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:
- Notre Dame to proceed with campus Chick-fil-A
The University of Notre Dame has released a statement confirming that it plans to go ahead with building and opening a Chick-fil-A unit on campus as part of its campus restaurant master plan for updating retail dining services. The Chick-fil-A had been a source of some controversy with several hundred students and faculty members recently signing an open letter to Campus Dining opposing the proposed addition.
Read more: Notre Dame gives statement on future of Chick-fil-A on campus
- Hawaii to require massive increase in use of local food in its schools
A new law requires that at least 30% of public school food products served by the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) in the state's schools will be locally sourced by 2030. The current number is around 3%, with individual schools ranging from "as low as 1% and as high as about 12%," says Randall Tanaka, an assistant superintendent overseeing the food service operations of the DOE.
Read more: New law poses challenges ahead for Hawaii schools to meet higher target for locally sourced food
- Penn State revives reusable meal container program
Following the retirement of its Green2Go program nearly one year ago, Penn State University is reintroducing reusable containers its dining halls through a new program, dubbed “PSreUse.” The revamped initiative will use the same plastic and green takeout containers as Green2Go but with the difference that it’s free to use upon return, so students no longer need to pay $5 deposits to opt into using it, they are liable for damage fees if they have unreturned containers at the end of a semester.
Read more: Reusable Containers Return To Penn State’s Dining Halls Through New ‘PSreUse’ Program
- Contract firm uses staffing app for fill-ins instead of float teams
The labor crunch is forcing foodservice operations, including onsite dining providers, to look at alternatives for filling staffing needs. One option is the use of on-demand staffing apps such as Snapchef, a Boston-based company that connects restaurants and hiring managers with temporary workers. The service is being employed by regional FM Top 50 contract management firm Nexdine to find fill-ins when a line cook or dishwasher calls in sick, says CEO David Lanci. “It saves us money because I don’t have to have a float team,” he notes. “I can just pick up the phone, deal with the app and my people get qualified candidates.”
Read more: Restaurants are facing a staffing shortage. These apps are trying to help
- Study: most school meals meet nutrition regs, with some lapses
A new study led by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU researchers examined 1,102 lunches chosen and consumed by children at six Title I elementary schools that serve free meals to all students to better understand the nutrient composition of what they chose and what they actually ate. It found that meals selected by the students met most federal nutrient recommendations for the majority of children, but also found, based on overall consumption, that fewer children met recommendations for intake of total calories (5%), calcium (8%), iron (11%), vitamin A (18%), vitamin C (16%) and fiber (7%).
Read more: Analysis of school lunches suggests federal nutrition standards should be maintained, or strengthened
Bonus: Viewpoint: Robots at the Ready–Automating the Future of Food Service
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]