Meal Delivery Ware Tune-up: How to Get New Ware for FREE


3-Step Tray Top Tune-up

Every fall, most of us start receiving mailings and emails from our local heating and air specialists to get our furnace tuned-up before the winter. The idea is to protect us against our furnace breaking down, especially on the coldest day of the year when we need it most! As cooler weather and the holiday season approaches, it’s also a good time to give our meal delivery systems a once-over to prepare us for the months when hot meals are an essential part of keeping our patients and residents happy and healthy.

Here are the key steps to making sure your tray top ware is ready to serve for the months to come:

1.     Identify and Discard Damaged Items

How worn is your ware? Non-NSF meal delivery ware is often made with multi-step processes and materials that increase vulnerability to damage from heavy use and repeated washing. Weed out items with cracks, burns, or gaps that could harbor water or bacteria, even after washing. Do any pieces feel considerably heavier than other comparable items? This is a sign that they are waterlogged and may be harboring dangerous bacteria. Discard damaged ware immediately. The product is compromised and is not safe to use.    

2.     Assess Colors and Styles

Vendors, personnel, popular styles, and colors come and go. Sometimes a mix of styles in the same color, or a combination of contrasting colors in the same style can be eclectic and fun. If the combination you’ve inherited is anything but fun, now may be the time to begin lobbying for a new look to enhance patient or resident satisfaction (and your own). If that large of a change isn’t possible, consider taking it more slowly by gradually adding components to complement the existing inventory that you like best while replacing styles and/or colors you like least to refresh the look of your tray top.

Mealtime may be the only thing your resident or patient has to look forward to. They will appreciate an attractive meal presentation. 

3.     Take a Count

Items such as insulated mugs seem to have appeal as a souvenir, so it’s common for inventory to gradually shrink over time. Once you’ve identified the amount of missing, damaged, and mismatched pieces, take an inventory of what you have left. You’ll want to have between 1.25 to 1.5x your number of licensed beds to ensure that you have enough clean ware to cover each meal for all your patients or residents. 

If your meal delivery tune-up turns up a shortage of presentable or usable pieces, we have reassuring news. Cambro gives away free mugs and bowls to customers who use Cambro disposable lids, meaning you may be able to fill in your inventory gaps or even get all new mugs and bowls for FREE. With two contemporary collections, Harbor and Shoreline, both available in a wide variety of popular colors, you can create a great-looking tray top that staff will be proud to serve and residents and patients will be pleased to receive.


To learn more about how to get free NSF-listed mugs, bowls and even tumblers, contact us for full program details. Trouble keeping foods hot or cold? We can help with that too!


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