Imagine this: it is a typical work day at Ivinson, and 0830 has rolled around once again. It’s a great time to swing through the café for some Laramie-famous biscuits and gravy. With a full belly and a free cup of joe from the coffee station, it’s time to take on the day (or hit the sack, depending on the shift).
On days like these, it’s easy to overlook just how much is going on in the cafeteria. Between the hours of 6:30 AM and 7:00 PM, many employees, guests and patients alike shuffle through the café to get their food-fix. On any given day, Mountain View Café serves an average of 550 people, (which is not counting the guests and patients who order food directly to their room).
This number has grown steadily in the last year, partially due to the addition of the Medical Offices at Ivinson, but also in large part due to improvements and changes made to the cafeteria. In an effort to further improve guest satisfaction scores, Erin Michel, director of Nutritional Services, recently conducted a survey asking guests to rate their experience in the cafeteria and give feedback on menu options, food quality and other recent changes to the café.
Over the course of a month, 172 surveys were completed, revealing three consistent themes across most responses. Specifically, guests were especially vocal in regards to cleanliness, food taste and temperature and menu variety.
Following the survey, the dietary staff craved to address these areas of concern, as well as a few other issues with the flow of the space. After taking time to conduct discovery and some brainstorming, the staff began implementing some of their new ideas.
“We wanted to empower fellow staff members to help us keep the space clean, so we purchased a Swiffer mop,” said Erin. “The mop is located in the back by the dish wash drop-off. When a staff member witnesses a spill or dirty floor, they are encouraged to help keep things tidy during the busy hours.”
While passing through the cafeteria, you may have also noticed new locations for the coffee stations and soup wells, as well as subtle updates to the salad bar. These changes have helped to free up space and to reduce the number of traffic jams during peak hours.
Additionally, Erin boasts, “We have added a new summer menu, too!” Additions like mango salsa and unique variations of the traditional salmon filet are taking the stage, giving guests the option of adding fresher and lighter options into their diet. “The staff has really enjoyed coming up with new items to try,” said Erin.
Erin has even recruited the help of other departments to assist in the café’s new initiatives. In a unique collaboration with Arnold Salo from Engineering, the cafeteria has plans to utilize his welding skills to modify the hot line to warm up new menu items like stir-fry.
All in all, Erin and her team have been hard at work, pushing to improve the quality of the cafeteria and to provide guests with an exceptional experience. As the cafeteria continues to make improvements and grow, we’re beyond excited to see what’s being served next.