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:
- Appeals court reinstates student suit seeking tuition, fee refunds
A federal appeals court has reversed a decision by U.S. District Judge Alan Albright of Waco, Texas to dismiss a lawsuit against Baylor University filed by student Allison King that alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment by the university. It seeks refunds for tuition, parking, housing, dining and other costs associated with attending Baylor after it converted temporarily to online-only classes during the 2020 spring semester. The panel said that Albright was wrong for finding that Baylor’s Financial Responsibility Agreement with students is “clear and unambiguous,” and “extinguishes any implied promise of in-person instruction.” The issue needs to be addressed further, the court ruled and sent the case back to Albright.
- Zoom’s struggles reflect changing remote work culture
In a sign that the pandemic era’s remote work culture is evolving into a more flexible phase, Zoom Video Communications Inc. says it is struggling to convince people to pay for its videoconferencing service in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to a trimmed forecast and falling stock price. In an interview with MarketWatch and an Aug. 22 conference call, Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg acknowledged that individuals and small businesses have changed their habits. Many aren’t flocking to the service as often or for as long as they did during the peak of the pandemic, when many Americans were working almost exclusively from home and socializing with friends over the service. An increase in one-on-one meetups, vacations and hybrid work schedules have altered the post-pandemic business cycle for Zoom, executives acknowledge, and getting users to pay is harder.
- Analysis: 29% of potential students opted out of college due to COVID
Whether they are taking fewer classes, switching schools or canceling college altogether, young adults continue to change their educational plans because of the coronavirus pandemic, with a team of analysts from insurance firm QuoteWizard finding that nearly 30% of potential students decided not to go to college because of COVID-19. Among key findings of the study are that 29% of potential students canceled all classes because of COVID-19, 36% are now taking classes in a different format (online), 9% changed schools because of COVID-19 and that Montana, Tennessee and Delaware have the highest numbers of students who canceled college over COVID-19 concerns.
- Schools looking to students to fill labor gap
Amidst dire employment shortages, some school districts are turning to students to fill the vacant positions of bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers. This NBC video report takes a look at how these work-programs can provide students with not just class credit but a valuable working experience.
- Northeastern resumes dining hall takeout option
Takeout programs at two Northeastern University dining halls are restarting in time for the fall semester, when the dining program will also expand the food locker program it debuted last year to include meals from more retail locations located on campus. Takeout service from the dining halls started during the COVID-19 pandemic but was sidelined as campus life returned to a normal routine, but is being reinstated because of the growing trend nationwide for college students to dine on their own schedule, says Chris Abayasinghe, associate vice president for business services who oversees the dining services program at Northeastern.
Meanwhile, the food locker program allows students to order food in advance and instead of waiting in line, they pick them up at secure, self-service kiosks located strategically around campus. Last year the service used food prepared in a ghost kitchen operated by a food management company, but this fall the lockers will be served by retail kitchens on campus, including Popeye’s, to give students more variety.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]