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:
- Study indicates three feet distancing as good as six for COVID prevention
A recently released study indicates that three feet of distancing may be just as effective in preventing COVID transmissions as six feet, something that would allow some schools to reopen for in-person instruction. For the study, the researchers examined COVID cases over a 16-week period among 537,336 students and 99,390 staff in 242 Massachusetts public school districts with masking requirements but different physical distancing policies. Some schools had said they could not fully reopen their cafeterias with six feet of social distancing required.
- University of Michigan to be mostly open this fall
The University of Michigan has announced a plan for the fall that calls for most classes to be in-person, dorms to be open at nearly 80% capacity, campus dining facilities to offer both in-person and carry-out meals and in-person attendance at athletic events. The move follows similar announcements from other public universities in the state, including Michigan State University and Ferris State University.
- Amazon’s Vancouver office complex plans major onsite food hall
In a show of confidence about a post-pandemic rebound, a major office complex located in a former post office in downtown Vancouver for which Amazon will be the lone tenant is planning to include a 26,000-square-foot food hall with a mix of full-service, sit-down, table-service and quick-service restaurants as well as a 50,000-square-foot grocery store and other retail establishments. Last September, Amazon pre-leased all 1.1 million square feet of the facility’s office space, where it plans to locate approximately 6,000 office jobs beginning in 2023 when the building renovation is slated to finish.
- Student staffing shortfalls challenge campus dining program
Student staffing shortfalls have led campus dining at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) to make adjustments this school year, including closing one retail outlet at the beginning of March. Nevertheless, the Sodexo-operated dining program has been able to offer students a quality foodservice that includes open dining seating and customization options, says Lamar Patterson, director of dining services. “I know the focus on this campus from the president and administrators is to provide a high-level college experience for the students here at USI and that goes hand in hand with us,” he notes.
- Centerplate makes safety-conscious adjustments for March Madness games
Concessions operator Centerplate plans an array of specialty menu options and enhanced safety protocols for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which will be hosting 15 games over eight event days of the 2021 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament (“March Madness”). Precautions will include 100% cashless points of sale, individually packaged flatware, portion-controlled condiments and individual packaging/closed containers for all menu items.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]