Foodservice in healthcare, while a mature industry, grew by 5% in 2016 and is expected to continue to grow at a similar rate over the course of the next five years, primarily due to the aging population and consumers’ greater spending on health. Operators within healthcare are expected to contend with new challenges over the next several years, including an expected decline in in-patient volume as more patients shift to out-patient services and a greater emphasis on visible nutritional labeling. As patients spend less time in hospital settings, the available foodservice dollars may shrink, further emphasizing the importance of additional services.
Today, hospitals are attempting to differentiate themselves and boost revenue by offering more of what patients, visitors, and staff want. This shift in priorities has led to the introduction of branded restaurant concepts within hospitals. Hospital executives recognize that patient satisfaction scores and re-admission rates are increasingly tied to onsite dining experiences, with almost half of the hospitals surveyed in FoodService Director’s 2016 Healthcare Census report making menu changes based on the results from their Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys. Within hospitals, in-room service continues to rise, with 48% of operators now offering on-demand meal service. The larger the hospital, the more likely it is to offer in-room service – 71% of operators with food and beverage purchases of $5 million or more offer in-room service, compared to 49% of hospitals with purchases between $1 million - $5 million.