AHF’s online discussion community is a place where AHF members can ask questions, discuss ongoing issues, find solutions, and problem solve for challenges. Each month we post a summary of discussions in the community. Join the conversation and take advantage of this critical member-only resource or join AHF if you’re not yet a member!

Seeking Information and Sharing Expertise

Merging Call Centers:

Operators discussed metrics for merging call centers to improve productivity. AHF Members shared practical advice, including tracking call volumes, wait times, app orders, and service levels both by campus and by agent. The discussion provided valuable insights for optimizing call center operations.

Equipment Recommendations – Espresso Machines:

Operators exchanged recommendations on the best espresso machines for high-volume hospital settings.

System Dashboards:

An operator sought advice on developing system-wide dashboards to drive data-driven decisions. Members shared their experiences with metrics related to patient dining, retail food, catering, safety, and financial performance, highlighting the importance of comprehensive data management.

Pediatric Menus:

AHF Members turned to the Online Member Community for advice on enhancing pediatric menus, including seafood options, showcasing the community’s commitment to providing nutritious and appealing choices for young patients. Operators are also invited to join AHF’s quarterly Pediatric Check-In Chats to discuss challenges unique to pediatric hospitals and share effective solutions. >> CLICK HERE to learn more and register!

Overcoming Obstacles Everyday

Behavioral Health Smallwares:

Operators raised the topic of safe lid options for flexible mugs in behavioral health settings, underscoring the unique challenges and the need for specialized solutions, reflecting the community’s dedication to safety and innovation.

Patient Nourishments:

Managing patient nourishments and floor stock was the hot topic of the month. Members discussed charging practices, standardized lists, and accountability measures, offering best practices for consistent supply and cost control.

Thickener in Nourishment Rooms:

Regulatory concerns about multi-use thickener powder cans prompted a conversation on best practices. Share your experience today with regulatory agencies and the use of thickening agents in nourishment rooms in the AHF Online Community discussion group. Your input is appreciated!

Innovative Initiatives

Developing Sustainability Programs:

The AHF Self Op Committee’s request for input on sustainability programs sparked significant interest. AHF Business Partners shared resources and strategies on food waste reduction, biodegradable products, composting, sustainable sourcing, and more. The discussion highlighted the importance of sustainability in healthcare foodservice and senior dining along with the wealth of available tools and resources.

Comforting Recipes:

The AHF Editorial Advisory Board is calling for your favorite healthy comfort food recipes for the fall edition of SO Connected magazine. Comfort foods vary across regions, cultures, and populations, and we want to capture this diversity. Share your stories and recipes that have brought joy to your patients or residents. >> SUBMIT your recipes today to help us create a rich, comforting collection for all to enjoy!

Recipe Databases:

Operators shared their go-to sources for retail recipes, emphasizing the value of collaboration and resource sharing. The importance of utilizing and contributing to the AHF recipe database, a valuable resource for culinary inspiration and collaboration, was also discussed. By sharing your favorite recipes, you can help expand our community’s collective knowledge. >> VIEW INDEX

Continuous Improvement

New Employee Training:

Members shared effective strategies for training new employees in the food service department. Discussions included mentorship programs, competency evaluations, and ongoing support, highlighting the importance of thorough and supportive training processes.


AHF Community Connections:

As we reflect on the insights and interactions within our online community, it’s clear that our collective expertise and collaborative spirit are driving continuous improvement in healthcare foodservice. Together, we tackle challenges, share knowledge, and innovate for the betterment of self-operated healthcare foodservice, senior dining, and hospitality.

Looking ahead, we invite you to join us at the 2024 AHF National Conference this August 23-25 in San Antonio. This year’s conference is shaping up to be the biggest one yet, and you don’t want to miss it! Register today and be part of an unforgettable experience that will inspire and empower us on our journey towards excellence! >> Register Today!



Join the Conversation:

The Online Community is a benefit of AHF membership that welcomes participation from all members of AHF. If you are a current member, make sure that you take advantage of this key resource to find solutions to current challenges you are facing as well as to offer up your advice and expertise as a way to give back to the industry through mentorship and leadership.

If you are not currently a member of AHF, we gladly welcome all self-operated healthcare foodservice and senior dining operations and the business partners who support them. Visit HealthcareFoodservice.org/Be-A-Member to lean more.


05 Jul 2024