The purpose of on-demand room service is to provide a better dining experience and to improve patient satisfaction scores. Recent studies have also linked room service with higher nutrition intake, reduced food waste and lowered food cost.
However, room service alone doesn’t automatically bring all these benefits along. It’s elements from purchasing and menu development to kitchen and delivery staff that will determine how well a room service program is executed.
- Bring the Heat
Serving hot foods hot is critical to patient appetite. Patients complaining about temperature issues is the most common reason for rejecting a meal. Healthcare foodservice professionals can use alternative temperature maintenance solutions to maintain hot temperatures from the kitchen to the patient’s room.
- Keep It Neat
Tray presentation is the first thing patients see. Give your tray-top presentation a fresh look by replacing dull looking mugs and bowls with new sets through Cambro’s Free Goods Program. Consult with a Cambro rep to see if you qualify. Avoid delivering trays with unattractive spill marks by using non-skid trays that don’t require tray mats.
- Give Staff a Break with Easy Meal Delivery
Meal delivery is a labor-intensive task, so look for solutions to make the process easier for staff. For instance, room service carts with two doors allow access to trays from both ends, making loading and unloading more ergonomic. Also, a lightweight cart is easier to maneuver and is quieter in the hallways than a heavy metal cart.
- Make Freshness a Priority
Fresh ingredients mean more nutrition, more flavor and better presentation. Brighten up bland foods, such as grilled chicken, mashed potatoes or rice, with vibrant vegetables. Plan on transitioning from purchasing frozen vegetables to partnering up with local farmers for fresh delivery of produce.
- Stay Current with Food Trends
Stay current with the evolving food trends, as the patients’ expectations of a hospital menu is not far behind what’s expected from a local restaurant menu. Be creative and innovative by incorporating cross-cultural flavors with ingredients that offer both taste and health benefits, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic and cinnamon.
Healthcare foodservice managers should revisit every aspect of their room service program on a yearly basis. Examining every step of their room service will allow them to maximize their operational efficiency while keeping up with a high patient satisfaction score.