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Luau décor heralds the return of retail at two Chicago-area hospitals.

Luau events say “aloha” to retail at two Advocate Aurora Health centers

Dueling start-of-summer Hawaiian parties let community know ‘retail is back open and ready for business’

A taste of the tropics has been the celebratory way to say “aloha again” to retail traffic for Advocate Condell Medical Center and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, both part of Advocate Aurora Health, a large hospital system in the Chicago area.

“Both events were successful in driving foot traffic to the retail locations,” says Anne Markwell, food and nutrition manager at Condell. “We want to ensure our customers know that retail is back and ready for business.”

Condell Café made its luau a summer solstice event, co-sponsored by the Condell Fun-Raising Committee (a group that’s dedicated to finding excuses to brighten the employees’ workday). And Good Shepherd’s luau was a celebration of recent great results from a team member engagement survey.

Hawaiian_plate.jpgPhoto: This hearty Hawaiian plate was the centerpiece of Condell’s luau.

The menu template was shared between the two locations, created by production supervisor Chai Patel. Menu items included a grilled Huli Huli chicken with pineapple rice and rainbow salad. The event was sweetened up with lots of desserts, including passion fruit-coconut cake and fresh-cracked coconuts with straws for sipping.

Huli Huli chicken is actually a historic Hawaiian dish dating back to 1954, when a Naval officer and a Hawaiian chicken farmer founded the Pacific Poultry Company in ‘Ewa, Hawaii. Coating chicken in a teriyaki-like sauce and grilling it on a spit (“huli huli” means “turn turn”) became a signature dish, and a way to raise money for charity for many church and school fundraisers in Hawaii.

The foodservice teams are currently planning more pop-up events, such as “Under the Tuscan Sun,” which will feature bruschetta, steak Toscana, penne pomodoro and other Italian favorites. With the Olympics happening, there are possibilities there, too, for more fun food events. And of course, barbecue will play a role this summer, so we’ll be sure to stay tuned for that.

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