Food and Beverage Management

Additionally, recovering patients are able to visit the hospital restaurant (Chicory’s in the West Atrium).
Catering and other non-clinical services are outsourced by Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital to Serco. Being a public service organisation, especially in healthcare, requires additional attention to meals offered. not only from customer perspective but also from the dietitian’s scope. A wide product depth is used to meet the requirements of patients. After all, ‘clients’ of the hospital usually get there not by their own desire. that is why a catering manager must ensure their stay is not limited with food they have to eat.
Personnel of Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital shows their care and attention to patients with not only giving them meals ‘prescribed’ by doctors but rather considering their desires and ethnic, religious and cultural needs. On the one side it is ok to ask for something special, on the other side catering manager always has the ability to make the difference between patient’s need and patient’s folly.
An example of attention to patients’ opinion when forming the menu is presented by sustainable food procurement initiative implemented within Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital in 2003. Customers of its restaurant facilities expressed their wishes for organic meals to be provided as an option. The hospital decided to offer a complete meal of main course, potato or rice and vegetables or salad, which would all be prepared from organic locally produced, where possible. Although it was a good effort, the lack of available supplies and variety has limited the hospital’s ability to provide organic meal options every day. Nowadays, providing organic meals twice a week, the hospital is helping to raise the demand for organic meals, but not sufficiently yet to justify them becoming a major part of the choices on offer. ( 2003)
The control of product quality is performed in two ways. The first one is about food probing: temperature, protein hydration, nutritional value, etc. Probing is a ‘quantitative’ method of control showing the quality of the food in numbers. The second way is asking patients: did they enjoy the meal, how do they feel after eating and the like. It must be stressed that each of both methods are required. While the first one gives objective information, the second appeals to more subjective matters. Thinking about hospital restaurant facilities as encouraging healthy eating, manager must make sure the food is healthy and it is enjoyable.
The signs of good quality control ensuring good overall catering performance can be seen from rating by governmental inspections. In early 2004 Department of Health has published national results of inspections on catering 2003/2004. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s catering and cleaning was judged to be good. ( 2004)
Of course, good catering management is about balancing between ensuring good quality of food and beverages and staying within budget limits. That is why cost control is as crucial as quality control. Controlling costs does not mean saying ‘no’ to wastes. As the menu always must provide choice to patients. therefore waste cannot be eliminated completely, only reduced. The ethical policy of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital forbids to ‘put back in the fridge’ meals rejected by customers. Additionally to being difficult to sell, low-quality products are very expansive if we