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Hospital food just got healthier with Morrison Healthcare Good Grains

At UVA Health’s Ivy Road Orthopedic Center in Charlottesville, visitors are in luck looking for healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack options. Good Grains Café has smoothies made with almond milk and yogurt loaded with fresh produce, protein-rich salads, stacked sandwiches, and just-for-you lunch bowls built on beds of citrusy herb rice.

The concept is growing. Chef Jeffrey Kwacha, senior director of culinary innovation at Morrison Healthcare, says the group has so far opened three Good Grains cafes, at the UVA facility, Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., and Children’s Mercy Kansas City. In January, another will open at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Another 11 companies across the country are currently under construction; They are all scheduled to open by the end of 2023.

The new concept of a quick service restaurant provides staff and visitors with options that are made to order and made for health, in particular reducing strong odors for places that can be bothersome to patients – those undergoing cancer treatments, for example.

To keep cooking smells to a minimum, the hoodless concept uses high-performance equipment, such as Panini heat presses and ventless quick-cook ovens. They also prepare the ingredients ahead of time, which saves time and helps them stay odorless. “It’s ninety percent ready and ten percent off production,” Kwacha says.

The Good Grains concept is designed as a second point of service in nearly any space – customizable based on square feet. Fitting a futuristic vision of dining options in healthcare settings, the concept is a concept that moves away from traditional cafeteria stations (salad bar, deli, grill, appetizers) in favor of food court-style offerings.

This concept gives on-site employees a high level of autonomy. Morrison develops a wide range of menu items, allowing sites to change their menu on a monthly or even weekly basis with little to no hassle.

Like their other concepts, Morrison provides operators with 30 menu items per category at any given time, all based on eating trends among nurses, hospital executives, patients and their families to provide these groups with options to suit their dietary preferences. The list maximizes the use of each ingredient and takes product shortages into account.

UVA Menus earlier this year offered breakfast sandwiches, parfaits, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, bowls, and soups. They also chose to add a fully integrated coffee and tea system. Highlights included the brioche breakfast sandwich with turkey sausage and apple jam; a smoothie made with mango, pineapple, avocado, coconut, kale, and matcha; flat turkey sandwich on ciabatta with bacon, pepper jack, and chipotle mayonnaise; And a salad of spring mix with beans, butter, asparagus and balsamic. They also served classic dishes, such as a breakfast sandwich of sausage, eggs and cheese, robin on rye and a large Cobb salad.

Morrison is also constantly developing seasonal limited time offerings. “Introducing the right foods in the right months is really important to us,” Kwacha notes. “I call it” menu with intent. “You know, not having a tomato caprese salad in January when those ingredients aren’t the best and most ripe. Whereas, [the winter] When you want to have a harvest chicken salad.”

Ninety percent of transactions are cashless and are paid for through multiple kiosk terminals placed in front of the café and through mobile ordering via Morrison’s Instaeat app, which runs through hospitals’ wireless networks. Remote order customers can set pickup time and bypass the line when they arrive; Orders wait in small booths so that diners can eat their meals and return to work or to the family of loved ones. Quasha says the pickup option was useful for all guests but revolutionary for nurses who have limited time for meals.

The restaurant-style service is set up to meet individual orders quickly but is also efficient in catering.

“We can serve food on a large scale outside the Good Grains kitchen,” Kwacha says, explaining that hospitals, from a catering perspective, are like convention centers or hotels with needs ranging from breakfast pastries for small department meetings to full trays of sandwiches and salads for larger executive team jobs. . The concept can also cater for afternoon hangouts, serving juices and bite-sized items. “It’s a catering solution for small accounts,” he explains. “It gives us a whole new level of catering.”

Quasha sees concepts like Good Grains as an integral part of the future of eating in healthcare. Morrison has a full “retail range” of such concepts, encompassing a wide range of options, from comfort foods to vegetarian menus. “It’s a different approach than a cafeteria. It completely changes the design and how we think about the healthcare campuses of the future.”

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