Chefs changing dining perspective in hospitals

Room service, upscale menus help hospitals improve patient satisfaction.

July 15 — Heidi Wohlbier smiled as she sampled lunch in her room on the third floor of Denver Health Medical Center. She had been treated for heart palpitations the day before, but by noon Monday, she was eating pepperoni pizza, salad and a chocolate chip cookie she said were good enough to be served in a restaurant. Denver Health — like many hospitals across Colorado — has upgraded the staff, visitor and patient food from something patrons have to eat into something they want.

The change is an effort to stay competitive with other hospitals and improve customer satisfaction scores.

Customers' happiness with their food does not directly play into the patient satisfaction ratings that now partly impact Medicare's reimbursement.

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Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

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Menu Development
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Menu Development
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It emerged as a top food trend on Pinterest’s 2017 predictions, is “the latest miracle food” according to Epicurious, and was called “a nutritional bonanza” by NPR. Jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz, and Even Stevens Sandwiches has gone after the vegetarian-friendly option for a recently launched torta. Here, Culinary Director Brandon Price shares three lessons learned from adding jackfruit to the menu.

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We saw in 2016 that many operators were trying to have some type of display cooking in their food operation. We installed a hibachi grill this fall, and within three months we had 300 residents and guests make reservations. We also use our hibachi grill for cooking classes twice a month, where our hibachi chef Abby Kramer does an excellent job teaching different cuisines. We have received so many compliments that we have decided to get another hibachi grill for a different dining venue in 2017.

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