A Healthy Renovation

New Au Bon Pain location offers diverse, healthier options at hospital.

A wider variety of menu options, with a focus on
healthy items, is offered at the Au Bon Pain.

HERSHEY, Pa.—As part of a new contract with Morrison Management Specialists, 428-bed Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has renovated a café into a franchise Au Bon Pain location. According to Leatriana England, senior foodservice director with Morrison, the new Au Bon Pain at the College of Medicine has been successful because the location offers a wider variety of healthy foods.

“One of the biggest reasons [we went with the Au Bon Pain] was that a lot of the satellite cafeterias [in the hospital] were small and offered a lot of the day-to-day things,” England says. “We wanted to bring in healthier and fresher items. The ABP really helps. Not that everything on the menu is healthy, but it definitely has a lot of benefits, as well as offering the nutritional analysis of all the menu items.”

The menu is similar to other Au Bon Pain locations, with sandwiches, salads and soups making up the bulk of the offerings. Bread is baked fresh daily on site and most orders are prepared to order. “I think the ABP introduced a different style of eating,” England says. “We’re Pennsylvania Dutch so [our customers] are used to a lot of heavy items, so this has introduced [new food items] and made the eating style more diverse. And we try to educate the customers on a variety of different menu options rather than just the comfort foods that they were used to like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. We have a wide variety and it has helped change the eating habits.”

Opening day at the Au Bon Pain in February.One way the Au Bon Pain has helped change eating habits, according to England, is making more items to order with fresh ingredients. The previous café was pizza and hot dog heavy. In addition, the location offers a wider variety of options, including 12 soups each day, which helps cater to different customer populations, such as vegetarians or vegans. “Previously there were only two soup options, so if you were looking for a vegan option you probably would not find it,” she adds. “This is also a vegan-focused menu, which allows us to accommodate a variety of diverse customers.”

Since opening the Au Bon Pain in February, England says the location is serving between 300 and 500 more customers each day.

Foodservice Director - Au Bon Pain - Morrison - Hershey Medical Center“We also wanted to establish a franchise within the hospital that was known to the visitors, patients and employees,” England says. “The ABP opened up the space. It really became a more inviting eating location for the campus. For a state-of-the-art medical center, I think that the cafeterias just really have not represented what the medical center was all about. This was an opportunity to begin the transition in both the cafeterias and the eating experience at the hospital.”

England says the previous café was dark and cluttered. “With the ABP we opened it up,” she adds. “Fresh pastries are displayed. The seating is more of an upscale seating area. There is Internet access. People can come in and it’s more inviting and designed with more of a café style than a regular cafeteria.”

The Au Bon Pain isn’t the only one of the hospital’s seven retail location that is receiving a face-lift. The main cafeteria will undergo a $1 million renovation, which started last month. The renovation will bring in concepts such as Weight Watchers and Flavors 450, a Morrison Healthcare concept featuring healthy foods. England hopes the renovation will be finished by the year’s end. In addition, patient foodservice will transition from a traditional trayline to Catering To you, Morrison’s room service program, in October.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources