Rolling Hills Hospital, located in Franklin, TN. Newly expanded to 120 beds, the facility is equipped with the latest technologies and amenities to nurture their patients’ recovery process. Their mission: create a place to treat the whole patient, providing compassionate, comprehensive behavioral and mental health care.

Spotlight on: Ron Kloes. Dietary Director, and his team.

Challenge. The newly expanded facility now needed a menu reboot, with healthier and more diverse options, and a reconsideration of service levels to accommodate the increased volume. And of course, all had to be accomplished within current budgets for food and labor.

Solution. A minimal investment in new equipment purchases and a great deal of creativity added real value to the cafeteria offerings for patients and staff. Breakfast was restructured as a self-service meal, featuring a ‘Make Your Own’ yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and granola, hard boiled eggs, bran muffins, Danish, and a daily new hot entrée. Less labor needed at breakfast gave the team more time to assemble healthier snacks for later in the day, and shrunk costs on buys of ready-to-eat items. Two induction burners were purchases and pressed into service as a pasta bar action station on Tuesdays and a stir fry option on Thursdays. More creativity followed: when the upgraded salad bar caused long lines in the cafeteria as patients pondered their tasty new choices, a rotating tossed salad took its place. Alternating dressings and a protein kept it fresh, and matched to the hot menu selection of the day. Popular salads include: romaine salad with croutons, Parmesan, grilled chicken and Caesar dressing; Southwestern salad with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, olives, fried tortilla strips and a spicy Ranch dressing; or a simple salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots and the dressing of the day. Speedier lines and restaurant-style selections have made the change more than palatable for patients and staff.

Results. A steady increase in satisfaction scores tells the story: from 3.79 in September 2017 to 4.2 in April 2017, and rising. Dietary staff are excited to claim ownership for the new offerings, and patients and staff are delighted with the enhanced cafeteria experience. Said Kloes: “I am thankful to my staff for their engagement and enthusiasm in helping to accomplish this so successfully. We could not have done it without them.”