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:
- Chicago schools reopen at least temporarily, pending union vote
The Chicago Teachers Union’s governing body has voted to suspend its labor action and return to in-person work Jan. 11, at least temporarily ending a bitter dispute with Chicago Public Schools and setting up students to return to classrooms the next day for the first time in a week. The union’s house of delegates voted 389 to 226 in favor of suspending the work action, but the CTU’s 25,000 members still must vote later this week on whether to approve the potential agreement.
Read more: CPS students to return to classrooms Wednesday after CTU suspends walkout
- Teachers make, deliver food to home-bound students
Meanwhile, a little west of Chicago, at the Summit Academy in the Village of Machesney Park, faculty still remaining on the job after the school went to remote learning due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and teacher shortages are cooking, packing and delivering meals to more than 120 students over the next two weeks. Students will receive ten breakfasts and ten lunches, something that school leaders say not every family is capable of during the pandemic.
Read more: Machesney Park teachers deliver meals to students after COVID shuts down school
- Remote work demands may lead to “huge battles,” prof suggests
In an issue with major ramifications for corporate dining programs, flexible work arrangements seem to have become non-negotiable for job-seekers and employees alike, so much so that people now value such flexibility as much as a 10% pay raise, according to new research from the WFH Research Project. It's something not all employers are on the same page with and will probably lead to “huge battles” between employees and managers in the coming months, according to Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University who co-founded a research team in May 2020 to study the issue. Bloom adds that he expects companies that have held out on offering flexible work arrangements to relent soon and offer their employees the option to work from home indefinitely due to hiring constraints.
Read more: Expect ‘huge battles’ over working from home between employees and bosses soon, says Stanford professor who’s studied remote work for 20 years
- FoodWorks debuts event program featuring celebrity chefs
Chicago-based FoodWorks, a Compass Group unit that works with clients to install independent restaurant brands into in-house dining spaces, has announced a program called ALIST that brings notable/celebrity chefs to parties and events with cooking demos, catering and other unique offerings. “The ALIST program is like your personal concierge to the country’s best chefs,” says FoodWorks President John Coker. “We are excited to offer this new option and experience, which can be curated to meet the needs of any event and create truly memorable experiences—from unique catering at sporting events and large-scale events, to workplaces that are looking for ways to engage employees back at the office, and much more.”
Read more: Foodworks Debuts The ALIST, A One-stop Show to Bring Top Culinary Talent and Celebrity Chefs To Events and Workplaces
- Local restaurant’s lobby kiosk helps fill hospital’s retail food gap
The On The Run Cinnabun kiosk in the lobby of St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford in Massachusetts has been helping fill the onsite retail food gap since the cafeteria temporarily closed due to the pandemic and staffing shortages. On The Run Cinnabun's original location nearby—where a majority of customers were St. Luke's employees drawn to its famous cinnamon rolls and other pastries—closed after its lease expired. In addition to On the Run, St. Luke’s has an onsite 24/7 micro-market that offers grab-and-go items with a self-checkout process.
Read more: Got an On the Run Cinnabun craving? New St. Luke's Hospital kiosk offers pastry and more
Bonus: Sodexo to acquire major c-store services firm
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]