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The University of Massachusetts-Amherst DenisTangneyJr / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has reopened two retail outlets—Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the Integrative Learning Center and Argo Tea in Southwest Residential Area—that had been closed since the start of the school year due to staffing shortages.

5 things: UMass reopens some retail while Stanford and Notre Dame cut operating hours

This and a quarterly revenue drop from a major healthcare management firm 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. Stanford, Notre Dame cut dining venue hours

Due to pandemic-related staff shortages, late-night dining operations on the Stanford University and University of Notre Dame campuses remain either shuttered indefinitely or with truncated hours of operation.

At Stanford, the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons and Lakeside Dining—previously open until 2 a.m.—now close at 9 p.m. while retail cafés such as TAP and Coffee House (CoHo) have also reduced their hours of operation and popular sandwich shop Olives on Main Quad is closed indefinitely. However, revenues don't seem to have been significantly affected as CoHo—previously open from 7 a.m.-12 a.m. daily but now closing at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 10 p.m. on Monday—has only seen a revenue drop of about 2% compared to pre-pandemic times, says Assistant Manager Mayra Mondragon.

Meanwhile at Notre Dame, campus retail staples such as Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Modern Market have limited hours of operation and the dining halls are closed in the late afternoons, resulting in large crowds during the remaining hours of operation. Luis Alberganti, senior director of Campus Dining, says that they are implementing creative solutions to meet demand by “revising wages, adding student labor, partnering with high schools and, most importantly, referring staff to bring co-workers.”

Read more: What happened to late-night? Staffing shortages cause limited operations for campus dining and Shortened Hours

  1. UMass reopens some retail locations

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has reopened two retail outlets—Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the Integrative Learning Center and Argo Tea in Southwest Residential Area—that had been closed since the start of the school year due to staffing shortages, and plans to also reopen the Chicken & Co. unit in Southwest “in a couple of weeks” with evening hours two to three days a week. The reopening decisions were based on locations and traffic patterns, with units closer to the center of campus and usually busy all day getting priority, according to UMass Dining.

Read more: On-campus dining retailers reopening despite struggling with staff shortages

  1. Healthcare Services Group sees Q3 drop while service costs rise

FM Top 50 firm Healthcare Services Group, Inc. reported revenue of $415.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, compared with the $435.9 million posted over the same three-month period in 2020 and $455.6 million in 2019. The 2021 figure includes dining & nutrition segment revenues of $212.2 million.

Direct cost of services over the three-month period was reported at $364.8 million and included new business start-up costs of $2.3 million, primarily related to the addition of new dining & nutrition service agreements with existing housekeeping & laundry customers. Cost of services was also impacted by a $7.7 million increase in labor costs primarily driven by higher premium pay and employee bonuses and a 4.1% increase in menu item costs, compared to Q2, resulting in increased food spend of $2.5 million.

Read more: Healthcare Services Group, Inc. Reports Q3 2021 Results

  1. Cura rebrands to focus on post-pandemic healthcare environment

The Cura Hospitality unit of Elior North America has taken a comprehensive rebranding effort to meet the challenges of serving healthcare organizations and Life Plan Communities in the post-pandemic environment. The result of a year-long, highly collaborative effort showcasing a new distinctive identity with a new brand manifesto, company logo, and dining services website, the new brand identity "represents the next steps in our continued evolution as we mature from a regional healthcare dining services provider to one with a growing national presence,” says Acting Managing Director Trish Spellman.

Read more: Cura Hospitality Strengthens Its Brand To Focus On Culinary Innovation And Exemplary Service

  1. Parents petition for better school meals after pics of spoiled food emerge

Reportedly, more than 500 parents in the Lynn Public Schools in Massachusetts have signed a petition calling for fresher school meals after photos surfaced appearing to show students were served spoiled food for lunch. “Our kids deserve better,” one parent told a local news outlet. “Just because they have free lunch, doesn’t mean they deserve to eat rotten food—inedible food. It’s disgusting.”

Read more: Lynn parents petition school district after photos appear to show spoiled lunches

Bonus: Chefs to Watch: Sodexo’s Chef Dave McHugh creates a kinder kitchen

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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