Facelift for restaurants at Wirral hospitals


Foodservice counters from Moffat ‘have made a huge difference’

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust has upgraded two of its restaurants – Bowman’s at Arrowe Park Hospital and Firtrees at Clatterbridge Hospital.

Following the opening of the new facilities, catering turnover has increased substantially.

Key parts of the dramatic success are the foodservice counters from British manufacturer E&R Moffat.

Sally-Ann Connolly, head of facilities management at the trust, led the design process. Her vision was to create a bright, modern, stylish, attractive restaurant area that would be user friendly – thus, for example, the new layouts and counter designs make it very easy to identify what the foods are and where they are.

Neal Cooper is Arrowe Park Hospital’s general and commercial catering manager. He said: “Some hospitals struggle to attract customers to their catering facilities. I hear catering managers worried about their location, the time it takes for people to get to their facility, and so on. I think people will come if the offering is right. It’s about serving fresh, wholesome food that’s well priced in attractive surroundings.”

Along with aesthetics, customer flow was a key consideration for Bowman’s restaurant. Cooper said: “We have 400 or more customers a day, yet there are no long queues because the counter layout offers various points to access the food, depending on what you want – a hot meal, a salad, a sandwich or a large variety of fresh fruit. Not having to wait is another reason for customers coming back time after time.”

A focal point of the restaurant is the salad bar, where customers can select from 30 different choices of fresh, healthy food, from grated carrot to smoked salmon and including artichoke hearts, fresh seasonal products and fruit.

“The salad bar looks great, which helps us promote healthy eating, and is very popular – it’s constantly busy,” said Cooper.

The counters include a variety of units such as bains marie, chilled displays, sandwich multidecks, and wok stations. There are also soup stations, beverage units, tray pick-ups and plate lowerators.

All the Moffat counters in the restaurants feature stainless steel construction and granite worktops. They also make use of Moffat’s ‘green thinking’ technologies, such as energy-saving multi-fan heating systems.

“Sustainability is a key issue for us, whether it’s locally sourced foods or energy-saving catering equipment made using recyclable materials,” said Cooper.

The counters were designed in conjunction with C&C Catering Equipment of Chester, which also installed the units.

Firtrees restaurant recently received the prestigious Leverhulme Merit Award with the acknowledgement that is was run by ‘a friendly, well-managed team who have taken pride in a highly-successful refurbishment and in providing quality food in a wellplanned, controlled and highly-professional way’

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“We pride ourselves on fresh, healthy products, marketed well and well priced,” said Cooper. “Since the refurbishment we’re packed out. The counters have made a huge difference. They present the food favourably, making it eye-catching and giving it great customer appeal.”