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INDUSTRY NEWS


Expansion for HOPES program


The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced that the US Department of Labor awarded $4m to its HOPES (hospitality opportunities for people (re)entering society) program. The grant will be used to launch additional outposts in four new states, including Delaware, Michigan, Ohio and Texas. HOPES is a job skills training program, in partnership with departments


of corrections around the country. Its aim is to train and prepare individuals, who are involved with the justice system for jobs and careers in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industries with a focus on reducing recidivism and increasing employment opportunities for the industry. The new sites will join existing programs in Chicago and Boston as well as in Richmond and Farmville, Virginia. Chicago HOPES participant Ernest Green completed the program and


was hired by MOD PIZZA. Within a month he was promoted from MOD Squad Team Member to MOD Squad AllStar at a location in Evergreen Park, Illinois. “My life has changed for the better already with MOD,” Green says. MOD Pizza is the HOPES program’s first national employer partner.


Changing delivery habits Home kitchens fired up


The City of Berkeley Environmental Health Division approved its inspection of the first microenterprise home kitchen operation (MEHKO) in the San Francisco Bay Area, authorizing home chef Akshay Prabhu to sell hot meals from his home restaurant. Prabhu is the founder of Foodnome, one of the first legal marketplaces for homemade food, to advocate for more inclusive food laws, provide resources for home-based food entrepreneurs, and connect chefs with their neighbors. He is a longtime supporter of the Homemade Food Operations Act , AB 626, which was passed unanimously in the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018.


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More than half (51%) of consumers surveyed said that online delivery services were their lifeline for meals, according to a Culinary Visions® study surveying 4,000 consumers of all ages in the US. Consumers are beginning to scrutinize the cost of delivery, with 68% saying that delivery fees will determine whether they order takeout from a restaurant. Home delivery that made lockdown life a little easier is losing favor now that restaurant dining experiences are more widely available. One year ago, 56% of participants in the Culinary Visions® study of pandemic era consumers preferred online delivery services over going somewhere in person. Although 81% now agree that their new normal is going to include more dining at home, it is not necessarily going to involve cooking. In fact, 51% prefer purchasing fully prepared foods over making food from scratch. 59% of those surveyed said they have gained a new appreciation for the supermarket deli as a source for meals.


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