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:
- Sodexo revenues down 31.2% in third fiscal quarter
Sodexo’s fiscal 2020 third quarter revenues were down 31.2%, 29.9% without currency and merger/acquisition impacts, the company reported. Paris-based Sodexo is the parent company of Sodexo Inc., the second largest contact foodservice firm in the U.S. on the FM Top 50.
Among individual segment results, Business & Administrations was down 28.5%, Healthcare & Seniors was down 12.9% and Education was down 53.9%.
“We have lost nearly one third of our Q3 revenues relative to last year due to COVID-19,” commented CEO Denis Machuel. “Nevertheless, our on-site business broad geographic mix, strong Facilities Management and large integrated accounts combined with Benefits & Rewards have given us resilience.”
As of July 7, 2020, the company says it expects Q4 revenues to be down about 27%, vs its original hypotheses of -15% back in April. As a result, the second half decline is now expected to be 28%, or around 3 billion euro and -13.7% for the full year.
- Purdue student survey reveals concerns about dining plans
As a deadline nears about whether to return to Purdue University in person or opting for online classes for the fall semester, a new survey shows that a large majority say they plan to be back on the West Lafayette campus. But the survey of more than 1,300 students also shows concern about things will work when they arrive and whether the Protect Purdue Plan—the university’s reopening playbook—will be enough to keep campus safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among its queries, the survey asked students what concerns they had about plans to convert on-campus dining courts into grab-and-go operations instead of dining in venues. Among the results: 71% said they were concerned their freedom to choose what to eat and when would be limited, 71% thought there would be limited variety and 70% were concerned that the meal plan wouldn’t be worth the cost. Also, 53% wondered whether they would be able to eat with friends. Among the write-in concerns: What would dining look like in cold or bad weather?
- Plum Market, Bon Appetit to partner on campus grocery store
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is partnering with natural grocery chain Plum Market and Bon Appétit Management Co. to bring "a new urban-market concept featuring all-natural, organic and locally sourced food, beverage and wellness items" to the campus. Plum Market Kitchen, operated by Bon Appétit, will open in January in a 12,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by a local grocer, which the university said will be "redesigned and extensively remodeled." CWRU is the leaseholder on the property.
Richard Jamieson, vice president for campus services at CWRU, said in a statement that the new store "will provide an excellent dining venue while meeting the vital grocery needs of area shoppers."
- 260 LinkedIn foodservice workers laid off
LinkedIn stopped paying 261 food service workers at the company’s San Francisco headquarters complex, leading to their layoffs from Bon Appetit Management Co., which operates dining at the complex.
Read more: More than 260 food service contractors laid off at LinkedIn (subscription required)
- Robot butler serves wine, makes deliveries at California hotel
As automation solutions increasingly push to the forefront in the wake of the coronavirus and the social distancing and sanitation protocols it has forced on dining operators, ever more novel adaptations are emerging. Take the Hotel Trio in Healdsburg, Calif., where Rosé the Robot offers a touchless experience when delivering wine to guest rooms.
The innovative robotic butler can effortlessly glide onto elevators and find rooms without human interference while flashing a digital message, “I’m on a guest delivery.” It also can also deliver snacks, extra towels, toiletries and basically a guest might require, making it something that might soon be adaptable to environments such as healthcare and senior living facilities where contactless deliveries of meals and other services are prioritized.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]