In the world of healthcare foodservice, operators are constantly facing the challenge of staff shortages. According to a survey by Foodservice Director, 84% of healthcare operators reported being short-staffed.1

In the face of these challenges, it’s essential to find innovative and efficient ways to meet the dietary needs of patients, residents, and guests. Consider the following labor-saving tips and menu ideas if you’re short-staffed.

Menu Versatile Dishes

One of the keys to streamlining healthcare foodservice is to offer versatile and on-trend menu items that are both delicious and easy to prepare. Here are some versatile dish ideas:

Bowls: Bowls have become a popular food trend, and they are particularly well-suited for healthcare settings. They allow for easy prepping of ingredients ahead of time and offer customization options. For instance, at The Porch at Christie’s in Westport, Connecticut, all prep for their Rice and Beans Bowl is done ahead of time, which means assembly takes 30 seconds or less.2 Consider this Butternut Squash, Kale & Mushroom Bowl Made With Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. The soup provides instant flavor to this plant-based bowl.

Soups: Speaking of soup, this comforting, low-labor menu item is perfect for healthcare settings. Campbell’s Foodservice frozen soups can be served as is or customized with garnishes and accompaniments. For example, this Campbell’s® Culinary Reserve Frozen Ready to Cook Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Soup can be served as it is or as the base of your own custom recipe.

Salads: Salads are perfect for lunch in cafeteria settings and can be prepared ahead of time for grab-and-go offerings. Switch up your salad menu regularly to use in-season produce, such as this Autumn Harvest Salad Made with Campbell’s® Culinary Reserve Harvest Butternut Soup.

Create Specials Using Prepared Items

Variety and frequent menu updates are essential in healthcare foodservice. 68% of hospitals, 69% of long-term care, and 70% of senior living facilities want lots of variety each day, while 62%, 71%, and 67% respectively, desire offerings that change and are updated frequently.3

Shortening the menu cycle is key, according to Campbell’s Foodservice Executive Chef Gerald Drummond. 

“Shortening the menu cycle to eight to twelve weeks ensures that they’re not getting the same thing two times a month or three times a month,” he said. “That way, there’s always something new and exciting for those residents and patients.”

Maximize Value-Added Products

To save time and effort, work with prepared ingredients and incorporate them into multiple dishes. This is a critical strategy according to Drummond. 

“Our products will really allow healthcare operators to unlock a versatile toolbox. One SKU can go across many different parts of their menu,” he said. “For example, from our tomato condensed soup, we have 30 to 40 recipes that they can pick and choose from that will touch multiple trends: plant-based, vegetarian, comfort, global, and comfort. In addition, that one can can be stretched from 12 to 24 portions, so they’re maximizing their profitability with one SKU and one can.”

Using Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Condensed Tomato Soup as a base, you can create a variety of recipes, including: 

This approach maximizes the utility of your ingredients while providing a diverse menu for your guests.

Discover Labor-Savers with Campbell’s Foodservice

By embracing versatile dishes, creating specials with prepared items, and maximizing value-added products like canned soups, you can offer diverse, delicious, and nutritious meals that cater to the unique needs and preferences of your healthcare patrons.

To further streamline your healthcare foodservice operations, explore the Campbell’s Foodservice portfolio of products, specifically canned soups. Canned soups are a low-cost, labor-saving option that can be easily incorporated into a wide range of dishes. The convenience and consistent quality of these products can be a game changer for your foodservice needs.

Discover our wide range of products.

1 Gingerella, Benitia, “The state of healthcare foodservice: Full 2022 survey results,” Foodservice Director, November 16, 2022 

2 Cobe, Patricia, “Recipe Report: Labor-Saving Dishes,” Foodservice Director, September 9, 2021

3 Healthcare Segment Guide 2023, Datassential