Morrison Healthcare at Mayo Clinic Phoenix Brings Meatless Monday to Their Cafeteria

August 28th, 2017

This week, Meatless Monday is putting the spotlight on a new addition to the meat-free campaign. Morrison Healthcare at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona recently implemented Meatless Monday in their three cafeterias, serving vegetarian meals once a week to staff and visitors of the top hospital in the state. The campaign was well-received by everyone who took part and its successful launch may bring Meatless Monday to other Mayo Clinics in Rochester, Minnesota and Jacksonville, Florida.

We spoke to Eric Schiellerd, Executive Chef at Morrison Healthcare, to see how Meatless Monday is going and what he has planned:

Chef Eric Schiellerd

What was the impetus for starting Meatless Monday in your cafeterias?
The Meatless Monday concept was first brought to me in 2015 at McLaren Hospital in Michigan. I was very excited to try something new and fresh for our operation. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of support getting the program off the ground. After transferring to Mayo Clinic Phoenix I quickly learned of the strong push for great tasting vegetarian options in our cafes. I teamed up with our wellness coordinator Laura Dan and we have been building a great program for our client and guests.

What kind of feedback have you received from customers since offering Meatless Monday options?
The feedback has been wonderful with most of our customers. They love to have options and a plant-based entrée is what was missing from our menus.

How do you think Mayo Clinic in Phoenix can serve as an example to other cafeterias in medical facilities?
I think in every facility you have people telling you a meatless option won’t work and is a waste of time, but you can’t let them talk you out of a great program like this. With great marketing, food and menu choices it can work for just about any operation.

Do you think that providing health-focused food choices in a hospital cafeteria encourages hospital staff to “practice what they preach” and take better care of themselves?
I think all people in this type of environment want to be healthier. If they trust that the food will taste as good as it is good for them, they will buy in to it.

Do you participate in Meatless Monday yourself? Share some thoughts on your philosophy on meatless eating.
I do participate in one meatless meal every Monday. I think it’s tragic to see of all the plant-based food that is turned back into the soil because it isn’t “pretty enough” for the supermarket. We need to get creative and make great tasting meals using these products. Programs like Meatless Monday let us do that very thing. I’m proud to work in an organization that gives me the freedom to menu all types of food, including great plant based meals.

If you want to bring Meatless Monday to your business or organization, or if you already participate in Meatless Monday – we want to know! Get in touch with us at!