Hospitals’ cross to bear

People come to this certain hospital just for the food.

I saw an interesting article online the other day, from the Vail Daily newspaper in Colorado. It was about Remedies Café at Vail Valley Medical Center. Apparently, the food is pretty good at Remedies, so much so that people come to the hospital just to eat in the cafeteria.

The article was filled with comments from diners about the quality of the food, and especially the prices. The reporter said Remedies was becoming known—unofficially, of course—as “the best lunch deal in town.”

The news piece was also littered with references to the state of non-commercial foodservice, past and present, beginning with the lead: “Move over Jell-O and saltine crackers, it’s lunchtime at Remedies Café.”

One customer was quoted as saying, “I thought it would be a high school cafeteria type thing, but it’s very good food.” Later in the article, the reporter commented, “Another thing you won’t find at the café is the grumpy lunch lady—the servers are friendly and [foodservice manager] Wiens and his fellow cooks care about what they do.”

That’s the line that prompted this blog entry. Call it the last straw, of sorts, or the last item that causes a basket or pot to overflow. A lot of newspaper and magazine articles about non-commercial foodservice land on my desk or in my email, and recently I’ve been seeing one or two of these stories about hospital foodservice a week. (Actually, on Friday, I read three of them.)

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources