Case Study: Nottingham City Hospital
Nottingham City Hospital serves three meals a day to 1,000 bed patients and 100 day patients; it also has a 250 seater restaurant and 5 coffee shops.
They set themselves the challenge of sourcing locally for a month over the Fortnight while still fulfilling menus that were agreed and printed months in advance.
To find suppliers of meat, vegetables and dairy for the promotion they obtained a list of local suppliers and sent them each a copy of the menu and an invitation to pitch for business. As a result they ended up sourcing from a selection of new and old suppliers.
The initiative gained positive feedback all-round, particularly from patients and improved staff moral as the hospital chefs have enjoyed being challenged mentally in the kitchen. “They could do what they were doing before blindfolded. This freshens everything up.”
Sourcing milk locally was found to be a cost neutral exercise: savings have been made because milk is bought in litres and not pints (yet for the same price) and there is less wastage as the reduced time from 'teat to table' means that it has a better shelf life.
For the long term, the relationship with the local dairy was been maintained post promotion and all meat is sourced form the East Midlands.
Lessons learnt and advice for others:
- Sourcing local food was cheaper than expected.
- Include a‘Chef’s Special’on the menu to add flexibility to both the food and ordering process.
- Use phrases like‘seasonal veg’ on menu as this means you can take a variety of different stock from different suppliers.
- Be open-minded when thinking about using local suppliers.
- Don’t be put off by prices that initially may seem higher. Buying large volumes of produce can make the whole process affordable.
- Think about the long lasting impact on the local economy and environment by offering a sustainable menu.