Here's What's New In Healthcare Foodservice
As we continue to face the current worldwide pandemic, dealing with state and local regulations changing to combat COVID is beginning to feel like any average day. Almost. As COVID numbers bounce between raising and dropping, it's certain that taking extra precautions to slow and prevent the spread of the virus is a must. That doesn't limit precautions to social distancing or washing our hands more frequently. It also covers the way that foodservice in the healthcare industry operates.
From takeout options to delivery, hands-free pick up, and more, the latest trends are expanding and growing with even more innovative solutions that could help healthcare services protect patients, staff, and visitors while still ensuring everyone gets a tasty meal.
CONVENIENCE IS STILL NUMBER ONE
Whether it be from the patients in care, the busy doctors, nurses, techs, or any on-site visitors, offering convenient foodservice is still at the front of everyone's mind. Some consumers prefer to order ahead and opt-in for pickup opportunities while others are more comfortable with delivery options. In January of 2021, only 36% of surveyed adults in the U.S. stated that they were comfortable with dine-in options, so long the location was well managed and routinely cleaned.
From a healthcare operations viewpoint, patients are considered consumers, and meeting them where they find comfort and convenience when choosing what and how to eat can make all the difference in their interpretation of a healthcare facility's service.
A FRESH FOCUS PROVIDES FRESH SERVICE
The full transparency, all healthy options trend that reached peak trend-worthy opportunities last year has blossomed. More consumers are seeking plant-based options to better take care of their bodies. Not only is this a great way to maximize opportunity with those looking for a healthier meal, but it fits directly in tune with the healthcare industry. The better the dish is for you, the more likely it is that patients will be eating things that provide supplemental value to their lives. This can be great at helping encourage healthy eating while catering to the needs of the body.
Fresh meals from locally sourced greens are a fantastic way to take advantage of optimizing a fresh change to the menu. This can also include multi-cultural cuisines, to assist in making your healthcare facility's menu all-inclusive.
COMMUNICATION VIA TECHNOLOGY
As technology continues to run rampant in crafting beneficial solutions to our everyday lives, this holds true in the foodservice industry. Online ordering options lean towards providing convenience for the staff working hectic schedules. Consumers can place their order via phone and select a time that allows them to drop by and pick up their order. This helps with nurses, doctors, and anyone on site that may not have time or feel comfortable eating in the cafeteria.
Additionally, technology has allowed things like the creation of QR codes, which can be used to make your menu virtual. This is great at limiting multi-touch items and allows everyone to go through the menu and order when ready.
Many healthcare facilities are taking advantage of disposable opportunities. Items like packaging and recyclable products are being used to safely deliver food to wings of hospitals specifically designated for COVID patients. These items prevent immediate re-usage and can be thrown out or safely recycled to help prevent the spread of the virus.
GET A FREE FOODSERVICE ASSESSMENT
For the latest trends, the best solutions to combating COVID via foodservice opportunities, and more, follow our Eaton Marketing blog today. If you're looking at ways to optimize your healthcare facility's kitchen and food service facilities, get a free foodservice equipment assessment from one of our Eaton Marketing experts. Contact us with any questions, concerns, or curiosities.
Written by Kevin Eaton
Kevin Eaton is the President of Eaton Marketing & Associates and a seasoned Manufacturer Rep in Florida.