Belive it or not most healthcare industry relay on their food as “the best in business”. The healthcare industry is well marketed and business is booming but for many culinary departments service is as bad as can get.
I recently asked one of the major healthcare providers about the quality of food and the efficiency of their culinary programs. Turns out food and service is very similar to other companies that I’ve seen in my many years as a culinary corporate manager. But yet thier answer is “Our service is the best”.
I want to shine some light on why the quality food and service in a corporate culinary departments is drived with the intent for profit and not quality.
First of all its the way companies implement policies and procedures, food menus and the quality of the emoloyees that are hired for the culinary department. We worked for top notional companies in charge with operations. I remember at one of the companies they announced that the food supplier will change due to an alliance with a GPO and it was a financial decision and more is to be saved for the company. As a food responable party we had no say in the decision. It was all about big shots at this time and ownership . A decision which almost kill the company in less then two years because it was a decision based on comfort and not justified.Food business needs to be left to the culinary professionals but not the old feshion chefs which cannot take major decisions and just follow position higher in rank so they wont loose their job or cannot change do to the fact that they own the “experience”. HEALTHY is a NEED everywhere and in special if you run a healthcare business. Do not take comfort over best practice, don’t buy processed food or buy at minimum processed, just give consumer the best quality and experience they can have. Fresh produce, local, organic and not GMO . They will always come back for more..What happen with the Golden Rule of food ?Serve good food have quality services and more to follow.
Second is the compensation of the outside corporate employees the one who actually do the work, and we talk about cooks, chefs which wake up at 5 am to be at so many people service, cooking washing dishes, cleaning and so on. Their compensations needs attention. Why they do not reward the best of them, there are so many professionals which will stay by the business and will drive good culinary departments but the loyal employee needs help on getting compensation right. A cook in healthcare is hired way lower then they should. Each chef know their clients and how to run their departments.. The decision needs to be theirs and not only the corporate .
A third problem we identify is that of food suppliers, ones which drive their business trough powerful personnel and provide you with a low quality produce. They definitly know how to write contracts and lock you in for a long time but also know how not to be responsible for their own mistakes . Quality is dropped over the business side growing so fast or as we used to say that is too much paper work and the reason they are in business is forgot .what happen with the local fresh producers ? They been bought or replaced with a big suppliers and rules change to meet a mega market need versus a personalized service standing up for quality versus quantity .
4th as a problem we identified that corporate managers and executives, decisions makers are taking the lead on a down path of succes. When food executives should be taking decisions on a new healthy food aproach with and stay in touch with the new trands they will be focused on the department low budget to save even more and have their menu lower priced which despite the higher prices of food and services going up each year are never approved for an increased or they will be stuck with paper work and planty of non value meetings where actual work is never done progressively . I remember when we used to have every other hour a meeting about something new but not concerning the food department at all. At those meeting only once in a while something was important and time was lost.
Those are real problems in today’s Healthcare and needs a change, a new generations of managers should arise, bold decisions should be made and don’t let passion of serving good,healthy food die along paper works.
As we advocate for organic , healthy , clean food for any generations, we belive we need and we are responable to make a difference in today foods service in healthcare