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Parkland Memorials Retail Manager Tony Davidson
Parkland Memorial’s Retail Manager Tony Davidson oversees the hospital’s c-store, Park Café and other retail initiatives.

Food Truck Helps Bridge the Overnight Gap

Hospital nutrition department contracts with mobile operator to provide third shift service.

Parkland Memorial Hospital food truck
A food truck at its day surgery unit.

Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas has found a way to provide its employees and visitors with convenient access to retail foodservices around the clock. During the day, the hospital operates a c-store and a branded Starbucks station, both near the main cafeteria, which stays open all day. Then, for overnight staff, Parkland contracted with a local food truck operator that brings its vehicle to the main entrance from 2:30 to 6 a.m. early each morning.

The truck is a solution to an ongoing problem at Parkland, as in many hospitals: how to provide quality foodservice to overnight shifts in a cost effective manner.

An earlier midnight service initiative failed to generate sufficient revenue, but a visit to a local food truck show last spring put the Parkland team in contact with an operator that runs vehicles at night.

The Yum Yum Food Truck from United Caterers has everything Parkland wanted: upscale feel, fresh offerings and a blend of breakfast and lunch selections, says Retail Manager Tony Davidson of Parkland’s Nutrition Services Department.

“In our arrangement we offer the right to park at certain locations at certain times; they share a percentage of the sales to our employees and visitors with us,” he explains.

Those locations include one just outside the main entrance (under an overhang to protect against inclement weather) for 2:30 to 6 a.m. employees), then one at the construction site across the street where construction crews are working on Parkland’s new facility. The truck’s odyssey winds up later in the day stationed near the day surgery unit.

The added stops help even out its financials for the campus visit.

“They do about $250 overnight, which wouldn’t be enough as a standalone,” Davidson says. “Moving on to the construction site makes up the shortfall.”

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