Hospital food: The big enigma?

Why does it get such a bad rap?

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 fohboh.com, 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.

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources