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:
- Michigan State closes dining halls to public
Michigan State University is temporarily closing its residential dining halls to the public as it addresses a labor shortage with its culinary services and will allow only those with MSU-issued IDs to enter campus dining facilities. “Given our current challenges, we need to modify operations in our dining facilities,” Culinary Services Executive Director Rebecca Selesky said. “This step will help us continue providing quality service to MSU students, faculty and support staff. We also need to support our team members who are working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding experience to guests.”
Read more: MSU temporarily closes dining halls to public
- Staff shortage shuts high school cafeteria
New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science in Brooklyn, N.Y. will stop providing lunches to students due to a staffing shortage, raising concerns about the impact on students from low-income families. The sent a letter to parents that students will have to bring their own meals from home until at least Oct. 15.
Read more: Staff Shortage Shuts Down Cafeteria at Brooklyn School
- Staff shortage forces university to extend declining balance off-campus
In response to a staffing shortage hampering campus dining operations, the University of Rochester will allow students temporarily to use their campus meal plan declining balance accounts at off-campus restaurants through Grubhub and is partnering with Student Activities to bring food trucks onto its River Campus where students can also use their declining balance accounts. Additional outside resources being brought in include “station takeovers” in The Pit dining venue with local restaurant partners.
Read more: Dining Services updates continue to address staffing shortages
- Supply disruptions and substitutions threaten food-allergic diners
The ongoing supply chain disruptions are affecting the availability and reliability of allergy-safe foods. “In 10-plus years of helping those serving diners with food allergies, we have never seen anything even close to this before," says Betsy Craig, president/CEO of food allergy and gluten-free training firm MenuTrinfo. One area of impact is in product substitutions, where the substituted product may not have the same ingredient profile, meaning possible presence of food allergens. Craig says campuses that MenuTrinfo works with on allergy safety currently face food substitutions in 30-42% of their deliveries.
Read more: College Dining Alert: Shortages Affecting Supply of Allergy-Safe Foods
- DePaul dining workers vote to strike
Dining employees at DePaul University have voted to authorize a strike against campus food service provider Chartwells a day after dining employees at nearby Northwestern University made a similar move. The strike will take effect in October if the contract is not renegotiated, the union stated.
Read more: DePaul Chartwells workers vote to strike, demand better pay
Bonus: Outside influences: lessons from restaurants and food retail
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]