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:
- WMU plans to finish major student center project
Western Michigan University (WMU) trustees have approved a $70 million bond to fund the completion of a new student center, a three-story, 162,450-square-foot building featuring nine shops and restaurants along with space for student organizations and gathering spaces, projected to open in fall 2021. During phase two of the project, set for completion in fall 2022, a third-floor dining center with seven “micro-restaurants” will be added to the facility. WMU has stated that the student center, along with recently completed new campus housing, are important parts of its efforts to turn around declines in enrollment and attract new students.
- Cashless concessions tends to raise prices as taxes get folded into the tab
The shift to cashless concessions at sports venues has led to higher posted prices as sales taxes are being tacked on to the retail price of items on menu boards. Previously, when cash was accepted, the sales tax was typically folded into the price listed for food and drink, so the new approach in effect generates additional revenue for teams and concessionaires.
- Budget crunch may shutter Miami University campus farm
The Institute for Food campus farm at Miami University in Ohio is facing the possibility of being completely defunded due to university budget crunches. The farm supplies fresh food to the university’s dining services as well as to the Talawanda Oxford Pantry & Social Services and more than 100 subscribers in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program.
- SUNY announces spring term plan
The State University of New York (SUNY) system has unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 plan for the spring semester that pushes the start date for in-person instruction to February 1, cancels spring break and requires all returning students to be tested and complete a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to their arrival on campus. Face coverings will be required in classrooms, conference rooms and all other public spaces where students are not by themselves and those eating in dining halls must be seated and remain socially distanced.
- University of Minnesota Rochester to take over defunct restaurant’s space
University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) received approval from the Rochester City Council to proceed on a $2.5 million expansion into the former home of The Loop, a commercial restaurant that closed in July, to create a new student lounge and campus dining space to be available to students in the first quarter of 2021. While COVID-19 has thrown future expansion plans at UMR into disarray, some sort of immediate expansion was necessary, thanks to an 11% increase in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year, according to Chancellor Dr. Lori Carrell.
Read more: UMR changes course on expansion plans
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]