Boston-based Unidine Corp. is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Founder and CEO Richard Schenkel calls his company a “disruptor in the industry” because it was the first company in 2001 in the food and dining management services industry to focus on healthy and fresh food delivery.
With operations in more than 200 locations nationwide, Unidine is one of the fastest growing food and dining management services. Now in 25 states, Unidine provides dining services to corporations, government, senior living communities and hospitals across the country.
Some examples of Unidine’s clients include:
• Corporate Dining: New Balance, Tufts Health Plan, Ocean Spray, Pepperidge Farm and eClinical Works.
• Healthcare: Wyckoff Medical Center in New York City, RCA Treatment Centers throughout the region, Shore Medical in New Jersey, Griffin Hospital in Connecticut and Beverly Hospital-Lahey Health Center in Massachusetts.
• Senior Living: Bangor Nursing in Maine, new client Fairing Way in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Copper Ridge in Maryland and Beth Shalom in Virginia Beach.
Founded in 2001, Unidine says its success is derived from consistent execution in four key areas: focus on food and dining management services; a commitment to scratch cooking with fresh, seasonal, responsibly sourced ingredients; exceptional customer service; and a corporate culture enlivened by each team member’s passion for culinary and service excellence.
Schenkel said he founded Unidine in 2001 because he had a vision of what food and dining management in senior services and hospitals should be in the trend of healthy eating.
“Residents and patients in these facilities deserve fresh, delicious food, enhanced choices, greater flexibility and top-notch service. To fulfill this vision, there needed to be a different kind of food and dining management company—one that blends culinary artistry, expertise in clinical nutrition, passion for service, strong management and infrastructure, and the flexibility to customize a dining program suited to the unique characteristics of each community that it serves. Unidine is the realization of that vision.”
He added, “It wasn’t long until we were approached by corporations that wanted the same dining management philosophy, fresh food commitment and focus on health and wellness programs, so we expanded into business dining. Today, our services also include government facilities and private schools, allowing us help share our unique approach to dining management with even more dining guests.”
Reflecting on the company’s early days, Schenkel said, “We did it on a hope and a prayer. We had to build the infrastructure. But back in 2001 I saw a big market opportunity in senior living and hospitals.”
Schenkel said his ideas “were radical back then but commonplace today.”
He noted that he is proud of his workforce, which he said has ability and passion to execute his plan.
“I am very proud of what we started. We have people who have been with us nine to 12 years, and they have the passion to be special culinarians.”
The company is growing at rate of 20 percent per year over the past seven to nine years, with this year’s revenue expected to hit as much as $325 million. When asked if his goal is to reach all 50 U.S. states, Schenkel said, “Success is not defined as in every of the 50 states. It’s the quality of each program.”