AHS selects vendors to provide retail food services in Calgary and Edmonton

August 17, 2022

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has entered into negotiations with three vendors to provide retail food services at several AHS sites, following a Request for Proposal process.

The goal is to expand the options and availability of food at cafeterias and coffee shops at several sites, including Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary Cancer Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Sheldon M Chumir Health Centre, University of Alberta Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

AHS already contracts approximately 40 percent of retail food services in Calgary and Edmonton. When negotiations are concluded, AHS will now contract out 100 percent of retail food services in these cities. Having external vendors provide these services allows AHS to focus on its core mandate of health care delivery. AHS maintains oversight of all contracts. This decision will result in approximately $3 million in revenue annually that will be driven into health care services.

The selected vendors are Aramark, Compass and Sodexo. The next steps are to finalize contracts and work with current staff to transition to other roles in the health care system, to the new vendors, or to help them transition out of AHS.

“Alberta’s government is committed to improving all aspects of the hospital experience,” said Jason Copping, Minister of Health. “This includes improving core services like retail food delivery for those visiting loved ones in care.”

“Contracting out Retail Food Services could provide $3 million per year in revenue that will be used to support core clinical services,” said Mauro Chies, Interim President and CEO, Alberta Health services. “Redirecting health care dollars to frontlines allows us to continue to provide high-quality health care to Albertans.”

Throughout this process, AHS has ensured that all decisions have been made with quality in mind. AHS will continue to offer variety and healthy food options to AHS staff, visitors, volunteers, physicians and patients who purchase from these Retail Food Services outlets.

This transition will impact approximately 240 full-time, part-time and casual employees.  AHS is committed to working with them and their union throughout this process. AHS anticipates there will be opportunities for employment with the new vendors or elsewhere in the health care system.

Timelines for implementation and confirmation of the vendor for each site’s food service outlet are part of the ongoing negotiations that have just been initiated and further details will be provided as soon as the information becomes available.

Retail food services are the public-facing food and beverage outlets located within AHS facilities, that provide a range of eating options to staff and visitors and are exclusive of the food services provided to patients.

AHS is focused on providing high-quality healthcare to Albertans, while at the same time ensuring we are adaptable and focused on innovation that will allow us to deliver the highest-quality care in a sustainable fiscal environment. This is about Albertans, and ensuring the health care system is sustainable, both immediately and over the long term.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.