Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2019

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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18 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES AUGUST 2019 OPERATOR'S OPINION Many healthcare retail operations are at a level where they compete for customers along with local restaurants. Bill Marks Director Food, Nutrition and Environmental Services Hennepin Healthcare Minneapolis Hennepin Healthcare Focuses on Labor and Customer Service Bill Marks began his foodservice career early, working at an ice cream shop outside of Philadelphia at the age of 16. While in college, he became the student manager for campus foodservice operations. He also worked for contract food management companies for 20 years and learned to manage large multiservice operations. After working at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis for three years while the facility was contract-managed, Marks tran- sitioned the hospital's foodservice and envi- ronmental services to a self-operated model in 2008 and helped the hospital become more active in the surrounding community. Hennepin Healthcare contains one of the -rst hospital-based, grant-funded food shelf initiatives, which provided 530,000 meals to food-insecure individuals in the local community in 2018. Marks and his team also have been instrumental in developing and supporting programs such as the Children's Summer Meal Program, which has served 17,500 meals to date; House of Charity, where his department organizes teams of staff members to support meals at a local shelter; and Project Search, helping special needs children -nd work in various jobs in the hospital. This year, Marks was recognized with a 2019 IFMA Silver Plate Award. As director of Food, Nutrition and Environmental Services at Hennepin Healthcare, Marks leads a 340-person team that produces and serves 450,000 patient meals and more than 1 million retail trans- actions annually. Foodservice operations include patient feeding, a cafe, three spe- cialty coffee shops, the Physicians Dining & Wellness Center and a catering operation. The Food and Nutrition Serivces annual budget totals $12.8 million, while the Environmental Services budget totals $13.5 million. Q: What are the key challenges today in healthcare dining services? A: Maintaining a high-quality department while often being required to reduce staff- ing expenses continues to be our greatest challenge. This is followed closely by the recruitment of great staff. Q: What solutions have you discovered to meet those challenges? A: To address staf-ng challenges, we have developed great relationships with local staf-ng agencies that understand our needs and prescreen potential team members for us. Most important, we have not lowered our hiring standards. Regardless of how many vacancies we have, we still maintain high requirements for all our current and potential staff. Q: What advice can you o…er when it comes to maintaining a topnotch healthcare foodservice program in today's environment? A: Pay attention to what the entire foodservice industry, including hospitals, colleges, family-dining restaurants and other facilities, is doing. Keep your opera- tions fresh and exciting by making changes regularly and quickly introduce the newest trends, regardless if they are long term or short term. Never settle — if you can't do it right, then don't do it! | By Donna Boss |

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