Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fundraising Idea - Cafe 4 You

For many year, I was a champion in fundraising for United Way at work. I decided to share my idea on how to manage a coffee stand to raise money. The idea is to "bring the cafe to your desk" - save your colleagues' time from going to the break room to get coffee and cookies. To further your profit, you may use supplies from your break room.

For the most part, I go to JKS Houston Restaurant & Equipment Supplies for serving stuff and Kroger Store in Spring Branch for baked goods.

I have used this logo on all communications.

Supplies Needed:
Ground coffee about $5 per bag;
Cookies from local bakery ($10 per dozen);
Foam cups and lids from restaurant supply store ($5);
Containers of sugar, creamer and sugar alternatives ($5);
Hot chocolate package ($1.75/box per 10 bags)
Hot cider packages ($2.00/box per 10 bags)
Energy bars ($3/box per 18 piece value pack)
Napkins ($2/ pack store brand)
Stirrers ($2/pack from dollar store)

Material Needed:
Push cart - dress it up with disposable tablecloth, signs and balloons
Coffee airpot that would fit under your automatic drip coffee machine from your break room.
Servers wear aprons ($20) - it would be nice

You need to raise initial funds for the initial funding to purchase these supplies.
Ask your volunteers to work different shifts, day time and afternoon; 2 volunteers per shift.
Make sure you start with some dollar bills in the bill folds.
Once the concession starts, tell your volunteers not to accept unapproved items for sale. Don't want to mass such as dollar store cookies.

Profit Margin:
You can sell a 8 oz cup for $1 and 16 oz for $2. Each airpot will yield 12 8-oz cups. Each 12 oz bag of coffee will yield 5 to 6 brews. So, looking at a $5 investment, your revenue is $72 per bag of coffee and your return is $67. But you must add other costs of cups, lids, sugar, creamer and stirrers. It's still a pretty good profit margin. This is why I stop going to Starbucks. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

MH Hospital Food Review

After a couple of extended visits at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, I've decided to write a review on hospital food as a reminder. Just in case I forgot how to order.

Nice presentation of Grilled Salmon dinner.

The colorful menu has a variety of delicious restaurant-quality food. It is designed with dietary requirements in 3 forms:

  • Clear Liquid - Not much choice. Very clear like you can see through the cup.
  • Full Liquid - Minimum choice of soups, jello, pudding, ice cream, mashed potato and stuff. It's better than baby food. Trust me. 
  • Regular Diet - Real food for general public. Don't go overboard. If you are in the hospital for lowering blood pressure or cholesterol, make sure you go with a low-salt option. You can season it with Ms Dash. If you are here to watch blood sugar, you want to choose low-sugar option. 
Sampled Dishes:

  • Grilled Salmon - very dry but tasty. If you have digestion problem, skip it. You can snack it like a fish jerky later drizzle with some lemon juice. 
  • Mashed Potato - buttery and creamy. It's my favorite. 
  • Grilled Burger - well-seasoned patty on toasted bun. Another of my favorite.
  • Side Salad - fresh like came out of a bag. Make sure you get the dressing package.
  • Seasoned String Beans - I love it. So fresh, because it was in season.
  • Steamed Vegetables - not canned, not microwaved. Really good seasonal vegetables.
  • Sugar-free Jello - pretty good and it's in a sealed container. 
  • Breakfast - you can only get 2 sausage links if you asked for hash brown. I ate my breakfast in the cafeteria on Level C. So, can't you what's good. I heard hash brown was good.

To order, you must call the Menu Line 6500 for each meal (you can ask nurse for an outside line). Since it's made to order, it will take up to 45 minutes before you get to eat. You must call before 6:30 pm and kitchen closes at 7 pm daily. If you missed it, you'll get a "floor tray" at the nurse station - food of the day.

The food service is contracted to Sodexo - a Hospitality company. Order accuracy is about 70%. If they miss something, just call the menu line and someone will come to get it right. Sunday is the worst day, expect issues. So, just be patient, well, you're already a patient.

Guest tray is $8 breakfast and $9 lunch/dinner.