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Bill of Health

Hospital café uses special software to print custom nutrition data, promo offers on customer receipts

At the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center (UCSFMC), retail dining customers now get personalized nutrition information about their purchases right on their sales receipts. The initiative uses a program called Nutricate Pro from vendor SmartReceipt, Inc., that prints calorie, fat, carbohydrate and sodium counts from the purchased items on the sales slip, along with promotions and discount offers.

The basic Nutricate Pro program is used by a number of retailers to provide information about standardized menu items and pre-packaged items like bottled beverages, but UCSFMC has taken it one step further by integrating the program with its back-of-the-house nutrition and menu production software. The synthesis allows UCSFMC to provide individualized nutrition data from hundreds of dishes with different portion sizes served in its cafeteria.

For menu items with a lot of ingredient variance, such as pizza or burritos, the receipt provides an average count and designates it as such. In all cases, the nutrition information is provided in the context of average daily requirements such as the 2,000 or 2,500 calories suggested for women and men by the government.

UCSFMC launched the initiative this summer in its Moffitt Café Express c-store and extended it to its main cafeteria in October. “We had renovated the cafeteria last year, and that included the installation of digital signage to provide nutrition information,” says UCSFMC Director of Nutrition and Food Services Dan Henroid. “Now, that same information, customized to each individual's order, can be printed on their receipts.”

The technology allows UCSFMC to encourage more healthful dining habits. For example, customers purchasing sugary beverages may get discount offers for healthier options such as bottled water.

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