Sushi, deli bring big bucks to hospital café

sushi to go

Two new retail outlets at Florida Hospital Orlando are reaping dividends for the food and nutrition department. Sushi and a deli concept, 601 Deli, have brought incremental business to the hospital since they were introduced last fall, says Neal Lavender, director of food and nutrition at the 1,183-bed hospital.

Lavender explains that the department contracted with AFC Sushi to install a sushi station in Welch Cafeteria, the largest of the hospital’s three foodservice outlets. AFC Sushi, based in Dominguez Hills, Calif., says it is the largest supplier of sushi to supermarkets in the country

The sushi is prepared fresh daily at a central location and delivered to the hospital.

“We do a variety of sushi and sashimi daily, including vegetarian,” Lavender says. “We use both brown and white rice, and we’re generating $30,000 to $35,000 a month in revenue.”

He adds that the cafeteria had sold sushi previously, but it was not made fresh. “Our customers did not prefer it,” he says. “We wanted something that provided a fresh product, is innovative, increases quality and adds flair to the customer dining experience.”

In addition to sales in the cafeteria, the department delivers 80 boxes of sushi a day to the doctors’ lounge.

“We’re talking about adding new locations,” Lavender adds, reflecting on the concept’s success.

While AFC Sushi is a franchise, 601 Deli is an in-house concept, conceived by Lance Patterson, retail manager for Welch Cafeteria.

“We created the concept and all of the sandwiches and wraps are ‘home-grown,’” Lavender notes. “What we did was take our deli area, move it to the front door and make it bigger and brand it. We also brand our menu items; every item is named after an employee or a hospital location, and the employees take pride in that.”

Lavender adds that the deli is projected to rake in $587,000 in annual revenue.

“Both concepts promote healthier lifestyles as well as fresh, made-to-order gourmet foods,” he says. “This is exactly what our customers have been asking for.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...
Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

FSD Resources