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Take-home comfort food can be a gamechanger for healthcare foodservice

Photograph: Shutterstock

Healthcare facilities nationwide have been lauded for their resourcefulness amid the coronavirus pandemic, and rightly so. This ingenuity is present even in hospital foodservice facilities, many of which have found creative ways to provide great service for staff members and patients while maintaining profits. 

While no arm of noncommercial foodservice has been immune from pandemic-related disruptions to the market, Technomic predicts that healthcare facilities will more easily recover than some operators in other categories, such as business eateries and recreation foodservice. According to Technomic’s Q2 2020 Noncommercial & Retailer Insights – Healthcare, healthcare foodservice holds its own as representing more than 25% of total sales in the noncommercial market as of May 2020.

Turning to an internal market

The resilience of hospital foodservice is due, in part, to some operators pivoting to serve a new micromarket: healthcare workers and their families. By offering meals for busy hospital staff to purchase and reheat at home, serving an in-house demographic is helpful both in recouping lost profits as sales among patients dwindle and in providing an invaluable service for medical professionals who are likely facing long, tiring days of patient care. 

Instead of needing to cook at home or make an additional stop during their evening commute, hospital staff can pick up a meal on their way out the door. And, in addition, foodservice operations can avoid putting a halt to operations and possibly needing to lay off large portions of their staff.

Convenience and comfort are key

This service itself is a timesaver, but by keeping their customers’ specific needs in mind, hospital foodservice operators can select recipes that meet consumers’ top priorities.

For customers bringing meals home to share with their families, crowd-pleasing options are a must. Comfort food classics are the star players here, with favorite dishes such as Stouffer’s® macaroni and cheese being as popular among kids as they are beloved by adults. Delicious, filling recipes are the perfect solution for an easy, shareable dinner, especially after a stressful day of work.

Convenience is top priority here, too. Meals offered to take home should be easy to transport, reheat and serve. One-dish meals can provide a simple way to make the journey from operator to table as quick and seamless as possible. Package Stouffer’s® macaroni and cheese in a disposable pan for customers to pop in the oven at home or to heat single servings in the microwave.

With a variety of decadent variations, from the Traditional Macaroni and Cheese taste customers know and love to a sophisticated White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese smothered in a creamy white cheddar sauce, every mac and cheese lover will be able to find the comforting recipes and rich flavors they’re craving. To maximize convenience for operators and customers alike,Stouffer’s® offers macaroni and cheese prepared in disposable pans or ready-to-eat in pouches that can be merchandised either hot or cold. Whether operators want to customize with add-ins or serve as-is, Stouffer’s® makes it simple.

To learn more about how Stouffer’scan help healthcare foodservice operators serve hospital staff and patients alike during these unprecedented circumstances, visit nestleprofessional.us/stouffers.

This post is sponsored by Stouffer’s®

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