A renovation at Brooklyn Hospital Center, in New York, is demonstrating—so far, at least—that healthy foods can sell. The Brooklyn Hospital Center collaborated with Dallas, Pa.-based Metz Culinary Management to renovate its servery and dining facilities this summer, and District Manager John Boyle attributes the department’s 14% increase in transactions and 22% increase in check average to the introduction of healthier foods.
“Well-prepared and healthy food options are essential for our guests’ culinary experience and quality of life,” Boyle says. “New and healthier entrées have elevated satisfaction in our food options, and the numbers have backed that up so far. Many of the meals are prepared right in front of dining guests, and the cafeteria meets New York City’s Healthy Foods Initiative, which aims to create a healthier food environment in New York City hospitals.”
New food options include the Bravo station, where custom meals are cooked to order. There is also a deli station that offers a mix of fresh toppings, select meats and cheeses, tuna, egg and chicken salad, and an assortment of freshly baked breads, rolls and wraps. Everything is made to order and heated in a Turbo Chef oven for hot sandwiches on demand. Made-to-order Italian specialties include hand-prepared stromboli and calzones, fresh pasta dishes and fresh dough pizzas.
The renovation consisted of two projects during the course of the past year. For the first renovation project, Metz installed its signature upscale coffee bar, the InterMetzo Café, in an underutilized space above the main lobby. The second and main renovation of the servery and cafeteria occurred during four weeks in June, during which Metz continued to operate at full capacity, Boyle says. The dining facilities were completely remodeled, including new floors, walls, ceiling, cooking equipment, furniture, and the introduction of several fresh and healthy food stations in the cafeteria.
The challenging part of the project, Boyle notes, was to construct a temporary space while renovations took place, because the hospital required that the construction did not interfere with any other aspects of running the hospital. The entire area was roped off and walls were built to seal off the construction. A temporary dining space was created offering everything the original space did, including a grill station, fryer and deli.