Highmark employs over 2,000 people, and the new Dining and Foodservice areas provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for gathering for meals, snacks, and shopping for gift items. The space formerly occupied by the Bluetique gift shop was incorporated into the new Health Place, a well-equipped health and exercise facility which was renovated along with the Dining and Foodservice. The expanded store continues to provide gourmet coffee along with a variety of gift merchandise. The expanded location also provides a selection of “grab and go” menu items for breakfast and lunch, and an adjacent small café provides limited seating.
The kitchen provides a variety of dining options from sit down meals to take out. The foodservice area required significant renovation in order to meet current building codes, and involved complete redesign of the foodservice areas. New equipment, along with some existing equipment was configured to streamline the preparation and delivery of food. A new contemporary dishwashing room was incorporated into the expanded dining room, and a modern dishwashing/waste collection system replaces the existing antiquated equipment.
The new multi-station serving area incorporates an expanded grill, deli, pizza and hot menu items, and the soup and salad stations were expanded to offer takeout items. A primary goal of the design was to eliminate the need to stock food, drinks, and condiments on the public side, and the design allows restocking from the non-public side of the serving stations.
A major portion of the existing patio was enclosed to expand the dining area to accommodate 775 seats. In addition to the tables and chairs, a series of high counters with stools are provided. The vending and staff “brown bag “refrigerators are located adjacent to the main entrances, and are screened from the dining area. The remaining patio area has been redesigned to provide a relaxing alternative to the indoor seating areas with views of the surrounding mountains and woods, and a trellis provides an area of protection from the sun.