Healthcare Foodservice: Savings Beyond Sustainability

NonSkidTrays - Cambro BlogReducing carbon foot print is at the top of the to-do list for healthcare foodservice operators. In the past five years with the help of innovative technology and products, many acute and long-term care facilities have been able to take measurable actions against waste.

A vast number of hospitals are already seeing results from implementing quantifiable methods such as providing on-demand room service meal delivery, reducing waste by eliminating less popular menu options and replacing disposable items such as tray mats with sustainable options. It may have all started with sustainability but results are showing benefits far beyond just reducing waste.

Meal On-Demand

UNC Healthcare in Chapel Hill, N.C., transformed its meal delivery by getting away from offering limited entrees at set hours to on-demand room service-style delivery allowing patients to select meals from the new 20- page menu. The 820-bed facility sent menu items that were not served during peak hours to the hospital cafeteria to avoid waste and reduced food cost by $400,000 the first year.

“It’s been a game changer for us,” said Angelo Mojica, director of food and nutrition services at UNC. He said patient satisfaction scores, which he tracks every day on a television monitor in the kitchen, have soared to 99 percentile.

Menu Item Audits

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics successfully reduced food waste by 40% in 2013. “I’m very proud of that and the partnerships we’ve been able to create,” said Joan Dolezal, director of UIHC Food and Nutrition Services.

The facility eliminated less-popular menu items and rolled out 4.5% fewer servings. The à la carte menu in conjunction with higher patient volume and onsite staff and visitor dining resulted in increased sales.

Eliminate Redundant Costs

When the Sodexo team at St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center (SLRC), in Lawrenceville, NJ, replaced existing trays with Cambro Non-Skid Versa Camtrays, they saved tons of waste which translated into 2.55 tons of paper waste each year. Using disposable paper tray mats were also costing SLRC about $8,600 a year.

Waste reduction and cost savings are the main focus for healthcare foodservice operators. Reducing food waste and improving meal service for patients and visitors contribute to noticeable savings beyond waste. These changes have tremendous effect on patient satisfaction scores and accumulate to notable financial savings every facility strives for.

To find out more cost-savings solutions for your healthcare facility visit

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