McDonald's will put a three-week waiting period in place before it reopens any more of its US restaurants to dine-in traffic amid a surge in new coronavirus cases in some parts of the country. About 15%, or 2,200 of the chain's 14,000 units, had reopened their dining rooms before Wednesday's announcement.
The pandemic will leave its mark on restaurant design as companies create smaller spaces and ramp up the development of drive-thrus to cater to off-premises dining. Starbucks will accelerate the rollout of pickup-only units, multibrand operator Aurify Brands plans to debut a smaller "depot" format and chains including Wingstop are building ghost kitchens for takeout and delivery only.
The School Nutrition Association helped secure the extension of 14 federal waivers for the operation of school meal services through June 30, 2021, and are following up on another request for universal, free meals in the upcoming school year, according to Diane Pratt-Heavner, director of media relations for SNA. "Our concern for the school year was we knew that school meals were going to have to look very different than the traditional cafeteria setting," Pratt-Heavner said.
While chefs navigate with ease the highest spheres of culinary expression, their most lasting impact on the industry and the world may be their leadership on sustainability and community stewardship in a time of crisis. Watch the session.
- Dominique Crenn (chef-proprietor, Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn, Bar Crenn, San Francisco, Calif.)
- Kyle Connaughton (chef-owner, Single Thread Farm-Restaurant-Inn, Healdsburg, Calif.)
- Bill Corbett (executive chef, Salesforce, San Francisco, Calif.)
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives and create economic wreckage across our country, our restaurant and foodservice industry is looking ahead to re-opening and rebuilding -- whatever that can mean in these uncertain times. Watch the session.
- Greg Drescher (vice president of strategic initiatives, The Culinary Institute of America)
The Mediterranean Diet represents one of the most well-researched, well-loved plant-forward dietary patterns for advancing health, sustainability and deliciousness. And yet the diversity and appeal of its plant-centric core is still largely undiscovered by the American public and underutilized by chefs and operators. Watch the session.
- Anne E. McBride, PhD (deputy director, Torribera Mediterranean Center)
- Aglaia Kremezi (author and co-founder, Kea Artisanal, Greece)
- Michael Costa (head chef, Zaytinya, Washington, D.C.)
- Paul Bartolotta (chef, owner and co-founder, Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee, Wisc.)
- Daniel Olivella (chef-owner, Barlata Tapas and Bar, Austin, Texas)
Denny's and its franchisees expect to create 10,000 new jobs by the end of this year as restaurants reopen and the chain focuses on growth, CEO John Miller said. The available positions include the newly created role of sanitation specialist, which each Denny's location added to help boost safety during the pandemic.
The National Restaurant Association will expand its ServSafe food-safety program this summer to give restaurants a way to show patrons they've taken the recommended precautions to protect them from the coronavirus. Eateries that meet all the standards under the new ServSafe Dining Commitment will be able to post a certificate to reassure customers.
A Texas school district has received state approval to continue its grab-and-go meal program at six school sites on Mondays and Thursdays through July 30. The Klein Independent School District reports it has served more than 700,545 meals since March, with entrees served including cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks and pasta bowls along with such sides as various fruits and vegetables.
The Walla Walla Valley Farm to School program in Washington state has continued to operate during prolonged school closures and even expanded into two school districts in Oregon. The program offers agriculture education and provides locally sourced food for school cafeterias.
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