Increased pressure to improve food quality and patient satisfaction have long been challenges facing the healthcare foodservice sector. The number of facilities that offer meals to patients using room service or on-demand ordering is increasing. For these strategies to be successful, they must be cost-effective and efficient. Several factors influence the feasibility of this patient room ordering, such as kitchen production, staffing, and accessibility, with food choices and technology being the two leading factors.
Healthcare venues are adding fresher, healthier alternatives into their cafeterias with popular menu options for patients, employees, and visitors. Some of those venues are not only showing improvements in patient and employee satisfaction but surprisingly, they are drawing in business from surrounding areas. This new approach is adding significant value for a foodservice industry customarily known for thin margins.
Hospital foodservice can also capitalize on current technology. Offering patients a way to personalize their meals will help increase conversions and average check sizes. The room service tech will vary from hospital to hospital. For some, allowing patients to submit orders from a smartphone or tablet is preferable. For others, the type of patient care may dictate a more manual process. And others prefer a hybrid approach. Regardless, striking the right balance of personalized patient care calls for flexibility in both manual and digital processes.
Access to quality food options will continue to rise at healthcare foodservice venues. Especially true as tech-savvy patients, visitors, and staff come to expect more even in these seemingly less conventional foodservice venues.