After Fifteen Years At Your Request Room Service Dining® Has Redefined Hospital Dining

June 06, 2011

150,000 meals prepared and delivered 'to order' each day at 350 hospitals

After Fifteen Years At Your Request Room Service Dining® Has Redefined Hospital Dining

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 6, 2011 – A decade and a half ago the revolutionary concept that hospital patients could eat "what they want, when they want it" rather than set menus at pre-determined times was a revolutionary concept. Today, 350 Sodexo client hospitals across North America ranging from 18 to 944 beds are now empowering their patients―and increasing satisfaction with their dining services an average of 42 points―by offering them At Your Request-Room Service Dining®.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is the latest to add the At Your Request service. With just under 300 beds, the Lawton, Oklahoma facility serving as the regional medical hub in Southwest Oklahoma was looking to enhance the overall hospital experience for patients and their guests. After visiting other hospitals, they were convinced that empowering patients in this manner would improve their satisfaction.

"All food is now being made to order, so everything is fresher and made to each person’s specifications," says Paul Cowan, director of dietary services. "The response from patients was exceptional. They were all very excited about the many food choices and the opportunity to get what they wanted, when they wanted it."  Another great aspect of the program according to Cowan is there is less waste, which saves money, because everyone gets what they want. 

In the fifteen years since At Your Request® was first pioneered by Sodexo managers at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston, patients have embraced both the empowerment and flexibility that come from being able to order made-to-order foods of their liking (within their medical guidelines) at a time when they often feel powerless by their medical situation.

"This takes patient-centered care from theory to reality," says Sylvia Mortenson, RD, Sodexo AYR Brand Manager until she retired. "It is a huge organizational change that requires getting the entire staff involved. Nursing is obviously a key component." In addition to training staff, printing and distributing menus, and installing computer systems that combine patient information with the daily offering, Sodexo sometimes must retrofit existing facilities or design new kitchens to accommodate the new way of preparing and serving meals.

Today, at least eighty five percent of room service eligible patients at these hospitals take advantage of At Your Request®, translating to more than 150,000 At Your Request® meals prepared and served each day.

As soon as a patient is admitted to the hospital, he or she is able select their meal choices from a restaurant-style menu. By calling the number provided from their hospital room phone, they are connected to a specially trained room service operator, who uses state of the art touch screen technology to take the order and link it to the patient and room number. The program confirms whether or not an item the patient chooses is consistent with their physician-prescribed diet, the operator suggests alternatives to non-conforming choices.

About Sodexo

Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (, leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $15 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions
Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo is the strategic partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo's 380,000 employees, in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled range of On-site Service Solutions and Motivation Solutions. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates and to the fulfillment of its employees.

Key Figures (as of August 31, 2010)

Sodexo in the World 
15.3 billion euro consolidated revenue
380,000 employees
34,000 sites
50 million consumers served daily
80 countries
21st largest employer worldwide

Sodexo in North America
8.0 billion dollars revenue
120,000 employees
10 million consumers served daily
6,000 clients
700 facilities management sites

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