March 14, 2008

Cafeteria set for renovation in April

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When complete, renovations to the Courtyard Cafe will improve customer flow.

Cafeteria set for renovation in April

The Courtyard Café at Vanderbilt University Hospital will undergo major renovations this spring and summer.

During the four-month project, set to begin in April, food-serving stations and cashier queues — the servery, in cafeteria parlance — will temporarily relocate to the dining room and outdoors under tents on the plaza between VUH and Light Hall.

“The current customer traffic pattern through our serving area is muddled, and our customer survey results confirm that the main thing we need right now is to reorganize our servery to help customers find the food they want and complete their transaction more easily and more quickly,” said George DeLong, associate hospital director.

“Without expanding our space, we'll be greatly improving our customer flow.”

The new servery will feature a new coffee kiosk and more cooking stations that allow customers to see their food being prepared.

Aramark, the Medical Center's food service provider, will contribute $2.6 million to the renovation.

Cafeteria sales have increased significantly in the 12 months since Aramark partnered with the Medical Center's food service, according to Janet Walker, director of retail operations and strategic planning for Food Services.

Seventy percent of VUMC employees currently buy at least one meal per week at the cafeteria, while 11 percent buy four or more meals per week.

Also this summer, the VUH lobby will get a new food kiosk offering grab-and-go options including sandwiches, parfaits, fruit, salads, ice cream, chips, bottled beverages, specialty coffee, frozen entrees and more.

The lobby of Medical Center North will also get a new coffee kiosk this year, offering espresso beverages, smoothies and grab-and-go items.

This year, Aramark also plans to establish new retail locations in the Eskind Diabetes Clinic, on the eighth floor of Medical Center East and on the third floor of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.