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:
- Chicago Schools reach reopening agreement with lunchroom workers union
Even as negotiations between Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teachers union were suspended for a 48-hour cooling off period, CPS officials announced a deal with 9,000 non-teaching staff members about the district’s plan to reopen school buildings. The deal with staff represented by SEIU Local 73, which includes lunchroom workers as well as special education classroom assistants, security guards, custodians and crossing guards, means they can continue to report to work and receive pay even in the event of a teachers strike.
Read more: CPS reaches reopening deal with 9,000 district staff represented by SEIU Local 73
- Sodexo makes moves to adapt to serving meals in a changing workplace
Sodexo has taken a couple of steps to begin serving the new remote-work-centered business dining environment by expanding its Good Eating Company (GEC) concept from the UK and Ireland to North America, and by acquiring California-based commissary kitchen operator Nourish Inc. Both concepts will allow customers to use Sodexo’s digital app to order food that can then either be delivered to a workplace or to the employee’s home if they are working remotely.
Read more: Sodexo Adapts to Ever-Changing Workplace Needs with New Food Solutions
- RIT’s largest dining hall goes retail
At the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the largest traditional dining hall on campus, Gracie’s, has been converted to an a la carte retail food court, highlighting general changes in the role of traditional all-you-care-to-eat residential dining halls on college campuses brought on by COVID restrictions. Don LaFlam, RIT Dining’s senior director of operations, said some of the changes were made as a result of the elimination of the mandatory Gracie’s meal plan for first-year students last fall as a way for them to spread to other dining facilities to reduce density. All meal plans now offer dining dollars that can be used at any dining location on campus.
Read more: Gracie’s, RIT’s largest cafeteria, goes a la carte
- Local restaurateur to launch meal delivery service for Miami U. students
The owner of a popular local restaurant called Doughby’s is planning to launch a campus meal plan delivery service called College Meals on Wheels for students of the nearby Miami University of Ohio with a variety of options for lunch and dinner meal deliveries. Operating out of the Doughby’s kitchen, it will allow students to customize their meal plans under a semester contract by choosing the number of meals they want per week, the days they want deliveries and the number of meals per day. The service is initially targeting off-campus students.
Read more: College Meals on Wheels rolls into Oxford
- Winnebago distributes meals, COVID tests, flu shots across school district
An old Winnebago called Flo (short for Florence Nightingale) has been refurbished and is now delivering food boxes as well as administering COVID tests and flu shots thanks to onboard school nurse Lisa Patch for the Alamogordo Public Schools in New Mexico. Over the winter break, the vehicle was equipped with a special freezer to store COVID vaccines it eventually plans to distribute throughout the community as well.
Read more: Meet Flo, an old Winnebago delivering COVID-19 tests, flu shots and food to students in need
Bonus: Food service chefs craft plant-based food with something for everyone
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]