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Sodexo team at ProMedica Toledo Hospital stage wow-worthy outdoor pop-ups

Using a cooler cart, a grill and a lot of imagination, the food service crew at ProMedica made a splash during summer on the hospital’s patio and are riding into fall with creative, fun pop-ups that allow for safe distancing and fresh air.

Last winter in Toledo, a city in Ohio’s northwestern corner, the Sodexo foodservice staff at ProMedica Hospital were looking forward to spring weather and made a plan for a series of summer cookout-style outdoor pop-ups. Then came coronavirus and the pandemic and all the changes and challenges that brought for hospitals and those who feed them. Retail sales for the Sodexo-run program at ProMedica immediately plummeted, but a sudden bright spot has been those outdoor pop-ups, which turned out to be a much-needed escape during a tough season.

“We had originally planned so many fun events but with the pandemic, we had to trim it down and slim it down and just do what we can,” says Steve Fogle, director of nutrition at ProMedica.

With a slightly delayed start (after July 4), the pop-up cookouts emerged, full of style and flavor, with menus developed by Hannah Robertson, senior executive chef with Sodexo at ProMedica, who also organized fun giveaways and dress-up days to coincide with the cookouts.

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