Hospitals & Extended Care facilities: As food is an essential element in recovery of the patients, it is a major part of hospital operation and employs a substantial % of the hospital staff.
Some of the innovations in hospitals food service include preparation of pre prepared and proportioned food specialties. In hospitals and extended care facilities such as nursing homes, tray services is generally used for patients meals. One of the more common practices in large hospitals is to send the prepared food to serving pantries on the various floors; where it is arranged on trays and carried to patients. Cold foods such as bread, salads and desserts may be sent to the pantries 20 to 30 minutes before serving time. Hot food is taken from the main kitchen to the pantries in heated food trucks a few minutes before serving time. Dishes and trays are washed and stored in each pantry. This is the decentralized service. Many hospitals have centralized tray service i.e. all trays are set up in one place and sent directly from there to the patients’ by vertical conveyor from which they are picked up by aides and carried to the patients.
In hospitals for the mentally ill, another method of serving patients is in patient dining rooms. Either table service or self service may be used.
Meals for hospital staff and employees are usually provided in a pay cafeteria. Vended food often supplements regular cafeteria service and is usually available to all hospital personnel and visitors on a 24 hour basis.
School food service: Over the years, the major objective of school food service has been to provide a nutritious meal for children at as low a cost as possible and to provide some nutrition education through the program. Great studies have been made in improving food service in school cafeterias. More items for selection, faster service use of “scramble system” cafeteria arrangement and more liberal provision for second and larger quantities have also been provided in many instances. Also incorporated in school cafeteria have been more attractive elements of décor and atmosphere, in
Order to make this portion of the school day’s activity more pleasant and enjoyable Increasing use of convenience foods and proportional items have increased the appeal of cafeteria meals.
One other aspect which seems to be growing is the utilization of the school cafeteria as a practice ground for students taking courses in food service as part of their curriculum. The cafeteria is an ideal place for consumption of the food prepared by the students and the customer attributes can be surveyed and the reactions observed.
It also helps low income families with their nutritional needs via the school cafeteria.
Restaurants:-Some authorities have stated that up to 60% of the satisfaction of dining out has nothing to do with the food. The service, friendliness, atmosphere, music or other type of entertainment, napery, china, silver, glass, flowers and other accompaniments of good dining are perhaps more important than the quality and taste of the food itself. Some of the principal elements of atmosphere are –
- Size and shape of the dining room.
- Views obtained from windows or from various aspects of the room.
- Type of seating – whether tables are round, square or rectangular, booths or counters.
- Furnishings – style, finish, period, color.
- Layout of the seating arrangement such as elevation of portions of the room or other variations.
- Appearance, age and type of uniforms of the staff.
- Type of customers i.e. age, social class, how they are dressed and so forth.
- Noise level.
- Various colors and materials used in the decorative scheme.
- Level of illumination.
- Temperature or comfort level.
- Cleanliness as evidenced by table cloths, silverware floor and so forth.
Some of the other considerations in restaurant types and appeals are: customer expectation, customer choice food selected by the customer, whether the restaurant is formal or informal, the first impression of the customer as he enters the restaurant, effectiveness of the ventilation, sound level and what that sound consists of, the anticipated value the customer will receive for his money, and the accessibility of the restaurant such as parking facilities, ease of driving into the establishment.
A significant trend today is toward larger and more elaborate restaurants.
As to menu, the less elaborate menu becomes more popular year to year. This trend helps to simplify restaurant operation and hence the possibility for profits. Diet consciousness seems to be growing in importance and in progressive restaurants will keep this consideration in mind when preparing menus.
The type of service will of course depend on the nature of the restaurant, but as a rule, those having more prompt service are usually the best patronized.
Service can be at all levels, from virtually self- service such as in a cafeteria to an elaborate French service in which portions of the meal are prepared at tableside. Probably the most important single element in service is the attitude, appearance and demeanor of the waiter or waitress. In resort restaurant for ex, the guest has more hours of contract with his waiter or waitress than any other employee at the resort. Thus, this relationship is of major importance in customer satisfaction. Regardless of the level of service, it should be provided with warmth & friendliness.
Hotels: In hotels, the trend today is towards a more complete facility including a dining room, bar, meeting room, recreational facilities and similar amenities which make the entire establishment more broadly appealing to the travelling public.
Buffet service often at room but also quite common as a special evening meal at a set price. Also the growth of the luncheon business has been outstanding particularly in large cities and in the down town area.
Industrial plants: Often the industrial plants operate 24 hrs a day and serving and serving units must provide continuous and rapid service. Certain simple devices and techniques have been found helpful in extending the services of the industrial cafeteria to capacity. They include staggered – line service. i.e. admission of groups of people at 5 to 10 minute intervals, the serving of a plate lunch, with the possibility of adding certain items as desired, the installation of several short counters, the simplification of serving, using as few side dishes as possible, the employment of adequate help for service, and the use of prepaid meal tickets to relieve delay at the cashiers desk.