Compass Group USA’s Morrison Healthcare sector provides dining and nutrition services to more than 630 hospitals and health systems across the country. The below excerpt originally appeared in Food Management.

Customization, convenience, wellness issues, extended hours, customer preferences for authenticity and variety. These are all factors driving changes in how foodservices are provided in hospital settings.

Many of these priorities are incorporated into Copper Spoon Coffee Co., a coffee shop concept recently introduced by Morrison Healthcare, a unit of Compass Group USA that operates at some 600 hospitals and healthcare systems nationally.

Copper Spoon offers a recognizable branded coffee—generally Starbucks though the concept is flexible—as its basis and adds a customized food menu that includes both packaged grab-and-go selections made onsite in the production kitchen and a basic to-order hot food component such as pressed sandwiches or paninis.

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The concept debuted earlier this year at Methodist University Hospital of Memphis, where it replaced an underperforming coffee shop that had been generating about $350,000 a year in sales. Copper Spoon is on track to triple that, according to Kevin Dorr, Morrison’s vice president of retail solutions, who oversaw the development of Copper Spoon.

The food menu emphasizes breakfast items in the morning—a bagel topped with smoked salmon and Gouda cheese is especially popular—and transitions to a sandwich/soup/salad mix around 11 a.m. Pastries are also available all day. Customer counts currently average 1,363 during the day and an additional 90 overnight between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“Many times the coffee shop is the first impression of food and service in a hospital. It may be in the lobby at the front door so having a real experience there is critical to setting the tone,” says Dorr.

Copper Spoon 2Copper Spoon had been in development for some nine months before its rollout at Methodist-Memphis, “but it’s never really complete,” Dorr laughs. “We always listen to customers to see how we can make it better.”

The concept is flexible in terms of space requirements, ranging from a basic open kiosk platform to different sizes of enclosed spaces.

A second Copper Spoon unit is expected to open at a hospital site in Virginia by mid-summer followed by one in Detroit and another site in Memphis. Another 10 sites are in the discussion phase, including an especially large unit in a “beautiful space” at the University of Miami Hospital that will be open to the public, Dorr says. That one will specialize in Cuban-style coffees and sandwiches, reflecting the adaptability of the concept to regional preferences.

Dorr expects as many as 50 units to open eventually across the Morrison hospital clientele.

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