Hospital food: The big enigma?

Why does it get such a bad rap?

Paul King, Editor

I read an interesting blog over the weekend, on a restaurant site called FohBoh. (FohBoh stands for Front of House, Back of House.) A FohBohist—that’s what they call their bloggers—by the name of Keith Eberhardt was asking for “some decent dialogue” on what he called “The Big Enigma: Hospital ‘cuisine.’”

I thought I would share Keith’s request with FSD’s loyal readers in the hope that you would enlighten him. He writes, “Why is hospital food such an enigma? What does it get such a bum rap? Is it the preparation, the supplier, the cost? I realize that dietary limits and restrictions play a part, but is there a generic reason?

Can social media play a part in improving the impression of meals served in hospitals? Hospital food is a brand in itself. How could it be improved? What improvements have already been made? Which are on the horizon?”

Keith’s blog quickly received two responses, both addressing the recent announcement by Stanford University Hospital’s decision to hire a restaurant chef to rework patient menus using more organic and sustainable items. The second response actually cited our own article on the Stanford program.

I encourage you to get involved in the discussion for two reasons. First, operators need to take every opportunity to dispel the myth of bad hospital food, and here is a perfect chance to do that among people who actually might appreciate the challenges you face. Second, I believe social media sites such as FohBoh can be a valuable tool for communicating information on a wide variety of topics. At present, FohBoh’s “membership” comprises mostly restaurateurs, and I believe it could use an infusion of fresh voices from the other half of the industry.

So, go to, and find Keith Eberhardt’s commentary under “blogs.” Join the discussion, educate him about your world, and maybe you’ll find some other valuable takeaways from the site.

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