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:
- Aramark’s U.S. FSS unit sees 55.8% revenue drop in Q3
Aramark reported consolidated revenue for its third 2020 fiscal quarter was $2.2 billion, down 46.3% (45.3% after currency adjustments) year-over-year. The decline was even steeper for the United States Food & Facilities Services (FSS) unit, which saw revenues fall 55.8%, from $2.414 billion in 2019’s third quarter to $1.068 billion in 2020 Q3. The FSS unit “continued to experience business interruption, particularly in Sports and Business & Industry with Education and Leisure improving at the end of the quarter due to USDA-sponsored meal programs in K-12 and the reopening of National Parks,” the company noted in its release of the results. “Facilities, Healthcare and Corrections remained relatively stable.”
The U.S. FSS unit is by far Aramark’s largest and one of the largest providers of onsite dining services in the country. Of other Aramark units, FSS International dropped 45.6% and Uniforms/Career Apparel dropped 12.3% in Q3 revenues versus 2019 Q3.
Read more: Aramark Reports Third Quarter Earnings
- BGSU robots to deliver groceries from Kroger this fall
The Starship Technologies robots that have been delivering meals to both on-campus customers at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio and to the surrounding community will also be delivering groceries from the commercial Kroger grocery store chain to BGSU students when they return in the fall.
“The big thing is it reduces exposure,” said Jon Zachrich, director of marketing and communications for BGSU Dining by Chartwells, said of the expanded delivery service and its relation to the coronavirus pandemic. “It really provides a nice option for those who are trying to social distance, for whatever the reason.”
The mobile pickup location provided by the computer app allows the customer to have the delivery location to be as specific as an outdoor bench the customer might be sitting on.
The delivery option with Kroger will be available to anybody within the current three-square mile delivery area, which includes off-campus locations.
- No Kid Hungry reports shows growing appreciation of school meal programs
The No Kid Hungry organization has released The Longest Summer: Childhood Hunger in the Wake of the Coronavirus, a new research-driven report that gives insight into how families are coping with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and how the ongoing crisis has changed public opinion toward nutrition programs that help fight hunger.
Among the key findings: more are aware of the importance of school meals programs, with 75% of parents saying COVID-19 made them realize how important school meals are to families and 70% saying COVID-19 made them realize that more kids than they were aware of rely on school meals. Data also points to 69% of schools seeing an increase in meals participation since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
- Chicago Medical District debuts food hall in restored old hospital building
Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall, the first food hall to debut in Chicago since the pandemic shutdown in March, opened Aug. 3 inside the 106-year-old Cook County Hospital that had been vacant for decades. It is part of the hospital’s $1 billion multiphase restoration plan and a larger push for development in the Illinois Medical District.
The massive new modern food court is designed to fill a void for hospital workers and the general public with 11 food stalls, most of which are women- and minority-owned. There’s also a bar and seating for 175.
- Arizona State dining will be all takeout this fall
Arizona State University (ASU) has laid out a plan for on-campus living during the fall 2020 semester. In an email to students, Provost Mark Searle says students living on-campus during the fall semester must get tested for COVID-19 with a PCR test prior to moving in. The results must be provided to the residential hall at least 48 hours before moving in.
On-campus dining will be moved to takeout only with pre-packaged, disposable utensils, touchless payments, physical distancing, Plexiglas barriers, etc.
ASU has also stated they will "accommodate shared housing spaces and single-room requests." No visitors will be permitted in all residence halls, with the exception of move-in periods.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]