Methodist University Hospital: Winning at all-day breakfast

man yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

When Copper Spoon Coffee Co. opened last year at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, the 24/7 breakfast concept had an immediate effect. The concept was created as part of a major renovation at the hospital, replacing an existing coffee shop located in a less favorable location.

Operated by Morrison Healthcare, a unit of Compass Group USA, Copper Spoon has a menu that caters to both staff and visitors seeking a quick, convenient bite as well as a caffeine fix. Starbucks Coffee beverages are a major draw, as are toasted breakfast sandwiches, bagels, quiches and frittatas, and fresh pastries. Lighter options include yogurt-and-fruit parfaits served in several flavors, including raspberry granola and mango vanilla.

Because time-crunched hospital employees are a big target audience for the coffee shop, grab-and-go options are key to Copper Spoon’s success.

“A lot of the staff might only have 30 minutes to grab something to eat and get back to their stations,” says Jeffrey Quasha, Morrison’s corporate research and development chef. “And if there’s a code or big accident in the middle of the night, they’re all in.”

This being a healthcare setting, the menu also reflects a commitment to healthy habits.

“It was important to have portable options, but also some low-calorie options,” Quasha says.

Takeout-friendly selections that meet both goals include grab-and-go yogurt as well as protein snack boxes, salads and chia pudding.

While coffee may lure guests to Copper Spoon, prominent food displays remind them that the café offers more than java, Quasha says. Customers who stop for coffee often grab a snack as well; sometimes, time-pressed nurses and physicians purchase enough food to last an entire 12-hour shift.

Smart merchandising of the concept’s all-day breakfast offerings has helped boost traffic, along with hall signage and loyalty programs for coffee (discounts on refills) and sandwiches (buy six, get one free). Sandwich boards in the hall promise, “Don’t worry, we’re up when you’re up.” A seasonal LTO program is in the works as well, Quasha says.

The results at Methodist University Hospital have been so positive that the concept has plans to expand to hospitals in other markets, and Quasha says the core offering will be tweaked to reflect individual locations.

“It’s important to know the demographic, when shift changes take place, whether it’s a meat-driven market and so on,” Quasha says. “What works in California is not going to work in Boston.”

By catering to consumer demand for healthy, grab-and-go breakfast offerings across menu parts, operators can boost traffic during all dayparts and drive sales.

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