No added costs
Regarding the Dec. 30 article “UNC hospitals spice up their food service”: To more tightly control operating expenses and provide a unique experience for our patients, UNC Hospitals launched restaurant delivery and received rave reviews.
Food cost (purchasing, production and delivery) is part of hospital operating expenses, just like housekeeping, linen and basic supplies. We had been running two production operations, one for patients and one for retail cafeterias. Now we operate one production process based on our very successful retail food venues, resulting in a 6 percent savings on food cost.
Traditional meal service models send patients “house specials,” creating waste when items not desired are sent and not consumed. Our system allows patients to order exactly what they want, when they want it and eliminates waste.
By consolidating the production of food items used for patients and retail customers and using the same recipes in retail and patient care, we reduce food waste and food cost. Whether a patient orders sushi or a cheeseburger, there is no cost difference because these are items already being served to our retail customers and no additional labor is involved.
Director, UNC Hospitals Nutrition and Food Services Department