Foodie Blues - Hospital Foodie Blog at - 79424

Hospital Foodie

Foodie Blues 
Feb. 28, 2009 4:10 am 
Updated: May 8, 2009 5:45 pm
I'm glad February is over.  Snow, mud,a little sun here & there, one cool rainbow, more mud, more snow.  Highlight of the month was watching our greenhouse take flight & try to make an escape.  It still lies motionless in the field East of our house.  The lack of sun & being outdoors makes me get a little grumpy, which in turn makes my hairnet ladies more irritable than usual.  "If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy."   February should be banned from the calender.  Lets just skip on to March where we have a little sunlight at the end of the tunnel.

On a brighter note, I implemented a restaurant style menu at one of my hospitals which has been well received.  Instead of our patients having no choice in their meals, they now have 24 entrees/sandwiches to choose from for lunch & dinner.  We now serve chicken Caesar salads, roasted chicken, pulled pork roast, & spaghetti w/meatballs along with the standard sandwich fare.  I'm still fairly new there, so the ladies still don't quite know how to take a man in the kitchen, but most have figured out that I seem to know what I'm doing - although they are pretty smart.  I had ordered a new salad bar that showed up yesterday & the first comment I got was "WHO do you expect is going to clean THAT thing?"  I responded "this is the latest & greatest salad bar - it's self cleaning by whomever makes sarcastic comments in the kitchen."  Well seasoned managers have a wide array of these comments.  One of my favorites is finding someone sitting on a counter - "counters are for glasses not asses."  A classic restaurant snippit.

The number one rule of any manager in foodservice is "always stay one step ahead of your staff."  Always have an immediate answer, or they will gladly run over you.   I'm taking the family to Fort Myers Florida for break - if anyone knows of any good eateries/things not to miss (especially to keep teen boys busy, other that watching the landscape of skin at the beach), please forward me your suggestions.

Be thankful for those who have sense & aren't afraid to use it.

The Hospital Foodie

Feb. 28, 2009 5:15 am
I'm with you on February, HF - south Chicago suburbs here...not loving the 2 inches of rain we got yesterday, that gave us even more mud! Just wanted to say 'great post' - I am a manager (though not food service) and share similar challenges and frustrations with staff. I think the 'aren't afraid to use it' is key; too many people these days take the path of least resistance...definitely one of my biggest pet peeves.
Feb. 28, 2009 9:33 am
24 choices!!! I remember one of my favorite parts of being in the hospital after my kids were born was ordering food and having "meals in bed." I had maybe 3 choices then and even that excited me! What a great idea the restaurant style menu is! Nice healthy choices too, something you don't often get in a hospital as ironic as that may be! (I ate turkey dinner w/gravy each day!) Needless to say the pregnancy weight did not melt off quickly!!
Feb. 28, 2009 2:29 pm
Your blog is as good as usual!! I enjoy stopping by to read it!!
Mar. 1, 2009 5:51 am
I bet people really enjoy working for you, a sense of humor is a must in a boss!
Mar. 1, 2009 8:28 am
The food choices sound great-is the staff happy to fill the requests? Can't imagine sitting on a counter (especially at work).
May 8, 2009 5:45 pm
laughing out loud--you ROCK! The hospital where I work has "Room Service" dining & it's pretty well-loved. (Aside: I used to pass trays in a hospital while in high school, but now I work patient care). I was cracking up the other day, thinking, why does this guy with a SHAVED HEAD have to wear a hairnet?? Got an answer for me?? lol!
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About Me
A generation "X"er who had the good sense to marry a patient woman, who happens to be a chef (those two characteristics rarely go together). I am one of the few men who have the ability & ignorance to claim the title "food service director."
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy grilling out & making soups & stocks from scratch. I make some mean salads too.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Eating whatever my mom prepares - she was probably the reason I got into the food service business to begin with. Guess I can blame her.
My cooking triumphs
Implementing restaurant style menus & room service for hospital patients - my attempt at breaking the "Hospital Food" stereotype that it no longer deserves.
My cooking tragedies
I did set a char broiler on fire once (but that was on purpose, they needed a new one) & NEVER add liquid margarine to a chocolate fountain. Not a good idea.
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