Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2018

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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20 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2018 operator's opinion FE&S: How have your retail offerings changed? JMG: We haven't made huge changes to our retail cafes, but we have made some changes to accommodate our healthier menus. For instance, we used to rely on prepared pizza dough and now we make our own and offer amaz- ing pizza. We also make our own sauce. We serve more whole grains. And then we introduced Kardia, an entirely new operation in the Heart and Vascular Hospital adjoined to the main hospital, which opened in March last year. We have many types of foodservice operations here and so do other hospi- tals, but restaurants are not as common as one might expect. In addition, at- tached to the new Kardia Café is a 150- seat teaching kitchen. A couple times a week our culinary staff works with our dietitians in the wellness center and put on cooking demonstrations. We've featured events with local Raleigh chefs. For instance, one chef presented French food with a wine pairing. FE&S: How has your role changed in terms of education within the community? JMG: We're doing more and more in the community. We go to farmers markets, conduct samplings and tastings, and even cooking classes with the public. FE&S: How do you manage resources in a cost-conscious environment? JMG: We've doubled revenue since we took over 10 years ago. We are always asked to reduce costs. We are very conscious of how we purchase. We're on contract with a group purchasing organization and make sure we get rebates and other cost-saving benefits. Having a chef-driven program, there is very little food waste. We track our production and tell cooks exactly what to prepare. Rather than buying cheaper food and downsizing our menus, we focus on cost savings on the back end. But we still get the quality we want. FE&S: What's happening with your labor situation? JMG: Labor's always a challenge. Unemployment is low now in North Carolina so it is hard to fill some of the foodservice worker positions. Our culinary team is pretty solid, however. We're always cross-training and asking people to do more and consolidating jobs. On the culinary side, retention is good. For recruiting, we've reworded our ads to attract hotel and restaurant employees. We focus on the quality of life and benefits we can offer here versus those offered by most hotels and restaurants. FE&S: How is your team addressing the common speed-of- service challenge? JMG: For us, it's all about throughput. We need to get people in and out quickly because people only have a half-hour break for lunch. During those times, we continu- ously grill and offer upscale burgers and sandwiches both cooked to order and grab-and-go. FE&S: How have your operations adapted to app and kiosk-ordering trends? JMG: We have kiosks in Kardia and are bringing some into the Courtyard Café. This will help to allow cooks to improve ordering accuracy and make sure they are ringing up the correct menu items and charging for the extras such as cheese and bacon. FE&S: How do you see your operations evolving in the next three to five years? JMG: We're building a new 100-bed hospital, Holly Springs Hospital, 20 miles away and will put in another Kardia. Instead of just being a stand- alone restaurant like it is now, the new one will also prepare patient room service food with a Mediterranean influence. We are also renovating our kitchen, which will be completed next spring. We'll continue to see a heavy chef presence in hospitals. Patients, staff and visitors are continuing to demand restaurant-quality food. Our challenge will be how to offer this and cut costs. Left to right: The rotisserie oven at Kardia Café supports UNC REX Healthcare's initia- tive to expand healthy menu offerings. UNC REX Healthcare's teach- ing kitchen provides a space where culinary staff and dieti- tians can hold demonstrations for up to 150 people.

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