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5 things: Aramark takes $325M hit from coronavirus

This and Ohio University shutting a major campus dining venue to cut costs are among the things you missed for the week of April 20.

Each Friday Food Management compiles a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the onsite foodservice news that week and why you should care about them.

Here’s your list for the week of April 20:

  1. Aramark takes $325M hit in quarter ended March 27

Aramark, the third largest company in the foodservice contract management industry, announced that the coronavirus crisis reduced its revenue by $325 million in the quarter ended March 27. That loss from roughly the last two weeks of the quarter amounts to about 8% of the revenue the company expected in the quarter, which saw the closure of schools and universities where Aramark services meals and the suspension of events in arenas where it sells food and beverages. Compared with the same quarter a year ago, revenue is down 5.4%, Aramark said.

Aramark is the first of the three major foodservice contract management companies to formally report financials for a period affected by coronavirus shutdowns, with British firm Compass Group and French firm Sodexo scheduled to release quarterly/half-year results in the next couple months. However, Compass did state that its organic revenue growth in the first half of FY2020, which ended March 31, was approximately 1.6% and the business did perform in line with expectations during the last two weeks of March. Meanwhile, Sodexo said it expected a reduction in revenues in the second half of FY2020 (March 1-August 31) of 2.4 to 2.8 billion Euros ($2.6-$3 billion at current rates) after a successful first half that saw revenues up 5.9%.

Read more: Just two weeks of coronavirus shutdowns hammered Aramark’s revenue and profits

  1. OU to close major dining center in cost-cutting move

Ohio University is predicting that closing its Shively Court dining venue will save the university about $1 million. The Shively Hall residence will remain open, but both Shively Court and Grab ‘n’ Go will be closed the next academic year, university spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said. That leaves just The District on West Green and Nelson Court on South Green as campus dining halls. The university evaluates the needs of each venue every semester, Leatherwood said. No other venues are planned to close at this time.

Read more: OU predicts closing Shively Court could save about $1 million

  1. National Guard helping distribute school meals in Missouri

Nearly 200 Missouri National Guard members will help distribute food to children in some schools or districts that are struggling to find enough people to help with the effort. The Missouri Guard and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Wednesday that Guard members will distribute meals for the next several weeks. The participating schools are mostly small or rural districts that are having workforce concerns because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Missouri National Guard to help hand out school meals

  1. College student athletes hit by coronavirus closures

One demographic that may be suffering especially hard during the coronavirus shutdowns and curtailments is college student athletes, who are used to receiving regular meals as part of their athletic scholarships but who now are in many cases isolated away from their campuses. According to a new report from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University that is based on a survey of more than 3,000 student athletes, 24% of 452 Division I athletes it surveyed in the fall of 2019 suffered food insecurity in the previous 30 days. The numbers were 26% and 21% for the Divisions II and III student-athletes respectively, and 39% for athletes at two-year schools.

Read more: Coronavirus Pandemic Magnifies an All-Too-Real Issue for Some NCAA Athletes

  1. Caf worker who withheld student’s lunch over $6 debt is fired

Barb Ziegler, a longtime cafeteria worker in the Wellington School District in Ohio, was formally terminated over a January incident in which she confiscated the lunch of a McCormick Middle School student because the student had a $6 unpaid lunch debt. She was terminated in a unanimous vote by the Wellington Board of Education after a nearly two-hour meeting behind closed doors.

Read more: Cafeteria worker fired months after lunch confiscation incident

Bonus: Stories from the front lines: Joe Pettit of Charleston schools is a motivational speaker/school food pro who’s drawing on his optimistic spirit and sense of fun

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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