Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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8 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2017 editor's perspective It's Complicated A sk any foodservice operator and they will rightfully tell you their business is pretty complicated. But nowhere is that more the case than in today's healthcare foodservice industry. Like other foodservice operators, those in the healthcare segment continue to come to grips with trends such as sourcing local and sustainable ingredients, prepar- ing fresh and customizable menu items and leveraging technology to not only meet customer demands but also make the most effective and efficient use of labor. Opera- tors must learn to adapt to and implement these changes, not over any one type of service, but with multiple formats that often include patient feeding and all of its formats, retail foodservice, private dining, catering and more. Further complicating matters, today's operator must accomplish this as clouds of uncertainty cast considerable shadows of doubt over today's healthcare industry. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act resulted in a tidal wave of change through- out the industry that led to mega mergers among healthcare systems and the need to toss aside the previous fee-for-service approach to a more value-based approach. But all of that is on hold today as the coun- try waits to see how the U.S. Congress will revise healthcare. Indeed, given the need to remain rel- evant in the eyes of the customer to draw high marks and manage multiple service formats, it makes managing a healthcare foodservice operation challenging even in the best of circumstances. But today's eco- nomic and political environment further adds to the complexity. That's the bad news. Now for the good news: Today's healthcare foodservice operators continue to meet these challenges head-on and often with a smile on their faces. In this month's Operator's Opinion article (page 18), for example, Patti Oliver discusses how UCLA Medical Center's wellness and sustainability practices contribute to higher patient satisfaction scores. UCLA Medical Center, though, repre- sents just one example of innovation in this very diverse segment of the foodservice industry. That's why this issue of FE&S features a bounty of healthcare foodser- vice-related success stories. From military foodservice (page 54) to senior care (page 20) to more traditional hospital-based foodservice operations, this issue features a thorough canvas of the healthcare seg- ment. In doing so, FE&S celebrates how these operators overcome seemingly insur- mountable challenges on a daily basis. This issue also celebrates a specific char- acter trait that makes the healthcare foodser- vice segment so special: a willingness among healthcare foodservice professionals to share challenges and successes with their peers. That spirit of sharing permeates the entire issue and provides valuable experience-based knowledge for anyone working in the food- service industry. Today's healthcare foodservice operators continue to meet these challenges head-on and often with a smile on their faces. Joseph M. Carbonara, Editorial Director

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