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:
- Compass North America at 112% of 2019 organic revenues in Q3
Compass Group announced that third quarter organic revenues for its North American unit, the largest foodservice contract firm in the U.S., grew 49.7% while the multi-national company as a whole saw a 43.4% increase over the same period. The North American results also show that third quarter revenues are now running at 112% of the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. In its statement announcing the results, Compass also noted that it was "particularly pleased with the strength of the top line recovery in Business & Industry which is now trading above its 2019 level on a run-rate basis. Net new growth was very strong at 6.9%3, more than double the historical rate of 3%, and continues to be driven by increased first time outsourcing."
Read more: Third Quarter Trading Update
- USDA increases funding for school meals and farm-to-school programs
The USDA has announced that, effective July 1, 2022, the reimbursement schools receive for each meal served will increase by approximately $0.68 per free/reduced-price lunch and $0.32 per free/reduced price breakfast. The increase includes both a required annual adjustment in reimbursement rates to reflect the cost of food and an extra temporary per-meal boost in reimbursements from the recent Keep Kids Fed Act. In addition, the Department announced that it is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country and for the first time is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years.
Read more: USDA Announces Increased Funding for School Meals, Child and Adult Care Meals and USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Increases Access to Local, Healthy Foods for Kids
- Major League ballpark concessions feeling inflation’s bite
An analysis of Major League Baseball ballpark food and beverage prices this season found increases driven by supply issues such as an acquisition cost rise of between 20% and 30% for hot dogs between January 2021 and May 2022, the "highest annual increase in the past thirty years," according to one vendor official. It was driven by record-high prices of raw materials—"packaging, corrugate, labor, meat, spices, gas"—the vendor official said, adding that annual price increases for hot dogs had typically ranged between 0% and 5% before January 2021. Similar increases in other ballpark F&B staples were also found, perhaps contributing to an overall attendance drop of 5.4% this season from pre-pandemic 2019.
Read more: How inflation is affecting your wallet at the ballpark concession stand this season
- Chicago Schools taste testing potential new menu items
Chicago Public Schools is taste testing incoming dishes with students, parents and community members around the city in an effort to better cater to the taste buds of students, with plans to hold 40 separate taste tests this summer. One recent test at the Heart of Chicago neighborhood’s Whittier Elementary of an egg and potato breakfast taco, a veggie pasta salad topped with a light dressing and a creamy chocolate-chickpea dip unsurprisingly found that he kids loved the chocolate-chickpea dip and liked the breakfast tacos but the veggie pasta salad wasn’t so popular.
Read more: CPS samples new school lunch recipes to the ultimate taste testers: students
- New restaurant coming to Wells Fargo Center as part of club level upgrades
Adrian will be the name of the new 300-seat restaurant opening this fall on the club level at the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia through a partnership involving Comcast Spectacor, Aramark Sports and Entertainment and Stephen Starr. With an American-style menu featuring raw bar items, French onion soup, sandwiches, crab cakes and various steak options, Adrian is part of a revamping of Wells Fargo Center's club level that also includes the creation of a new premium seating entrance and lobby, new seating options and open-floor layout, exclusive retail and themed whiskey and tequila bars. The venue serves as the home for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.
Read more: More details emerge about Stephen Starr's new 300-seat Wells Fargo Center restaurant
Bonus: 15 fun ways to embrace Mexican comfort food
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]