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5 Things
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Sodexo lays off 300 employees at USAA headquarters after announcement that workers would stay remote through 2021.

5 things: Sodexo cuts staff; Elior’s Q3 takes a hit

This and two major California universities going fully remote this fall are among the things you missed for the week of July 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 July 20:

  1. Foodservice worker on White House grounds tests positive for coronavirus

Administration officials were alerted that a cafeteria employee on the White House grounds has tested positive for coronavirus, according to an email viewed by CNN.

Ike's Eatery—located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—and the New Executive Office Building's cafeteria have been temporarily closed, though the email advised that the risk of transmission is low due to precautions like gloves and masks.

"There is no reason for panic or alarm," the email reads.

There is a cafeteria in the West Wing of the White House, but dozens of the President's staffers walk to Ike's for meals. The email says they conducted contact tracing and claims no executive office staff need to quarantine due to exposure.

Read more: Cafeteria worker on White House grounds tests positive for Covid-19 as staffers urged not to panic

  1. UC Berkeley and Merced to be fully remote at start of fall semester

Hopes that college life might begin a slow return to normal this fall were deflated when two University of California campuses announced they would begin the semester with fully remote instruction amid a pandemic surge. UC Berkeley and UC Merced had hoped to open Aug. 26 with a mix of online, in-person and hybrid classes. But they reversed those plans as COVID-19 infections began their record-shattering increases throughout California, with cases now topping more than 400,000 and deaths, 7,800. In Los Angeles County, half of new COVID-19 cases were among those ages 18 to 40.

The UC reversals follow other decisions to do likewise by several California campuses, including USC, Pomona College and Occidental College. Nationally, the proportion of colleges and universities planning for in-person classes has declined from about two-thirds in May to about half today, according to more than 1,200 campus plans reviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Read more: Reopening plans at UC Berkeley, other campuses fall apart amid coronavirus surge

  1. Elior reports 46.4% revenue decline in third quarter

Paris-based Elior Group, parent of FM Top 50 firm Elior North America, reported a third-quarter revenue like-for-like decline of 46.4%, to €672 million, compared with a year earlier. Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2019-2020 were down 19.3%, to €3.131 billion.

International revenue declined to €1.759 billion in the first nine months of 2019-2020. “The US experienced the smallest impact owing to a favorable mix, particularly thanks to our work for social services organizations,” the company said in its announcement.

Read more: Elior Group: Revenue for the First Nine Months of Fiscal 2019-20

  1. Companies adapt onsite meal service to COVID-19 restrictions

As states enter later phases of reopening and offices start to turn their lights back on, many changes are in the works to keep employees safe and minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and they are explored in this lengthy Fast Company article.

One area in particular that’s undergoing an evolution is corporate dining. Gone may be the days of the grease-splattered communal microwave, heavily fingerprinted water cooler and shared refrigerator where leftovers go to die. In their place, fresh protocols, setups and technologies are helping companies adapt their corporate dining and food and beverage perks (like complimentary snacks and coffee) to a new, safer world—without losing the benefits that those things have long brought to workplaces.

Read more: What the office lunch hour will look like when we return to work

  1. Sodexo lays off 300+ USAA foodservice workers

Sodexo Quality Life Services has informed the Texas Workforce Commission that it plans to permanently lay off more than 300 workers. That decision comes after the food service company and retailer, which operates several retail facilities at USAA, was informed that the financial services giant is extending work-from-home orders for its employees through December.

Sodexo operates five cafes, three Starbucks shops, The Grove and three company stores at USAA. The company said the decision by USAA will force it to keep those facilities closed until at least January 2021.

Read more: Food service company to lay off hundreds as USAA extends work from home

Bonus: United states of barbecue: How food service operators are smoking meat for customers during the pandemic

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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