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:
- Elior reports 5.3% organic revenue drop in fiscal 2020-21
French contract management firm Elior Group reported a 5.3% organic revenue decline for its 2020-21 fiscal year compared to 2019-20, with fourth quarter revenues (covering July-September) equivalent to 85% of revenues for the same period in the pre-COVID 2019 fourth quarter, and up significantly from the 73-74% reported in the previous three quarters. In its International (i.e., outside France) operations, revenue was down 9.5%, reflecting an organic decline of 6.4% and a currency headwind of 2.9%, notably due to the US dollar.
Operations in the U.S., "which proved very resilient at the beginning of the pandemic when revenues were sustained by emergency meals, was hit this year by widespread hybrid learning (in-person/remote)," the company reported. Among individual market segments, organic revenues compared to 2018-19 were up 7.7% in Education and down 3.5% in Health/Welfare and 15.8% in B&I. Fourth quarter revenues compared to the fourth quarter of 2018-19 were at 99% in Education, 92% in Health/Welfare and 75% in B&I.
- Distancing rules still forcing some NYC students to eat outside
Kids in some New York City schools were still eating lunch outdoors each day as of Thanksgiving Week due to social distancing rules despite plunging temperatures as the Department of Education (DOE) has allowed principals to devise their own lunch arrangements this year. Parents at the affected schools say their children have only been allowed to eat indoors during heavy downpours this year, though DOE claims that individual students retain the option to eat indoors if they choose.
- UCSB dining commons goes all-takeout
The Ortega Dining Commons at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), formerly a dine-in location, is gong all-takeout until further notice, with students placing orders through the Transact Mobile Ordering app and picking them up from automated food lockers. “Over the past year-and-a-half, mobile ordering and food pickup has become much more mainstream,” says Robbie Wright, associate director for residential dining. “And we felt, in dining, that was something that we wanted to address in a more significant way. Everyone who has a meal plan can still go and dine in at the other dining commons, so [this change to Ortega] just provides more options.”
- School saves Thanksgiving meal despite delivery failures
Copperas Cove ISD in Texas had to scramble to assemble the components—especially the center of the plate—for its traditional Thanksgiving meal for students and staff this year after two turkey deliveries got cancelled. Staff eventually found 1,200 lbs. of raw, frozen turkey, which took an extra 85 hours to cook and prepare. “The dressing, the rolls, the mashed potatoes, you name it, was all made from scratch,” said Wendy Sledd, director of communications for the district. “I think our cafeteria staff are kind of the unsung heroes, the school district was happy to pay for those hours, it gave them some additional Christmas spending money.”
- Restaurants will supply hospital’s doctor lounge, special event meals
Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on Long Island plans to order $400,000 in food a year from nine local eateries to feed doctors and be served at special events. The program is the brainchild of Chris O'Brien, associate executive director of financial operations, who said the idea came to him during an October 2020 budget meeting where he and other executives were discussing the cost of the hospital’s kitchen preparing food for the doctors' lounge and special events while trying to maintain a focus on patient meals and the cafeteria.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]