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:
- Elior reports 6.2% revenue drop in first half of FY2020
Paris-based Elior Group, parent of FM Top 50 firm Elior North America reported revenues of €2,459 million, down 6.2% on an organic basis year-on-year, in its first half fiscal results for 2019-2020, ended March 31, 2020. Elior estimated the impact of Covid-19 at €157 million on revenues and said that up until the outbreak of the virus, it was well oriented to deliver its annual objectives.
Read more: Elior Group: First Half Results 2019-2020
- Purdue set to reopen in August with mandatory masking policy
Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus plans to resume in-person classes in August and has started to lay out what the fall 2020 semester could look like, including mandatory masks for anyone going into a building on campus or going into an outdoor crowded space. The fall academic semester will consist of traditional classroom instruction from Aug. 24 to Nov. 24, with the rest of the semester completed remotely after Thanksgiving. What the spring 2021 semester will look like remains to be seen. Like other colleges and universities across the country, Purdue had transitioned to virtual classes in March, virtual commencement ceremonies in May and is holding virtual classes this summer.
- Reopened Montana school combines in-class dining, social-distanced cafeteria
While it’s only a miniscule operation compared to most others, the reopened Willow Creek School in Montana may represent a kind of model for larger schools making reopening plans for the fall. One of just a handful of schools in the state that decided to fully reopen on May 7 after they were shuttered on March 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Willow Creek is a pre-K-12 facility with only 56 students enrolled this year, of which only about 37 have returned because the preschool academic year had concluded and several families decided to have their children continue with remote education.
The school has implemented staggered schedules and separated desks by six feet. Younger students walk through hallways holding hula hoops to prevent them from touching things. For lunch, elementary students eat at their desks, while high school students practice social distancing as they eat in the cafeteria.
- Massachusetts businesses slow to resume despite official OK
Many office buildings across Massachusetts were officially allowed to reopen their doors this week, but few workers hurried back to their cubicles, and most employers didn’t ask them to.
At the sprawling headquarters of Boston Scientific Corp. in Marlborough, for instance, hallways are posted with signs urging people to keep moving and to stay to the right while the cafeteria sits dark and water fountains have been taped over.
Meanwhile, at Cambridge Discovery Park, an office complex near Alewife on the Cambridge-Arlington line, the cafeteria and gym are closed, and owner Bulfinch Properties is exploring ways to make the most of its outdoor space as a way to limit the number of people indoors at any given time.
Like many newer office facilities, the buildings at Cambridge Discovery Park were designed to encourage social activity, something valued by companies that hire a lot of younger workers. Bulfinch president Robert Schlager said those kinds of gatherings are no longer possible.
“It is very hard for some of our tenants who are younger,” he said. “It is going to be a change for everyone, but especially those that are socially oriented like the millennial generation is today.”
- NFL planning for “full stadiums,” per league official
The NFL is planning for the best-case scenario when the season returns this fall, says Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations, noting that the league is planning “to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise,” according to an NBC Sports report.
Vincent did add that while packed stadiums is the goal, the NFL is also making plans for adjusted capacities depending on the state of the coronavirus pandemic when the season begins.
Nevertheless, the announcement does offer a ray of hope to venue concessions operators, an industry that has been hit perhaps worse than any other in the foodservice industry as all sports and entertainment facilities have effectively been shuttered since mid-March.
Contact Mike Buzalka at firstname.lastname@example.org