June 8, 2020
Trends in Foodservice: Market on the Move
Sometimes a big idea comes in a small cart. Look no further than the University of Kentucky HealthCare where you can spot the latest trends in foodservice—Market on the Move.
Morrison Healthcare created Market on the Move to directly address the challenges facing foodservice amid COVID-19. The program enlists food carts that stock health-conscious food and bring variety straight to those working on the hospital floors. By design, these carts are mobile allowing Market on the Move to serve more people in more places. UK HealthCare was one of the first hospital systems to implement the program.
“When we first heard about Market on the Move, we immediately thought that this would be a great way to reach our hospital staff without them having to leave their units,” said Terri Schnurr, System Director of Food and Nutrition at UK HealthCare. “It has also been a great vehicle for promoting our retail staff and building a relationship between nursing and foodservice.”
Like hospitals around the country, UK HealthCare faced challenges from COVID-19 which resulted in a decrease in retail sales due to the drop in patient census and overall volumes.
UK HealthCare saw Market on the Move as an opportunity to bring the café to the nurses’ stations which provides both convenience and time savings.
“We wanted to be able to get back our UK staff business in a way that was convenient for them,” said Schnurr. “Some of our units are not very close to the cafes, so not only does the food cart provide the food and snacks that the staff love, but it also makes it much more convenient and saves valuable time for them.”
Since Morrison Healthcare launched the program on April 30, Market on the Move has seen steady increases in sales, proving to be a huge success with the staff, caregivers, and patients. While rooted in the need to provide sustainable food sources to the caregivers and staff in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Market on the Move can serve as a long-term solution for many healthcare facilities that want to follow the latest trends in foodservice.
“We are looking for a solution to reach our guests today and in the future,” said M.C. Vay, Senior Brand Manager, Morrison Healthcare. “It’s an additional service that we can provide that doesn’t take much extra investment because it uses all the same initiatives that we have inside our café.”
Meeting customers where they are
Market on the Move can bring excitement to units, towers, or high traffic areas. Not only that, it can become a staple of the facility’s foodservice offering and customer service.
“There is a lot of customization. We can really bring it to life,” Vay said.
It doesn’t take much to get the program going. The viability of Market on the Move can be summed into three areas: scale, ease, and support.
Market on the Move is a scalable solution for hospitals to meet the ever-changing needs of their staff and patients. One can easily ramp up carts in a short period of time to meet the population’s needs as the hospital census changes. For larger hospitals with multiple towers, this can be a solution to provide quality foodservice away from the main café. It is a flexible option that allows customization of hours, food options, and locations.
Beyond scale, the program is achievable and easy to implement.
It’s easy to get started with Market on the Move. It can utilize existing programs and resources within the facility which drastically lowers the setup cost. For instance, facilities often have existing carts from previous projects or a patient service cart. These carts can be retrofitted to embrace function and design aesthetics. Whether you choose to retrofit or start fresh, the program benefits from strong marketing collateral and positioning.
In all, it only takes about two weeks to set up and launch mobile payments.
Healthcare providers need our support. They work long hours and face numerous challenges. By caring for them, we can help them to better care for patients. Market on the Move is just one way that we can show our caregivers they are valued and appreciated. When we invest in our teams, we can improve patient outcomes.
Foodservice can play a large role in supporting our team and enabling high-quality patient care. UK HealthCare has seen the benefits and will keep building momentum.
“We plan to continue Market on the Move as long as we have the business to support it and the labor to execute it,” said Schnurr. “It is not only a means to increase sales, but also to provide support to the nurses and their teams who are not able to get to the cafes as easily as before and are dealing with other challenges due to COVID.”
Market on the Move is just getting started. Hospitals around the country are finding success, scale and easy setup. After all, sometimes big ideas come in small carts.