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

Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

FSD Resources