In the past few years, many hospitals have revamped their retail cafeteria by introducing healthy locally sourced meals to maximize sales and profit. Sixty-four percent of foodservice operators surveyed said their hospital retail-meal counts had increased during the past two years. While many hospitals are following the same path, most healthcare foodservice professionals struggle with finding efficient ways to get the most out of their operation. Here are seven ways to help maximize cafeteria sales in hospitals.
- Clean up the Menu
Sometimes less is more. Start with cleaning up the menu by removing items that are less popular. Doing this once a year will keep the menu up to date with current eating trends while allowing room for new creative choices.
- Offer More Variety
Changing the menu can be overwhelming for the staff but it can easily be done. For example, offer a sandwich with different types of bread, cheese, spreads or vegetables. Offer customization by selecting the type of protein, carbs and vegetables on made to order meals. This gives the customer the freedom to build their own meal to their personal preferences while reducing food waste from ready made meals.
- Increase Healthy Options
Drive and promote healthy eating habits to your staff and community through a well-planned cafeteria menu. You can add nutrient-dense meals without eliminating high-carb, high-sugar and high-sodium foods entirely. The key is to offer more of the good than the bad and make it more accessible. Instead of chips and chocolate bars, display fruits and nut snacks by the register.
- Feature Daily Specials
Food waste is a major problem in hospitals. Based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, U.S. hospitals generate about 170,000 tons of food waste annually. With proper planning hospitals can reduce waste by turning unused ingredients into revenue through the retail cafeteria. Create daily specials with leftover but safe ingredients before they spoil. For instance, leftover chicken can be made into delicious chicken wraps on the grab n’ go section.
Highlight Sustainability Efforts
It is becoming a common practice for restaurants to include “sustainable,” “organic” and “locally sourced” under menu item descriptions to promote their sustainability efforts.
Hospital retail cafeterias are no different. Add fresh ingredients to your menu by partnering with local farms. Use Cambro food storage options to keep those ingredients fresher longer.
- Make Grab n’ Go Accessible
Anyone in a hurry appreciates having a tasty sandwich on the go. Make grab n’ go easy to access for rushed staff and visitors by setting up mobile kiosks throughout hospital hallways. Offer daily made items such as sandwiches, wraps and salads with existing kitchen ingredients.
The Cambro CamKiosk® is easy to set-up, transport and maintain with minimal staffing to maximize your on-the-go revenue.
- Make Purchasing Easy
Time is of the essence in hospitals so make purchasing easy for staff by incorporating technology. For instance, allow staff to order and pay for meals online. Paying in advance can reduce the cafeteria line during rush hours and provide faster service to visitors.
Your hospital retail cafeteria can be a tremendous source of revenue. Understanding the trends and moving towards implementing those changes are the first steps to financial profit.
About the Author: Maria Hashemi is the Marketing Manager for Healthcare. To see more posts related to Healthcare solutions, click here.