in brief

Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) has named David Davidson director for operations. A former HUDS associate director, he had been serving as director for retail dining since returing to Harvard after several years as dining services director at Yale University and then Phillips Exeter Academy.

Sodexo posted an 8.4% increase in revenues in its 2008 fiscal year, ended August 31, though that shrank to 1.7% when currency exchange factors are applied. In North America, revenues organically grew 4.2%, 5.4% when adjusted for a comparable 52-week basis for the previous year. The North American gains were led by the Healthcare/Seniors unit.

Aramark Refreshment Services has acquired Brand Coffee Service Inc., which provides coffee and refreshment services to nearly 3,000 clients throughout Texas. Its business is concentrated in the metropolitan centers of Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

The Art Institute of Chicago has named James Beard Award-winning chef/cookbook author (The Spiaggia Cookbook, Wine Bar Food) Tony Mantuano executive chef and managing partner of its yet-to-be-named Modern Wing Restaurant. The 140-seat dining facility is scheduled to open next May, in conjunction with the new Renzo Piano-designed building for the museum.

Elementary school students will eat more whole grains when healthier bread products are gradually introduced into their school lunches, a new University of Minnesota study shows. The study appears in the fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management.

Aramark has signed a five-year agreement with event management firm Live Nation to co-manage food and beverage concessions at 34 of Live Nation's North American amphitheaters with Live Nation's SMG-Savor foodservice division.

South Dakota State University's board of regents has approved a Residential Life and Dining Services Master Plan for 2008 to 2018 that calls for a $5 million expansion, including a new residential hall and renovations to existing dining halls on campus. The plan is needed, the school says, because enrollment is expected to increase by about 16 percent over the next five years, putting even more pressure on already crowded dining venues.

Ovations Food Services landed its first international contract, a deal to provide food/beverage and catering services to the new Spaladium arena in Split, Croatia. The 12,000-seat venue is scheduled to open on December 27, 2008. Other units of Ovations parent Comcast-Spectacur will manage the facility and sell naming rights, luxury suites, premium seating, and advertising.

Portland (OR) State University plans to make its Ondine dining hall a zero-waste facility, include composting all food waste, eliminating unnecessary packaging and sending all used cooking oil out to be reprocessed into biofuel.

The Houston Independent School District is gearing up production from its new $50 million centralized kitchen facility. Eight schools began getting their food from the facility in October as a pilot. All of the district's nearly 300 campuses, representing some 220,000 daily meals, are slated to be participating by next fall.

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