School meals factor significantly into children's health, according to 14 new papers commissioned and funded by the Healthy Eating Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Data also shows the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was successful in improving the nutritional value of school meals.
School nutrition professionals in Wisconsin have adjusted their practice to provide universal, free meals to students in new ways, such as grab-and-go distribution, during the coronavirus pandemic. Michael Gasper, head of the Wisconsin School Nutrition Association and the nutrition director for the School District of Holmen, is advocating for free meals to continue after the pandemic, citing that studies show access to food improves outcomes for students.
Yum Brands, the parent of Taco Bell, KFC, Habit Burger and Pizza Hut, has struck a deal to acquire Texas-based tech and data analytics firm Kvantum. The company analyzes consumer behavior with machine learning and will use it to help Yum's restaurant brands create more effective marketing and digital campaigns.
School districts in New Hampshire stand to lose millions of dollars for the next school year because of misleadingly low numbers of students who receive free school meals during the pandemic. Many school officials say an issue is that families are receiving food without filling out the required paperwork needed to determine federal funding.
Dawn Burrell excelled at track and field, making it all the way to the 2000 Olympics before pivoting to cooking at age 34, and her perseverance has led to a partnership with chef Chris Williams' Lucille's Hospitality Group. She will open her first restaurant, Late August, this summer and compete on "Top Chef" this season.
Leaders at all levels have the opportunity to create change by pointing out what's not working, presenting possible solutions and drawing attention to success from you and your team, writes Scott Eblin. "Information, insight and perspective are only valuable to the degree that they're shared," he writes.
A Famous Dave's franchisee in Minnesota will open the chain's first fast-casual Quick 'Que barbecue concept this fall. The casual dining chain's new format will feature a drive-thru, and be more affordable and potentially more profitable for franchisees, said Jeff Crivello, CEO of parent BBQ Holdings.
Quickserve chain Zaxby's is putting its new chicken sandwich on the menu at all 909 locations after testing it in select restaurants since last October. Members of the chain's Zax Fan Club loyalty program can order via the app and Zaxby's is offering an app-based giveaway to promote the sandwich.
Sibling chains Applebee's and IHOP are gearing up for a strong recovery that its parent company expects to start this summer, said John Peyton, CEO of parent Dine Brands Global. Delivery-only concepts like Cosmic Wings are expected to drive growth and bring in younger customers, and lessons learned during the pandemic will flavor future menu changes.
A year of the pandemic showed Union Square Hospitality Group founder Danny Meyer where his company has fallen short on diversity and inclusion and he has since made a commitment to do better. The company has set goals to increase the number of people of color on staff from 55% to 60% and to grow the number in leadership roles from 40% to 60%, and promised to give quarterly progress updates.
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