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:
- UNC Chapel Hill planning personnel, operating expense cuts
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has laid out plans to cut personnel costs by 3% and operating expenses by 15% percent over the next two years, primarily as a result of financial shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which cost the university $200 million this year through a combination of lost housing and campus dining revenue. The school's annual operating expenses were nearly $3.2 billion in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Read more: UNC-Chapel Hill to cut personnel, spending to address pandemic losses, long-term deficit
- Food services seen as a key motive to getting staff back to offices
According to reports from commercial real estate insiders in Denver, office landlords are looking at onsite amenities such as foodservice to lure tenants challenged with getting employees back to offices after the coronavirus pandemic because they got used to working from home. Among the trends that could benefit from this demand are ghost kitchens, online order services and meal delivery. “COVID has continued to propel shifts toward contactless ordering and pickup,” observes Tom Larance, head of experience management for real estate brokerage JLL. “We anticipate that restaurants and open-dining areas will evolve to meet consumer preference.”
Read more: Landlords See Enhanced Food Options as Ingredient for Office Rebound
- District offers Saturday curbside meal pickup
While most school meal programs with curbside distribution operate only during the week, Pitt County Schools’ Nutrition Services in North Carolina is adding Saturday service at five locations, when students will get four meals—breakfast and lunch for both Saturday and Sunday. The packs are a mix of hot meals and shelf-stable options.
Read more: Pitt County Schools offering curbside meal distributions to students
- Hospital partners with NBA team to open neighborhood food pantry
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have partnered on opening The Brooklyn Nets Food Pantry presented by HSS that is designed to combat food insecurity in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Located the Clara Cardwell School in Brooklyn’s economically disadvantaged Bed-Stuy neighborhood, it will be stocked with non-perishable food items.
Read more: Brooklyn Nets and Hospital for Special Surgery Launch Food Pantry in Bed-Stay
- Thai hospital café serves very happy meals…
The cafe in the Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Thailand is serving dishes laced with cannabis, such as happy pork soup, deep-fried bread topped with pork and a marijuana leaf and a salad of crispy cannabis leaves served with ground pork and chopped vegetables. "Cannabis leaves, when put in the food or even a small amount ... it will help the patient to recover faster from the illness," argues Pakakrong Kwankao, the project leader at the hospital. "The cannabis leaf can improve appetite and make people sleep well, and also be in a mood, in a good mood."
Read more: A hospital that serves a 'happy menu' with cannabis-laced food
Bonus: 7 ways onsite food service chefs create slurp-worthy Asian noodles
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]