2013 Goldies: UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Restaurant Delivery takes retail items and brings them to patients.

Even sushi, from UNC’s Red Ginger concept, is
available to patients.

There are a number of programs run by the foodservice department at UNC Health Care that can demonstrate best practices in non-commercial foodservice. For example, there is the Black Hat Chef program, which provides training and career advancement for cooks, and Kids Carts, which provide meals and treats to pediatric patients. But to Director of Nutrition and Food Services Angelo Mojica, no program exemplifies the gold standard in foodservice like Restaurant Delivery.

“This is our best because it is something that is important to the entire team,” Mojica says. “The clinical team, the retail team, the patient services team, the administrative support team, everyone had to pull together and be a part of this for it to work.”

Restaurant Delivery is an offshoot of a retail foodservice program Mojica and his team created. Launched in April 2012 after an 18-month trial, Restaurant Delivery provides on-demand foodservice for patients from 20 in-house created concepts. The stations, developed during the last several years, include Bandolero’s, a Mexican concept; Cosmo’s, a pizza/pasta concept similar to Sbarro; The Lighter Side, which features healthier entrées; and Red Ginger, a Pan-Asian concept.

Patients receive a 20-page menu from which, diets permitting, they can order at any time. (The program recently was expanded to around-the-clock service.)

“This gives most patients more than 90 entrées to choose from,” Mojica notes. He adds that patients on special diets receive pamphlets explaining the diet and directing them to appropriate choices on the menu. The process is enhanced by call center employees who are taught how to help such patients navigate the menu.

Although Restaurant Delivery seems like a complex idea, Mojica says he believes that any hospital can implement a variation of it. “You don’t have to run a 20-page menu; you can do eight or 10 pages,” he explains. “It’s more about starting with something that you know is good, holding your team accountable for it and then building from that nucleus.

“For us, it was starting with macaroni and cheese,” he adds. “From there it went to Bandolero’s to the next concept and the next concept. The key is taking small bits and building on them. We started with retail and then, when we were satisfied, we turned around and launched it for patients.”

If Press Ganey scores in the 99th percentile weren’t enough to prove Restaurant Delivery’s success, the foodservice team got further validation last month from the nursing staff.

“I attend a regular nurse managers meeting,” Mojica recalls, noting that in the meetings he often fields complaints from nursing staff. “[Recently] I was asked by the vice president who oversees the meetings to bring my team with me. I thought, ‘Oh, boy, this is going to be really rough.’”

However, when Mojica’s food-services team arrived, the nurse managers gave them a standing ovation. “I had never even received applause from nurses, let alone a standing ovation,” he says. “That was so important for my staff to experience.”

Program Highlights

UNC Health Care’s Restaurant Delivery program represents the gold standard for non-commercial foodservice because:

• It increases patient satisfaction by offering patients more variety and dining convenience than with even a standard room service program

• It maximizes labor efficiency by using staff who already were preparing meals for the retail operation, rather than adding staff dedicated solely to patient food

• That cross-utilization of kitchen staff has led to a 6% decrease in labor costs

• Sous vide technology has been applied to a number of the items being prepared, resulting in improved food safety, product yield and quality, while also reducing the time from order to plating by as much as 10 minutes

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

FSD Resources