When a hospital implements room service, benefits accrue to both the hospital and the community at large. Yes, room service drives down food cost, increases customer satisfaction, makes the foodservice team more responsive, and can be part of your green initiative at the hospital. However, the room service model has trickle down benefits to the community. Please consider:
Local Menus – Moving away from large batch cooking in the old trayline system creates the opportunity to serve the local and geographic tastes of your patient. Designing menus that address the specific tastes of your client such as adding salmon for the Pacific northwest region or shrimp and grits for the Southeastern region benefits local producers. Marketed as “fresh local”, menu items with local brand names increase satisfaction more. For example, offering your bread products from the local bakery adds more value and brings more local producers to the table. Local farm fresh fare wins over your customer.
Human Resources – With operations that are 100 or more patients, providing room service will create more job opportunities for the community at large. Room service on a large scale demands just that – more employees to execute individual orders and deliver on the service. Further, these employees will be in an environment of ongoing training. Room Service is a cultural change that requires constant readiness training to deliver the correct meal within 45 minutes; in turn, each room service employee is more committed to the quality experience of the customer. Bringing in more community employees with longer retention rates benefits the local economy.
Differentiation – Having room service differentiates your hospital from the rest. Many patients in room service hospitals look forward to getting their next meal. Positive experiences sell your hospital to other potential patients. With the spread and transparency of information, positive customer satisfaction scores attract more patients regionally. Bringing in patients from 60 miles out instead of just say 30 miles increases the revenue of the hospital; new revenue brought into the local economy benefits the community.
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