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5 things: Hospitals embrace “stealth” strategies to promote meatless dishes

This and how universal free lunches are fueling a fresh food boom in California schools 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.    Hospitals push meatless choices using stealth approaches

Hospitals are using stealth strategies to promote plant-based options in their retail operations, for example by avoiding words like "vegan" and "vegetarian" and instead emphasizing what's in the dish instead of what's not (i.e., meat and dairy). Other strategies include putting plant-based or plant-rich foods at the front of the buffet line and using contests such as asking staff to try a different plant-based item from the menu every day for 30 days.

Read more: Don't call it 'vegan' and other tips from hospitals to get people to eat less meat

 2.    Free lunch funds driving meal program upgrades in California schools

Last year California began providing free school lunches to all TK-12 students, regardless of family income. Now, with an influx of state and federal money, school districts are revamping kitchens and training staff so they can provide freshly made, healthy meals.

Read more: Goodbye hotdogs, hello vegan masala: California’s school lunches are going gourmet

 3.    Liberty University opens massive new dining center

Liberty University cut the ribbon on its new two-story, 120,000-sq.ft Reber-Thomas Dining Center on Aug. 9. The facility has more than 3,000 outdoor and indoor seats and 27 different stations with a variety of food options, including a gluten-free bake shop, an allergen-free room and chef stations for teaching culinary arts.

Read more: Liberty cuts the ribbon on new 120,000-square-foot dining center, a celebration of quality, service, and God’s blessings

 4.    Sodexo launches feedback program to enhance campus engagement policies

Sodexo has announced the September launch of The Quad Squad, a six-month program that will gather firsthand, real-time insights from 250 U.S. college students, including those on campuses where food and facilities are operated by Sodexo, are self-operated or operated by other contract firms. The Quad Squad’s input will be available in a matter of hours, providing Sodexo and its campus partners with relevant consumer feedback and perceptions to guide decision-making that will then be used to tailor the student experience to foster engagement and belonging.

Read more: College Campuses Gain Immediate Access to Student Perceptions through The Quad Squad, Sodexo’s Real-Time Student Insights Community

 5.    College football stadium announces fan-friendly concessions pricing

University of Missouri Athletics announced fan-friendly concessions pricing for five select concessions items along with several other food and beverage enhancements ahead of the 2023 football season at Memorial Stadium. Fan-friendly pricing will be in effect in the entire stadium and will feature cheeseburgers for $5, Conecuh Hot Dogs for $3 along with small popcorns, bottled water and bottled soda for $2.

Read more: Athletics Announces Fan-Friendly Pricing For Football Concessions

Bonus: Aramark rolls out fall ballpark LTO menu items

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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