Water infused with fruits, vegetables and herbs, smoothies made with the freshest ingredients and barista-style coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccino and espresso. These are just a few of the new options you can expect from BWH Food Services over the next year.
The Cafeteria and other Food Services facilities haven’t received updates in many years, and aging facilities and equipment are in need of replacement. With a comprehensive plan of drastically improving dining services for BWH employees, patients and visitors, Food Services is focused on providing healthy selections in an environment that promotes wellness and healing. The updated Cafeteria will strive to provide a variety of options for menu selection and value. The first phase of the plan will be completed this month with the installation of a new coffee kiosk in the Cabot Atrium at 45 Francis St. Later this spring, a much larger project will commence—a renovated Cafeteria with brand new offerings.
“The goal is for dining services at BWH to be integrated with the hospital’s mission of overall health and well-being,” said Chef Peter Lamb, who recently joined BWH as director of Food Services. “We will introduce mindful recipes that use lots of fresh ingredients and offer meals that celebrate cultural diversity.”
Lamb and the Food Services team are looking into farm shares as a means of bringing in a variety of locally-grown fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The Cafeteria will also feature an exhibition station where patrons can watch chefs prepare meals, as well as a way to scan menu items with a smart phone to see complete nutritional information. New and enhanced offerings will include a salad bar and a Red Mango counter for smoothies and juices, among other options.
The menu isn’t the only thing getting an upgrade; the Cafeteria will undergo construction that transforms the physical space with more windows, creating a light-filled respite for guests.
“People use the Cafeteria as a place to take a break and relax,” said Ken Coder, operations manager for Food Services. “We want it to be a calming environment for our staff, patients and visitors.”
Preliminary construction will begin in June, with 6 to 8 feet in the A and B pods blocked off along the outer wall facing Shattuck Street. About 70 to 80 seats will be lost during this time as the outside curved wall is reconstructed to feature floor-to-ceiling windows. To supplement the shortage of seating, Food Services will provide tables and chairs on the mezzanine near the Shop on the Pike.
Construction is scheduled to begin in full around Labor Day, and the Cafeteria will close for several months with an anticipated re-opening just after New Year’s in 2016. During the temporary closure, Food Services will offer “pop-up” locations in several areas around the hospital with prepared meals, including hot entrees, sandwiches, soups, salads and more. Food trucks will park near the hospital to provide additional choices during the construction period.
Employees will have an updated place to get their caffeine fix and small bites later this month, when the new coffee cart is installed in Cabot Atrium.
“We are looking forward to a menu that includes Starbucks coffee and drinks, such as lattes, espresso and cappuccino,” said Lamb. “We also plan to have premade salads and sandwiches, along with other ‘grab-and-go’ items like yogurt and fruit cups.”
More details and information about the Cafeteria renovation will be forthcoming.