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On-Trend: Pop-Up Concepts in Hospital Cafes

Fresh. Innovative. On-trend. Hospital cafes are rising to new heights by embracing Pop-Up Concepts. With rapidly rotating concepts in a Food Hall atmosphere, hospitals can capitalize on the most recent marketplace trends and flavor profiles. Not only does that lead to greater guest satisfaction, but it can improve the bottom line for Food and Nutrition Services.

“When we are developing retail concepts, we look at the restaurants our guests are eating at, besides the hospital,” said Jeffrey Quasha, director of retail culinary innovation at Morrison Healthcare. “We need to keep it fresh with seasonal food that is on-trend, so our guests don’t get bored. We are driving culinary innovation at the hospital level.”

Pop-Up Concepts provide a unique food offering. Typically, the menu is focused on four dishes with seasonal ingredients. A concept is only available for one to two days, allowing the cafe to keep its food options fresh and exciting.

“With a truncated menu at the Pop-Up Concepts, we are able to focus on delivering amazing flavors in each dish. By embracing this model, hospitals will see more engagement and excitement about their retail dining operations while continuing to grow revenue and guest loyalty.”

Quasha and the retail marketing team spend about six months developing each concept, which includes everything from the initial ideation to menus and even branding. When a Pop-Up Concept arrives, it is ready to activate out of the box — literally. The hospital receives a kit with everything needed to get started. It’s easy, effective, and tasty.

There are more than 30 Pop-Up Concepts available from Morrison Healthcare. With continuous research and development efforts from the team, there are more on the way. Two of the most recent concepts have hit the mark by combining culinary trends with delicious flavors. “On The Vine” and “Basmati & Spice” have already created raving fans.

New Pop-Up Concepts in Hospital Cafes

 

On The Vine

There is a well-documented push for plant-based menus in the culinary world. Morrison Healthcare has embraced this by providing options that buck expectations and expand palates. On The Vine is the latest concept to elevate plant-based dining.

“We want to take plant-forward to a whole new level,” said Quasha. “The menu items for On The Vine could be seen at any fine dining or trendy restaurant around the country.”

On The Vine is a root to stem concept that takes advantage of all the goodness tomatoes have to offer. The stalks, leaves, stems, and skins provide distinct textures and tastes to each recipe.

“We call it a root to stem approach. It’s about respect and sustainability. Someone spent the time to grow the vegetable, so we want to respect their work and use 100 percent of the plant. And make it taste amazing while we’re at it.”

On The Vine launched during the summer months when tomatoes are in season. The menu is built with intention, and it is making an impact on diners across the country.

Basmati & Spice

Celebrity Chef Bal Arneson has been working with Morrison Healthcare for the past seven years, primarily in a teaching role. With Basmati & Spice, she steps forward to create a concept that brings a new focus to veg-centric options. The concept spotlights the healing power of food by boosting immune health and supporting local farmers and regenerative agriculture.

“Basmati & Spice is a culmination of a lot of things,” said Quasha. “Indian food is rich with spices that have medicinal qualities. We are taking those and accentuating them in our dishes. It’s healthy and impactful and hopefully shining a light on wellness for our diners.”

The year-round concept focuses on four signature dishes, often replacing the unhealthy elements of Indian food with healthier alternatives. For instance, the “No-Butter Butter Chicken” removes butter, replacing it with yogurt. It’s a nutritious and equally delicious entrée.

Some industrious hospitals have begun offering Basmati & Spice menu items as take-away meal kits. They have found success in this area, and Quasha expects to see significant growth in this sector of the business.

Pop-Up Concepts bring fresh options to diners while allowing hospital cafes to stay on-trend and on budget. As more hospitals invest in the Food Hall model, Pop-Up Concepts will become the standard in the retail dining experience. Morrison Healthcare will continue to advance this trend by developing innovative concepts that satisfy the senses.

Both On The Vine and Basmati & Spice are available now.

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