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:
- Sodexo reports 13.3% drop in North American fiscal 2021 revenues
Sodexo reported a drop of 13.3% in revenues, from 8.036 billion to 6.514 billion Euros, in its North American unit for the 2021 fiscal year ended Aug. 31, making North America the region most impacted by the pandemic in the company's worldwide portfolio. Overall, Sodexo saw fiscal 2021 consolidated revenues of 17.4 billion Euros, a 9.8% year-on-year decline from fiscal 2020, which drops to a 5.6% organic decline after the negative net contribution from acquisitions and disposals and a negative currency impact are factored out. The numbers include a 21.7% decline in the first half followed by a second half gain of 18.1%.
In North America, Sodexo cited the significant negative weight of Sports & Leisure and Education in its business mix, which were the sector’s worst affected segments. However, the company also noted that retention was particularly strong in Healthcare and Universities in North America, while performance was impacted by the loss of a large Schools contract in the last month of the year.
- College enrollment continues to drop
Enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities is on track to fall by another nearly 500,000 undergraduate students this fall, continuing the historic drops that began with the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to research from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The decline of 3.2% in undergraduate enrollment this fall, which follows a 3.4% decline last year, is spread across all sectors, but worst at community colleges, public four-year colleges and private for-profits, while schools that are primarily online saw enrollment dropping 5.4% for undergrad programs and 13.6% for graduate programs after having made gains last year during the height of the pandemic.
- New York Governor recuses from actions involving Delaware North
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has attested in writing—once in August and again in the last week of October—that she will recuse herself from any actions relating to Buffalo-based Delaware North Cos., where her husband, William Hochul, is general counsel. In addition, William Hochul has agreed in a document the governor signed to recuse himself from any supervisory role over Delaware North government affairs or corporate compliance staff, will not involve himself in any of the firm’s dealings in or with New York State and will receive no incentive payments for the company’s performance in New York; also, Delaware North will also not make campaign contributions to the governor.
- Lack of staff forces school FSD to cook and serve all by himself
Ben Jacobson, food service director for Regional School Unit 26 in Maine, has had to cook and serve two meals a day, five days a week for the more than 500 students at Orono Middle-High School since the first day of school this fall all by himself as the full-time kitchen crew of at least two employees at the school didn’t return this year and Jacobson hasn’t been able to replace them. The lack of kitchen help has forced Jacobson to limit menu choices, eliminate a la carte options and cook less food than he’d like to from scratch, he said, which is especially a disappointment because this was supposed to be a year when the district could offer more freshly cooked, made-from-scratch options from new kitchens and cafeterias in both of its schools. “These [new] kitchens were designed to be scratch kitchens,” he said. “That’s what I designed them for. It is set up to do what we want it to do, but it’s a matter of not having enough people.”
- Major downtown Indy office tower set to debut renovated cafes
In what may be a hopeful sign for the struggling corporate dining market, OneAmerica Tower in downtown Indianapolis is preparing to debut a major renovation to its in-house restaurant and coffee shop, which had been closed for the past year. The new 1,435-square-foot Atrium Café coffee shop serving grab-and-go food items is set to open early in November followed later in the month by the debut of the 18,267-square-foot Atrium Market with its three serving stations and an online order option. Both will be operated by Chicago-based contract firm Quest Food Management Services.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]