How One Hospital Serves Patients a High-End Restaurant Atmosphere
Located in Greenwood, South Carolina, Self-Regional Healthcare is committed to providing advanced care with cutting-edge technology. The hospital is a medical center that provides advanced healthcare services to a population of more than a quarter of a million people. Self-Regional recognizes the importance of providing nutritious food and excellent service every day and has over 100 foodservice staff providing meals for patients, guests and staff.
Self-Regional recently revamped their kitchen and foodservice areas to provide patients with a clean, healthy and pleasant dining experience. This included making a significant upgrade to their employee uniform program. The hospital’s previous program involved the purchase of five sets of uniforms for full-time employees and three sets of uniforms for part-time employees. For a kitchen staff working 30 to 40-hour weeks, it wasn’t enough, as garments became worn and stained within one month of use. Some garments had to be replaced within three months due to shredding.
The staff at Self-Regional also spent a lot of time contacting their previous uniform supplier to make new orders, track old orders and keep up with a large inventory. Ordering new garments took weeks and sometimes months due to backorders. Many foodservice employees complained about the discomfort, sizing, quality, wrinkles and stains the previous uniforms often created. The previous chef and kitchen coats were white, making stains impossible to avoid.
“To provide patients with a high-end restaurant atmosphere, we wanted to start by upgrading our image,” said Lori Kent, Food Service Director at Self-Regional. “We sought out uniforms that wouldn’t wear out or cause any discomfort while on the job.”
Attaining high quality garments for foodservice workers, at a competitive price to help the hospital maintain its budget throughout the fiscal year, was difficult. Self-Regional needed to find a sustainable, long-term solution.
In November 2017, Cintas stepped in and introduced its Chef Works® designs. Chef Works has partnered with Cintas and developed culinary apparel exclusively for Cintas, allowing kitchen staff to look and feel their best while on the job. Cintas introduced Self-Regional to its leasing program which offers no upfront garment investment, leaving the hospital or employee responsible for the care and laundering of the garments. The leasing program charges a monthly fee to help spread the program cost over time and reduce high up-front uniform expenses. The program also provides five sets of uniforms per employee versus the three they previously had.
“Cintas offered to contact our previous uniform provider and make the uniform transition for the hospital, so it was a breeze changing providers,” said Kent. “This saved us valuable time on top of providing better quality uniforms for a lower price – it was a no-brainer.”
Unlike the previous program, which was not true to size and often resulted in having to spend time and money exchanging the uniform, Cintas provided Self-Regional with their own size-run of the garments. Now each new employee can try them on for sizing to ensure the fit of the uniform. Due to incorrectly sized garments and old orders that came in late – sometimes so late that the employee had left the organization – the hospital had crates of unworn uniforms. With Cintas’ fast and efficient service, Self-Regional has slimmed their stock and receives new garments as needed.
Impressed by the fashionable chef coats, Self-Regional was also pleased with the comfort they provide in a hot, busy kitchen. Workers now have the flexibility to choose between short or long sleeves, a valuable asset during the summer months. Cintas’ Chef Works apparel also offers drawstring pants, which have proven to be much more comfortable for employees. Self-Regional was thrilled with the Chef Works black coats, providing a sharper and cleaner image.
“We were so conditioned to the way things worked with our previous uniform program, we were blown away by the ease and flexibility of leasing,” added Kent. “Cintas is very responsive and works hard to meet our needs while maintaining a consistent and low price. The program’s effectiveness, price and ease of use has transformed our view on employee apparel.”
With Cintas uniforms, the staff at Self-Regional Hospital has noticed numerous benefits, including:
Improved image By selecting the French Blue Wrinkle-Free Shirts and the black ladies’s pants, which are pressed and wrinkle-free, employees feel and project a more professional image.
Increased employee morale Cintas’ apparel has improved staff morale because they no longer need to iron garments before their shifts. With five sets rather than three, employees can also feel great wearing clean garments to work each day without the hassle of having to do several loads of laundry per week. The Chef Works garments also provide venting, giving employees cool comfort when working in a hot kitchen environment.
Enhanced convenience Self-Regional enjoys the convenience and responsiveness Cintas offers. With enhanced communication, Self-Regional simply informs Cintas when they need to order new uniforms and Cintas quickly meets their needs.
Cost savings Self-Regional experienced more uniforms at no extra charge due to Cintas’ alignment with the hospital’s GPO. With no increases or additional costs, pricing remains consistent.
“With Cintas, I only have one point of contact, which allows me to spend less time managing vendors and more time interacting with customers and employees,” said Kent. “My employees now have less on their plate so they can focus on what matters: giving our patients the best experience possible.”
In addition to the Chef Works rental program, Cintas offers custom uniform programs unique to the healthcare industry. Find more information about Cintas Healthcare solutions, here.