This 4-story, 50-bed hospital features hybrid systems for patient room service, a full-service restaurant and gourmet-style market with a coffee shop that utilizes freshly made, locally sourced ingredients. A community garden exists for neighbors. Organic herbs and vegetables grow in the rooftop garden.
Original article: Facility Design Project of the Month, January 2014: Manna, Manna Market and Bedside Manna Room Service at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital in Castle Rock, Colo.
The project's overall objective was to meet the proactive health needs of the community by delivering innovative dishes to fuel health and wellness in a nurturing and restful atmosphere. With the chef-driven design and ease of flow from production to delivery, the project team successfully met its goals.
An initial challenge was convincing the leadership that a different model of meal service was possible to meet the needs of the staff, as well as guests and the community. Concerns for quick service and staff meals were met with the addition of a c-store market with barista coffee service, convenience items, salad bar and carry-out hot meals. In addition to the Manna Market, the restaurant incorporated a call-ahead service for to-go meals called Manna on the Move.
The project team met the design needs by creating a kitchen with a central circulation spine to accommodate traffic moving from receiving and storage into the production areas. This allows the staff to deliver the food to specific areas without interfering with production. The strategic placement of warewashing facilities allows for delivery of soiled patient meal carts and restaurant dishes through two separate entrances to avoid cross-contamination.
To meet the desire for green design concepts, dining and kitchen areas displaying floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural sunlight to enter the space, and the operation includes a water-efficient dishmachine, utility distribution system for equipment flexibility/modification with energy-efficient equipment and computerized hood system. Moving from a cafeteria model to a traditional restaurant galley with à la minute cooking minimizes food waste. Manna composts some by-products for use in the on-site community garden, which includes 90 raised beds, ADA-accessible plant beds and a 14,000-square-foot restaurant garden. Since opening, the hospital has added wind turbines and solar panels on the roof that supply up to 30 percent of the facility's electricity.
Much of the kitchen's equipment was strategically placed to allow visibility from the dining room or market, including the double-windowed hearth oven. Aesthetic consideration was given to local influences of wood, stone and iron structures within the restaurant's interior design, from local artwork and hand-crafted wood community table to the rhyolite (a stone native to Castle Rock) stonework.
Combining patient room service and restaurant kitchens allowed the department to minimize the amount of equipment needed, as compared to normal cafeterias that have separate production areas. As a result, the department purchased a chef-inspired European-style cook island and high-end equipment to help drive functionality and efficiency for both in-patient room service and the restaurant. The design of the open chef-exhibition window allowed customers to dine and view the kitchen during service while being minimally intrusive to the chefs. Having a streamlined production area also improved labor efficiency, teamwork, shared production and ease of cross-training. Separate expo lines and windows for room service and the restaurant have allowed for smooth delivery of meals.
FE&S: Now that you've had time to live with the new facility, what makes you most proud?
LP: We have already outgrown our space after one and a half years due to our popularity. Manna is the hot dining spot on weekends and evenings. About 70 percent of our customers are from outside the hospital. We have been successful in "recruiting" community members to eat in Manna on a regular basis. Most hospitals have minimal customers on weekends and nights, and we have strong sales. The kitchen is definitely meeting our expectations. However, we wish we would have built a larger dining room and market area. We have a wait list to sit down in the restaurant during many lunch periods.
FE&S: Is the facility meeting your expectations?
DS: Manna Restaurant exceeded expectations by generating an average of $85,000 to $110,000 per month in restaurant revenue. With the quick grab-and-go market and eclectic contemporary lunch/dinner menu, Manna does approximately 450 covers daily with a check average of $8.78.
LP: Approximately 85 percent of the traffic into the restaurant is community-driven, helping Manna achieve the Number One Restaurant rating on Yelp! for Castle Rock, Colo., and we have been voted in the top 10 restaurants in Castle Rock via Trip Advisor. The restaurant employs waitstaff that are paid like their cafeteria counterparts, but are able to deliver personal and unfailing hospitality.
FE&S: Your tipping program receives accolades and admiration. How is that going?
DS: Our patrons do not have to tip, but often do. As a result, we created a foundation that funds many local nonprofits and community wellness-related projects. Fund-related events and projects are communicated to our guests and community in the restaurant and through various projects like FreeCycle, a free bike rental program within the city. We also promote a breast milk bank and support of the community garden.
FE&S: What advice do you have for colleagues who want to start ambitious ventures such as this?
LP: If you are confident in your abilities, you can make anything work. Think outside the box and do what it takes to make it happen. It also makes a difference that Dan and I have worked together for over 11 years, so I know what he is capable of. He is a dreamer who can make things come to fruition.