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:
- U.S. Congressmen urge allowing low-fat flavored milk in schools
A bipartisan group of 55 U.S. Congressmen are urging USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to address the under consumption of dairy foods by school-aged children by allowing schools to offer low-fat flavored milk. “Surveys have shown that students drank less milk when all flavored milk was required to be fat-free,” they said in a letter to Vilsack, citing one survey that showed a 10.8% decline when fat-free milk is required but a 58% rise in consumption when schools are able to offer low-fat flavored milk.
Read more: Congressmen urge flexibility in school milk
- Downtown Minneapolis/St. Paul firms expect hybrid work attendance
More news about the evolving corporate workplace environment…
A recent survey conducted by the Minneapolis Downtown Council found 80% of downtown companies are developing “future of work” plans with a hybrid/flexible plan as the most referenced and 80% of those companies will also expect to have employees in the office three to five days a week. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Downtown Alliance reports hearing from its members that 55% of workplaces will adopt a hybrid approach, but still require employees to work in the office the majority of the time.
- Wayne State upgrades campus dining, extends meal plan to off-campus
Wayne State University is planning a major upgrade in its campus dining that was originally slated for fall 2020 but will now go into effect in fall 2021 after a pandemic-induced delay. Among the changes, made in conjunction with campus dining services provider Aramark, are new retail dining options and the permanent conversion of Warrior Dollars, the declining balance portion of campus meal plans, to OneCard Dollars, the declining balance account available on campus ID cards that can be used not only for purchases on campus but also with the off-campus network of vendors. “Adding OneCard Dollars to meal plans provided students more choice and was a really popular solution this year, such that we have agreed to make that change permanent,” noted Tim Michael, associate vice president for student auxiliary services and chief housing officer.
- Is the corporate dining ‘arms race’ over and how will it affect workplaces?
High-tech firms like Google led the way in the onsite dining amenity arms race by offering free gourmet food to employees, but now are scaling back that perk in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects on workplace attendance. “Changing the food and amenity situation at the office will likely upend part of the workforce’s daily flow,” argues this analysis. “Fewer options mean employees could end up spending less time at the office, demanding more remote work options that both companies [Google and Facebook] are fighting against.”
- Automated AMEX store debuts for Brooklyn Nets fans in Barclays Center
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets debuted the contactless American Express Shop for American Express card holder fans attending the team’s playoff games at the Barclays Center arena, who can tap their cards on a panel to gain entry through a sliding glass partition but then can shop and leave the store without any checkout process as the items they take away are automatically charged to their card. The Nets and American Express, with curation from Barclays Center hospitality vendors Levy Restaurants and E15, chose food from local Brooklyn small business vendors Brooklyn Bites, Brooklyn Brittle, Dona Chai, Buffalo Boss and Paisanos Provisions to be on the store’s shelves for fans to safely and conveniently purchase.
Bonus: FM On Demand: Here’s how a healthcare foodservice director taught herself social media savvy
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]