In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.
Here’s your list for today:
- Study: Feedback can help diners make better meal choices
Automated emails and letters that provide personalized feedback related to cafeteria purchases at work may help employees make healthier food choices, concludes a new study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and published in JAMA Network Open. “Few if any prior workplace studies have been able to make sustained changes in dietary choices of employees,” noted lead author Anne N. Thorndike. “This study provides evidence that food purchasing data can be leveraged for delivering health promotion interventions at scale.”
- Delaware North names Obletz president of Sportservice unit
James Obletz has been appointed president of Delaware North Sportservice, with Sportservice COO Joe Sims reporting to him. Obletz, who has served as president of Delaware North’s Travel division since January 2020, originally joined the company in 2016 and served as senior vice president of corporate development before heading the travel division.
Meanwhile, Bob Wilson will continue as a group president with new responsibility for the Travel division while also continuing to oversee the Patina Restaurant Group and the company’s United Kingdom operations. The company also gave group president Scott Socha new responsibility for Delaware North’s Australia operations, while also continuing to oversee the Parks and Resorts division.
- Colleges begin announcing meal plan prices for fall
Colleges are beginning to announce fall plans, including meal plan costs, and they range from no change at Pennsylvania College of Technology to a drop at Cornell, where the price of each meal plan will drop to the price of the next cheapest plan, and increases at University of South Florida, where the open access plan will increase from $2,050 to $2,120, the “Any 15” from $1,950 to $2,020 and the Bull Block 175 from $1,765 to $1,800.
- Major tech firms announce work-from-home policies
Major tech firms are beginning to announce return to office plans, with Facebook saying it will let all employees work remotely even after the pandemic if their jobs can be done out of an office, though it may reduce their pay if they move to a less-expensive area. Meanwhile, Apple has run into some employee pushback after the company’s recently announced plans to require staff to return to the office on at least Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays starting in September, with a letter to upper management from employees claiming some have already quit over the issue.
Facebook said it will be more flexible for employees expected to return to the office, noting that “guidance is to be in the office at least half the time.” The company plans to open most of its U.S. offices to at least 50% capacity by early September and reopen fully in October.
- Fight for 15 driving restaurant automation, former McDonald’s CEO says
The fight for a $15 minimum wage is directly contributing to the restaurant industry's push toward automation, former McDonald's CEO Ed Rensi warns, with recent examples including McDonald's testing an automated, voice-recognition based drive-thru ordering system at 10 of its Chicago locations, and Burger King announcing a new redesign that includes a conveyer belt system to deliver food from the kitchen to the drive-thru and having food placed in coded lockers on the restaurant exteriors for guests placing online and delivery orders. Rensi told FOX Business that while a $15 minimum wage may sound appealing, the only choices for McDonald's to offset the cost of the wage hike are to raise prices or adopt new technology to cut costs and increase efficiency. "You got a choice, you go broke by raising prices or you go broke by losing money because you can't raise prices," he stated.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]