Medical center contracts with Aramark for management of cafeteria and more

Big changes are in store for the cafeteria at Greene County Medical Center, as an updated look and different marketing strategies are put in place to increase usage and revenue.

The medical center trustees at their April 27 meeting approved entering into a contract with Aramark for nutrition, environmental, and facility services support. According to chief operating officer Christa Simons, the recent retirement of director of environmental services Dave Sayre and the retirement next month of director of nutrition services Amy Becker opened the door for succession planning and aligning the existing contract with Aramark with other rural UnityPoint Health affiliate hospitals.

Simons said the agreement with Aramark would reduce cost and improve benefit to the medical center.

Aramark proposes funding $156,000 in remodeling the cafeteria and kitchen at the medical center. Remodeling will improve the workflow and efficiency in the kitchen, enhance the space to bring increased use, improve the room service to inpatients and long term care residents, and provide restaurant-style dining, Simons told the trustees.

Aramark will also fund $40,000 in equipment for environmental services and $10,000 for Facility Fit management software. Additionally, Aramark will fund training for all three departments at a cost of $166,000.

Aramark will charge the medical center an annual $130,000 management fee.

The budget with the proposal suggests an increase in revenue from nutritional services from $137,760 in 2017 (estimated) to $225,062.

When board of trustees chair Jim Schleisman questioned that amount, chief executive officer Carl Behne said he had also questioned it. According to Behne, Aramark management claims that enhancements to the cafeteria will increase the amount of use by the general public and employees. Currently only 4 percent of the nurses at the medical center eat at the cafeteria. Aramark will also look at increasing prices to bring them more in line with market prices. “The days of a plate piled high with taco salad for only $1.39 may be over,” Behne said.

Aramark also predicts lowering food costs some by being able to more closely monitor ordering compared to use, reducing waste.

There will be no change in staff, but with Aramark managing those departments, the nutrition and environmental services departments will be headed at the lower paid supervisor level, not the director level. Overtime may also be reduced. Staff will still be Greene County Medical Center employees, not Aramark employees.

Chief financial officer Mark Vander Linden projects total cost of the three departments will increase from $2,157,000 to $2,184,000 including the management fee, but the medical center will receive $206,000 in capital investment and another $166,000 in training costs from Aramark.

The contract will be renewed every year. Should the medical center end the contract before five years, a pro-rated portion of the capital outlay will be due back to Aramark.

The contract becomes effective July 1.

Aramark is the largest provider of concession services in the country.

Print or share article:Print this pageEmail this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook