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Aramark Corp. will restore executive compensation to pre-COVID levels and grant special stock option awards to key leaders.

5 coronavirus things: Aramark restores executive pay

This and a claim that only 15% of low-income children have been getting school meals are some of the stories you may have missed recently regarding the coronavirus crisis.

In this special edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments regarding coronavirus and its impact on onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. Aramark restores executive pay to remain competitive for management talent

Aramark Corp. will restore executive compensation to pre-COVID levels and grant special stock option awards to key leaders, citing a need to combat "aggressive efforts" by other companies to recruit management from businesses significantly impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

A Form 8-K the company filed with the SEC on Sept. 8 states that “Executive salaries and compensation for members of the Board will be restored to the levels prior to their temporary reduction in April, effective October 3, 2020, (the start of the next fiscal year). However, the Company has committed to making no salary increases for any of the named executive officers (“NEOs”) for fiscal 2021. This decision follows the timing of salary restorations at many other companies, and the Board believes it to be critical for retention. The restoration of salaries allows us to provide fair and market-based compensation for our executives and Board members.”

Read more: Aramark restores executive pay, cites 'aggressive efforts' by other companies to poach

  1. Researcher claims only 15% of poor kids getting free school meals

Six months into schools' pandemic-driven experiment in distance learning, much has been said (and debated) about whether children are learning. But the more urgent question, for the more than 30 million kids who depend on U.S. schools for free or reduced-price meals, is this: Are they eating?

The answer, based on recent data and interviews with school nutrition leaders and anti-hunger advocates across the country, is alarming.

Among low-income households with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, only about 15% have actually been getting those meals, says Lauren Bauer, a researcher at the Brookings Institution.

Read more: 'Children Are Going Hungry': Why Schools Are Struggling To Feed Students

  1. Luby’s plans to liquidate, sell off onsite dining unit

Luby's, known for its namesake cafeterias that sell comfort food and the burger chain Fuddruckers, is planning to put its restaurants up for sale. Members of the company's board announced on Tuesday a plan to liquidate, which includes selling assets and real estate and returning cash to shareholders.

The chain operates FM Top 50 entry Luby’s Culinary Services, which manages dining primarily in hospitals and is listed as one of the assets to be sold off, according to the company’s press release. Luby’s Culinary Services generated $39 million in revenue last year, placing it at No. 42 on the 2020 Top 50.

Read more: Texas chains Luby's and Fuddruckers will be up for sale in liquidation plan

  1. Vanderbilt’s outdoor dining tents underutilized so far

Vanderbilt introduced three dining tents at the start of the fall semester amid COVID-19 restrictions: one on Magnolia Lawn, one on Alumni Lawn and one on Library Lawn. According to Vanderbilt’s Campus Dining website, these tents were installed to create safe dining spaces for students.

However, these dining spaces operate nowhere near full capacity. While Alumni, Library and Magnolia Lawn tents can each hold up to 278, 188 and 178 visitors, respectively, the tents averaged a total of about 62 distinct visits per day between Aug. 17 and Aug. 27, according to Director of Marketing and Communications Sean Carroll.

Read more: Dining tents remain underutilized despite university efforts

  1. Arizona State latest campus to add robot-based meal delivery

Aramark has partnered with Starship Technologies to roll out the tech company’s robot food delivery service on Arizona State University's Tempe campus. The fleet of 40 robots will serve ASU’s on-campus community.

Starship’s autonomous, on-demand robots will deliver from select campus eateries with the hopes to expand over the academic year. The students, faculty and staff can now use the Starship app (iOS and Android) to order food and drinks from on-campus retailers to be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes. This service accepts Maroon and Gold dollars; there is a delivery charge with each order.

Starship is already providing services to over 10 campuses across the country, including George Mason University, Northern Arizona University and Purdue University.

Read more: Starship Technologies, Aramark launch contactless robot food-delivery service at ASU

Bonus: Meal kits: thinking outside the box in food service

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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