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:
- University of Maryland ends carryout, goes to dine-in only in dining halls
Two weeks into its spring semester, University of Maryland dining halls have removed carryout options and reverted to dine-in only. The shift to carryout-only had been made temporarily at the end of the last semester to curb rising COVID infection rates but the cost of the carryout containers has precluded continuing the policy, Dining Services spokesperson Bart Hipple said, adding that the containers also hamper the university's goal to be a carbon neutral campus by 2025, given the waste they generate.
- Meanwhile, Oberlin shifts from grab-and-go to hybrid dine-in
Oberlin College has announced that, beginning March 7, all campus dining locations will expand from exclusively grab-and-go options to a hybrid model that includes in-person dining with social distancing. However, it plans to maintain its indoor mask mandate and slowly relax COVID-19 protocols, while the local Oberlin City Schools has removed its indoor mask mandate in pre-K–12 classrooms and in district transportation.
- A student-run fine dining pop-up pops up at Princeton
PPop Up is a new student-run fine-dining pop-up experience at Princeton University that hosts semi-regular dinner services featuring a prix fixe menu of dishes invented, tested, fine-tuned, prepared, and served by students out of an upperclass dorm kitchen. A recent menu featured an appetizer of house-cured salmon on an “invisible” potato chip with charred scallion-everything cream cheese, pickled radish, and alfalfa microgreens; a main course of sous vide duck leg paired with butternut squash purée, blackberry pan sauce and red cabbage slaw; and a dessert of a caramelized poached pear with a rosemary tuile and a honey goat cheese mousse topped with carbonated sugar.
- Officials tout Virginia district’s local sourcing as model for U.S. schools
Two USDA officials and Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va. recently visited a Prince William County Schools site in Virginia to highlight its local-sourcing practices as a model for schools across the nation and to push for more federal support for school nutrition programs generally in the face of supply chain problems and staffing shortages. “That’s why it’s so important that we have a lot of local food sourcing,” Wexton said. "That really helps with supply chain issues and that’s one of the things that we’ve seen here in Prince William County. Because they get so much locally, they haven’t experienced the same level of supply chain disruption that a lot of our other schools have.”
- Apple said to make April 11 its return-to-office date for U.S. staff
One major bellwether for corporate return-to-office trends is what’s happening in Silicon Valley, where firms have invested heavily in facilities and amenities like dining services and so have a vested interest in getting maximum use out of those investments. Now, following multiple return-to-office dates for its staff and most recently an indefinite delay, one of the area’s heaviest of heavyweights, Apple, is said to have chosen April 11 as its return to office date for U.S. corporate employees. There is no indication of whether a date has been set for international staff, nor are there any further details but Apple previously has said at different times that it will allow staff to work remotely either for a two-week, or a one-month period.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected].com