Eastern Michigan University privatizes campus housing

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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:

  1. EMU outsources campus housing

The Board of Regents for Eastern Michigan University (EMU), which already contracts out its dining and parking services, recently approved a 35-year, $200 million agreement with Gilbane Developers that will essentially lease all of EMU’s student housing stock to a private developer for at least the duration of the contract. It’s the latest development in a trend that is seeing colleges and universities increasingly turning to private developers to expand, improve and maintain their aging facilities. According to a 2021 report by Ernst & Young, in 2003 there were only three public-private partnerships (P3s) in higher education, worth a total of $100 million, which swelled to some 30 P3 deals worth over $3 billion by 2016, and by 2021 $11 billion worth of P3 agreements were under negotiation, according to last year’s “Higher Ed P3 State of the Industry Report” from management firm Brailsford & Dunlavey.

Read more: A Cash-Strapped Public University Turns to the Private Sector

  1. Trend toward going to four-day school weeks growing

More than 1,600 schools across 24 states had a four-day school week by 2019, and the trend is growing, especially among smaller districts and west of the Mississippi River due to varying state instructional time policies and the generally higher-than-average per-pupil costs for smaller districts. Students at about 20% of schools can get meals on the fifth day, provided either by the district or through community organizations that fill the gap, said researcher Paul Thompson, associate professor of economics at Oregon State University’s School of Public Policy.

Read more: 4 ways transitioning to a 4-day school week impacts districts

  1. Cutbacks on perks impacting high tech sector job market

Not that long ago, hoodie-wearing employees of the major tech companies could exult in the good life at the office: coffee made by top-notch baristas, nap pods, rubdowns by massage therapists, on-premises medical clinics, gourmet meals and an endless array of snacks. But now, companies like Meta and Google are cutting back the perks and it is affecting how employees are seeing their jobs, especially given the attractions of remote work. “Perks are definitely in the top five most important things to consider [before accepting a job]. If you’re trying to weigh between different companies, the perks can be the deciding factor,” a Meta insider said. “[Losing perks] may be the deciding factor that makes them want to leave.”

Read more: Meta, Google insiders: Disappearing perks are the end of the ‘tech bro’

  1. Hospital invites local eateries to its cafeteria

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been operating a Local Eats program that features local restaurants in its Kay Kafe cafeteria since April. For one week, the featured restaurant sets up in Kay Kafe, serving lunch Monday through Friday with a pre-set price determined for each offering (usually around $10 per plate) and the menu for the week promoted throughout the hospital. Kay Kafe provides the to-go containers as well as the cash register while the restaurants prepare the dishes in their own kitchens, bringing it ready to heat and serve.

Read more: St. Jude teams up with Memphis restaurants to bring a taste of the Bluff City to hospital

  1. Jose Garces to open restaurant at Wells Fargo Center arena

Wells Fargo Center and James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces have announced plans for a new culinary concept, Garces Eats, to debut at the arena in October at the start of the 2022-23 NHL and NBA seasons. Garces Eats will replace The Bistro stand on the Broad Street side of the Club Level at Wells Fargo Center and will feature a rotating menu to highlight many of Chef Garces’ most notable dishes from his iconic restaurants throughout Philadelphia.

Read more: Wells Fargo Center Partners With James Beard Award-Winning Iron Chef Jose Garces For Brand-New Culinary Concept, Garces Eats, To Debut This Fall

Bonus: Bon Appetit’s new Anecdote restaurant serves major multi-tenant life science campus

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]


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