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Making new service models work onsite food service

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When the coronavirus pandemic changed everything last spring, onsite dining programs were challenged with continuing to operate in an environment where many traditional service models such as self-serve bars no longer were feasible.

In response, operators either modified existing service outlets—for instance by converting self-serve stations to staff-serve—embraced or fast-tracked emerging new technologies such as mobile ordering and/or created whole new ways of service, such as the curbside meal distribution deployed by many school systems, impromptu mini grocers set up by hospitals to serve staff and even home-delivered meals to remote-working employees by business dining programs.

While the current pandemic will eventually pass, its effects on in-house dining programs are likely to last much longer, which means that the new service models developed and deployed during the course of the crisis will have to remain viable while offering an approximation of the same levels of service, convenience, quality and choice—and of course safety!—as before COVID-19

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California school district improves scratch-cooking program during pandemic

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By the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the student nutrition department of Vacaville Unified School District had transitioned two of its heat-and-serve kitchens into scratch-cooking hubs, the better to serve its 13,000 students. They had also forged relationships with local farms and started making progress on nutrition goals, such as limiting sugars.

While many school districts experienced setbacks to similar programs when the pandemic closed schools, Juan Cordon, director of student nutrition, says he felt driven to continue delivering scratch meals to students.

The combi ovens, tilt skillets, blast chillers and other kitchen equipment and technology they added—plus the time and resources to train staff to use it—are seen by the district as a worthwhile investment, not only for the long term but because it’s helped families weather this unpredictable year.

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Kosher deli, made to order in Vacaville this weekend

in Food/Vacaville 119 views

Kosher deli food will be available by order in Vacaville this weekend.

“Many people, including the mayor of Vacaville, have been asking us to do this,” said Rabbi Chaim Zaklos, director of Chabad of Solano County. “While a full-time deli is not feasible at this time, an occasional pop-up might be. We’ll see how this goes.”

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Gold Mine: February 2020: California Burrito expands into Vacaville

in Food/News/Vacaville 164 views
California Burrito in Vacaville. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

VACAVILLE — California Burrito is one of the newest eateries in Vacaville.

Jaime Tobanche back in 2014 just wanted to be able to afford medication for his special needs child. He was working two jobs and struggling, but he had a dream for his future of owning a restaurant.

His first attempt at opening an eatery in downtown Sacramento was not exactly a success.

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Burger Patch to open second location in Davis

in Food 284 views

DAVIS, Calif. — Burger Patch co-owners Danea and Philip Horn have decided to expand their operations to Davis in 2020.

Philip said that expanding in Northern California has always been a part of their plan when starting this vegan, comfort-food business. The new location will have many of the favorites from the original Burger Patch, but Philip Horn said they would have some different items on the menu, chiefly beer and wine.

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