Best Concepts: Rush Medical Center Mobile Carts
The mobile cart program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago has not only solved a number of issues, such as bringing a largely unused catering kitchen into service, reducing congestion at fixed-location catering outlets. and providing busy staff with a means to obtain healthy and fresh food. – but did so while adding a very successful element to the on-site catering program. What started with a single cart has been so successful that a second has been added and a third is being considered even though the program covers its implementation costs after just six months and achieves the highest quality rating among all the dining options on campus in a recent employee survey.
Mobile units deliver premium hot and cold prepackaged meals and weekly specialties as a convenient food option to front-line staff using stylish and food-safe merchandising carts, fast payment method and personalized service .
The cart program was originally developed as part of a three-pronged initiative to use the Rush food service and its conference center kitchen – which had been largely unused by the COVID pandemic – to Addressing a need for more food options as the cafeteria and Au Bon Pain and Subway branded locations on-site provided only limited services.
In addition to the mobile catering carts, the program also created a take-out option and a restaurant concept in the large catering dining room, each with a different price and cross-use of labor and ingredients to control costs while expanding the range of meal options for customers.
Of these new platforms, the carts have been particularly successful in meeting the needs of nurses, doctors and other care providers who have difficulty getting up during the day and often resort to something not particularly fresh, high quality. or just healthy. because he was readily available. Created to bring fresh, quality food to these units, the carts allow employees to enjoy their breaks more time and less time to go to the cafeteria and queue.
However, convenience is only part of the cart program’s value as the selection is not just easy-to-grab items like crisps, but a variety of options that include hot and healthy choices made to eat. units in a safe and quality manner. manner and intended to provide a viable alternative to the cafeteria to help decompress lines and encourage the pursuit of social distancing.
The concept uses 2.5 FTE equivalents used cross-wise with the other two catering concepts and therefore did not require any new manpower to operate. Other costs associated with launching the program were the purchase of Cambro carts and portable point-of-sale devices, which integrate with the internal point-of-sale system.
The carts offer a basic menu and rotating hot and cold weekly entrees that bring excitement and variety to customers. The menu is posted on the Rush intranet site and specials are updated weekly.
The program debuted on December 7, 2020 with a single cart, which has now expanded to two. They operate from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, each running a designated path during breakfast and lunch times so guests know when to expect them in their unit. After making their choices, customers can pay by credit card, ApplePay, or AndroidPay.
The team evaluating the various cart options chose a new Cambro cart that was advertised for the academic setting because it provides product visibility and a safe way to store, move and display products on units. The NSE carts, which are packaged with the Rush logo for a professional appearance, have swivel casters to easily transport products through the doors and five full-size food wells that hold standard hotel pans with cooler packs underneath to keep food cool, as well as a transparent sneeze guard, open base storage that holds hot or cold insulated units, relief supplies and sundries.