Last week, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) hosted a panel discussion with operators in healthcare foodservice. Julie Meddles, director of nutrition services at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSU Wexner) in Columbus, Ohio, was one of the participants. Here are four stealable ideas she shared during the event.Submit your idea
1. Approach social distancing in a lighthearted way
OSU Wexner never shut down its dining room during the pandemic, Meddles says, so they had to get creative with implementing social-distancing measures. As a lighthearted way to enforce social distancing, the dining team put its Brutus Buckeye mascot in some of the dining room chairs to let guests know that seat was unavailable.
Meddles also says the team also converted large auditoriums usually used for meetings and conferences into foodservice seating. “We turned them into dining rooms to spread people out more,” she says. “The math seemed to work for us, of being able to allow more seating.”
2. Think outside the box for extra revenue
3. Host restaurant pop-ups
To help support the local community, the foodservice team invited area restaurants to host a pop-up at the dining room’s action station for a day. These have been popular throughout the pandemic, Meddles says, and have been a great way to support local restaurants. “It really was a great opportunity to partner and collaborate with our community,” she says. “I thought it was a big benefit.”Submit your idea