Angelo Mojica: A Matter of Teamwork

At the heart of UNCH’s foodservice success is the team Angelo Mojica has built.

Accomplishments

ANGELO MOJICA has improved foodservice at UNCH by:

  • BOOSTING skills and morale of staff through regular communication and educational programs such as Black Hat Chefs
  • ENHANCING patient menus and service in a way that has led to a more than 70-percentage-point increase in patient satisfaction
  • CREATING a self-branded retail program that is expected to generate $10 million in revenue this year
  • DEVELOPING a patient room service program called Restaurant Delivery that makes use of UNCH’s retail menus  

When reviewing Angelo Mojica’s seven-year career at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, there are a few things you could single out as his most impressive accomplishment. You could consider his ability to turn around a patient foodservice program that once had Press-Ganey scores in the 11th percentile into one that now has realistic expectations of reaching the 90th percentile.

You could point out the 13 branded retail concepts he and his staff have created to serve the five hospitals in the UNCH system, which combined are expected to generate more than $10 million in revenue this year. You could even highlight his newest venture, which has been to make his retail foodservice the foundation for a new patient room service program called Restaurant Delivery.

But if you ask the director of food and nutrition services what he considers his biggest achievement, his answer speaks to something a bit more intangible.

“No. 1 is the team that we’ve built here,” Mojica says, with little hesitation. “For the first time in my career, 20-some years of doing this, I feel like we have a team of people, not just management and employees. We’ve built some really good relationships with team members, and hourly workers no longer feel that we’re the bad guys.”

Mojica’s belief is borne out by some hard data. He says that in the most recent employee opinion surveys, his department’s scores have ranked higher than any other support services department. But Mojica prefers to measure the strength of his team by actions, rather than numbers.

Duty calls: For example, on the day that he was to be interviewed for this profile, Mojica’s plans for a ‘typical’ day of meetings, phone calls and operation tours were waylaid by a balky dishwasher.

“I walked into the kitchen to 20 carts full of dishes,” he explains. “There was no way we were going to make it through breakfast. So I get my chef coat on, my executive chef gets his coat on, my director of staff development gets ready and we all start washing dishes. All of a sudden three hourly employees walked up and said, ‘Can we help?’ That’s the attitude our employees have, that we can all work together.

“When we launched Restaurant Delivery [UNCH’s room service program], it was the same thing. My managers were working 80 hours a week getting ready for this,” he added. “Three days into the program I sat them down and said, ‘You guys are really exhausted. We’ve done three 16-hour days in a row. Let’s figure out how we can get you some half days. To a person, they said, ‘No, we can’t do that. We’re not ready yet. We need this to be better before we can [take time off.]’”

Shawn Dolan, UNCH’s executive chef, says Mojica’s own attitude is a spark for his employees.

“Angelo has just one speed, and he is always turned on,” says Dolan. “He is a great driver for our department, always talking us up to our administrators. He encourages us to grow as a team and to stretch our abilities.”

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

Industry News & Opinion

Panera Bread Co. announced today that it intends to buy the Au Bon Pain brand as a way of opening more bakery-cafes in colleges, healthcare facilities, office buildings, travel centers and malls.

Au Bon Pain, which was Panera’s sole business under an earlier incarnation of the company, consists of 304 bakery-cafes. Several units are located in noncommercial venues.

Panera owns or holds the franchise rights to about 2,050 restaurants, few of which are located outside of strip malls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Immediately after the deal was...

FSD Resources