,” he says.

During...

Sponsored Content
iced coffee foodservice

From International Delight ® Iced Coffee and STOK ® Cold Brew.

As temperatures soar, consumers look for any way they can to cool down. Much of the time, that means sipping on a cold beverage. And for the many patrons looking for a pick-me-up, iced coffee is a go-to choice, as it wakes them up and cools them down.

It’s no surprise, then, that iced coffee is a growing opportunity for operators. In Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 59% of consumers say they ordered iced coffee at least once in the past month from foodservice locations. With demand continuing to...

Industry News & Opinion

Oxnard Union High School District in Oxnard, Calif., is ending its meatless Mondays initiative due to cost and a lack of participation, the Camarillo Acorn reports.

Meatless Monday , which was offered on Fridays during the most recent school year, was the least popular lunch day during the week, according to school officials. The district hopes that the menu change will encourage more students to purchase school meals and help eliminate the $2 million deficit in its nutrition budget.

While 61% of students in the district qualify for free meals, only around half eat at the...

FSD Resources