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. Connecticut expands free school meal program
Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker have announced plans to expand Connecticut’s free school meals program for the 2023-2024 school year using $16 million of funding the state received from the American Rescue Plan Act . The funds will be utilized to allow all students in non-Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools participating in the federal School Breakfast Program to receive breakfast meals at no cost, and students who are eligible for reduced-price meals in non-CEP schools participating in the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to receive lunch at no cost. Both provisions include day students within residential childcare institutions.
2. Zoom asking staff to ditch work-from-home
Despite being one of the chief enablers and beneficiaries of remote working, Zoom has just asked staff who live within 50 miles of an office to work there twice a week. To make that prospect more attractive, the company's headquarters in London offers breakfast and lunch from local eateries—which would normally cost an arm and a leg—free of charge to those who head into the office, and workers can take a break from typing by unwinding in the wellness room’s massage chair. Plus, no tech company would be complete with a ping-pong table.
3. OVG lands first NBA arena F&B contract
OVG Hospitality has landed its first NBA client, signing a contract with the Phoenix Suns and their Footprint Center arena to be the exclusive provider of food and beverage services at the venue, which also hosts the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury as well as other events. OVG has been on a roll this year, also landing the venue management and food service contract for the BOK Center sports and music venue and the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa, and the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago.
4. Allergen-free retail concept to open at George Mason University
The Difference Baker, which says it is currently the only retail establishment in the U.S. that holds seven of the Certified Free From certifications for food allergens, has opened its first retail location on a U.S. college campus at George Mason University in Virginia in partnership with the university's foodservice provider, Sodexo. The dining concept, set to open this month, will be entirely free from seven of the top nine allergens (gluten, peanut, tree nut, soy, fish, sesame and crustacean).
5. Obit: Longtime Aramark exec John Orobono, 1950-2023
John M. Orobono, 72, longtime senior vice president of global supply chain and group purchasing at Aramark, died Friday, July 21, of kidney cancer at his home. His executive career at the company, which spanned more than 40 years, began in the 1970s when Aramark was known as ARA Services, and was briefly interrupted by retirement in 2015 before being brought back in 2019 by new (and current) CEO John Zillmer when Zillmer was named CEO.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]