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:
- Robot to serve Houston Rockets fans with food and beverage in pilot program
The Houston Rockets and their Toyota Center arena in partnership with concessions firm Levy have launched what they characterize as the first-ever robot-assisted food and beverage service inside a stadium or arena. During the team’s remaining games of the 2020-2021 season, the pilot program in the venue’s premium all-inclusive Suite Club will see the robot circulating dining spaces while carrying pre-packaged food and beverage items for guests to pick from, allowing staff to learn more about how the robot could be potentially utilized in more areas next season.
- Cornell’s Discovery Kitchen to benefit both campus dining and culinary education
Discovery Kitchen, a state-of the-art teaching kitchen now under construction at Cornell University through a partnership between Cornell Dining and the Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS), is expected to enhance menus, dietary education and food literacy across campus, while the kitchen classroom’s prominent placement in the university’s newest residential community highlights the connections between food and research, living and learning. “This collaboration will help grow awareness of Dining’s commitment around culinary innovation, nutrition and sustainability, and allow us to enhance and build upon those efforts,” commented Dustin Cutler, executive director of Cornell Dining.
- Houston Methodist to require COVID vaccination of all staff
The some 16% of employees of Houston Methodist Hospital who are not vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus will be suspended or fired if they refuse the shot, according to company policy. The hospital required managers to be vaccinated by April 15 and all other employees by June 7, according to a Houston Methodist spokesperson. To date, a little more than 4,100 employees have not received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital says it does not know yet how many potentially will be suspended or terminated because of the mandatory vaccination policy.
- Harvard prof: Remote-work culture benefits women and should remain an option
One significant ramification of the work-from-home culture accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic has been to better accommodate female employees and their desire for work/life balance, observes Harvard Business School professor Prithwiraj Choudhury, who suggests companies may want to keep that flexibility in place in order to incent recruitment and retainment of women in a tight labor market and war for talent. Well before the pandemic the U.S. work culture had failed to figure out what Choudhury calls the “traditional worker dual career situation” as when a family moves to a new city for a husband’s career and a wife’s profession is sidelined. “It was never solved and has always wronged women more than men,” he says. “The latent desire for flexibility is a huge force.”
- Pomona College off-campus meal plan requirement draws protest
A newly announced policy at Pomona College that would restrict the number of students allowed to live off-campus but still require them to pay for a 10-meal plan has drawn fire from students, including the drafting of a Google Form to protest what one student called an “[a]bsurdity.” The email from Dean of Campus Life Josh Eisenberg also confirmed the undergraduate Claremont Colleges’ decisions to eliminate cross-campus dining, but noted that Pomona College will keep its two dining halls open through its hours of operation instead of closing between meal periods, and that it will eliminate its swipe-based meal plan in favor of an “unlimited meal plan” for students living on campus.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]