Skip navigation
5 Things
wood-fired pizza oven.png
Gone are the days of prepackaged sandwiches and simple salad bars. Now employers want margarita pizzas from wood-fired ovens.

5 things: Upgraded in-house corporate dining one reason restaurant lunch business is down

This and a study showing that about a quarter of patients outgrow food allergies are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

 1.    Upgraded onsite corporate dining pressures area restaurant lunch business

One reason restaurants in downtown areas might find themselves lacking in lunchtime traffic is because employers are going to greater lengths to make offices attractive, tempting workers to stay on-site with high-end corporate cafeterias, according to an extensive Washington Post analysis. Jared Walton, director of national accounts and sales operations at Baldor Specialty Foods, said that companies are investing heavily in corporate cafeterias as they try to pull employees back to offices and compete for workers in a sardine-tight labor market. Gone are the days of prepackaged sandwiches and simple salad bars. Now employers want margarita pizzas from wood-fired ovens, black angus burgers with special cheese from Vermont, Walton said. He’s gotten scores of requests to set up farmers markets — with local, organic produce — inside corporate cafes. Employers are “asking more questions” of operators, driven by employee desires: “Not only do I want local, organic, sustainable, heritage heirloom tomatoes, but I also want it grown by a minority farmer,” Walton said. “These are the things that are now important.”

Read more: What did the pandemic do to lunch?

 2.    Too many workers with not enough to do being blamed for mass corporate layoffs

Now that Meta, Amazon, Google, Apple and other technology behemoths have laid off 168,000 people since the start of the year, some of those who got the pink slip are lashing out about excessive hiring that led to their losing their jobs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Big Tech companies that found themselves flush with cash during the pandemic went on a hiring spree to build a deep bench and squeeze out the competition, according to some workers who say they were hired to do virtually nothing. Derrick McMillen, who worked at Facebook and Salesforce before the pandemic, says only about 20% of the employees at Big Tech companies do the bulk of the work, while the majority kicks back in their highly compensated jobs, concentrating on frivolities like on-site yoga and long lunches.

Read more: Big Tech's Hiring Spree Created Idle Workers

 3.    Study: About one-quarter of patients outgrow food allergies

About one-quarter of children and adults with an IgE-mediated food allergy eventually outgrew it, according to data presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting. Approximately one in 10 adults and one in 13 children currently live with one IgE-mediated food allergy or more, the researchers said, although these allergies might not persist throughout their entire lives.

Read more: About one-quarter of patients outgrow food allergies

 4.    Special Penn State dinner celebrates foods from around the world

Penn State Campus Dining offered a special World Showcase dinner featuring dishes from around the world at its five dining commons at University Park on Wednesday, April 12. The special dinner will include food and drinks from 10 nations.

Read more: Campus Dining hosting special World Showcase dinner on April 12

 5.    Target Field initiative supports minority-owned businesses

A new shopping experience called Creators Corner that features businesses led by underrepresented groups such as women, people of color and indigenous people debuted at the Minnesota Twins opening day at Target Field in early April. Each of these businesses will receive a $10,000 investment from the Twins and during this time of worker shortages everywhere, they won't have to worry about any staffing because Delaware North, which handles all the retail and concessions for the Twins, will be providing the staff for the three businesses.

Read more: First Chance to Check Out This New Shopping Experience at Target Field

Bonus: Food Management’s 2023 Top 50 Contract Management Companies in education, healthcare, business and sports/entertainment venues

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.