4 Tips for Managing a Successful Foodservice Operation
The complexities of managing a hospital foodservice operation are vast. From menu planning, equipment, food and materials, finances and staff resources, health systems are re-examining their facilities and the types of services provided to meet patients’ demands. Medical institutions, both large and small, have transitioned from traditional foodservice models; many are now utilizing technology in food preparation, safety, and distribution to streamline processes and personalize meal selections.
Whether cook-serve, assembly-serve, cook-freeze-serve, or cook-chill-serve, today’s medical facilities are focused on platforms that best manage hospital foodservice operations to enhance the patient experience.
With patient satisfaction scores partly hinging on hospital foodservice, a key criterion for which healthcare services are evaluated, better quality increases revenue reimbursements.
This means food service operators are expected to meet an ever-increasing demand for higher nutritional standards, helping reduce the risk of readmission while offering better tasting food that leaves patients and guests with a more satisfied overall experience.
It’s apparent that the foodservice model is an inseparable part of the patient treatment process. So, as an operator, what continued quality improvements are you making in your food service model? Are you achieving optimal performance, ensuring the most efficient use of your food management system?
Perhaps you don’t know where to start. Allow the below tips to act as your starter guide to get your operation model back on track.
Just like you fine-tune your car, or receive an annual checkup, you should treat your food management system the same. It’s necessary to review your business processes and your system in support of the processes you have in place. If you find that your processes are disjointed, are not documented, or are no longer serving its intended purpose, consider a check-up. This will ensure your existing software solution provides you with the fully integrated food service solution you need, an all-inclusive soup to nuts platform that’s customized to support your business’ unique processes. Remember, your food service operation needs are unique. Follow your data and the trends to unveil the information you need to know to take your program to the next level.
Leverage the Trends
According to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, room service improves nutritional intake over traditional models by 17 percent and reduced meal costs by 15 percent.
Identifying industry trends is an excellent opportunity to transform your food service model. Perhaps embracing new trends that include expanded menu options, healthier and sustainable food programs, or diversified delivery options will support your overall goals. Re-inventing the wheel may work wonders for your foodservice model, increasing patient satisfaction and your bottom line.
Follow Your Data
How much money does your kitchen throw away each day? A pound of beef or chicken or a plate of vegetables may not seem like much, but those dollar amounts add up quickly.
Consider the hidden costs in your operation. Waste, overstocking and spoilage all can impede cash flow. Tracking waste is a great first step in reducing waste and over production. Recording waste data for analysis can help you zero in on menus that need attention.
Understanding your inventory management can help you uncover and reduce food waste costs and maximize the money you spend on your menu items.
Standardize Your Processes
Running a successful foodservice operation is not just about organization through labeling and designated shelving or FIFO (First in First Out) and dating, you need to make sure that you are standardizing processes and documenting those processes. This will help your team continue to implement and sustain your procedures. Consider stream mapping your operation. This will help you to easily identify areas of improvement. Remember, you want to run a lean food service operation that serves your outlined, identified goals.
Now it’s time to pivot to the principles that can drive your hospital food service operation in the right direction.
If you still don’t know where to start, join CBORD during its highly anticipated free webinar, “Good to Best: Principles to Optimize your Food Management Model,” a riveting free webcast that will provide you with the knowledge you need to get your foodservice operation on track.