• Beth & Tim Manners

College Food & 'The 6-Foot Kitchen'

The New York Times: "At campuses across the country, self-serve stations, where students can make their own salads or taco bowls, will be eliminated; instead, masked-and-gloved workers, shielded by plexiglass barriers, will serve nearly everything. Gone, too, will be condiment and coffee stations, replaced by single-serving ketchup and salad-dressing packets and paper cups that many schools were triumphantly phasing out in an effort to reduce waste. Several universities are even using robots to prepare food and deliver it."


"Sodexo, the food service giant that operates at some 600 campuses in the United States, has created a training module called the Six Foot Kitchen, which provides guidance on how to create safe kitchen environments — everything from tape marks on the floor to mark safe distances, to protocols for accepting deliveries and managing storage. Sodexo is also turning to technology for help. At two of the universities it works with, the company has robots ready to deliver food to students outside dining halls and food courts."


"George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., is one of those schools. When its 36,000 students head back to school on Aug. 24, Sodexo will have 43 robots — essentially high-tech coolers on wheels — ready to deliver meals and snacks from Starbucks, Dunkin’ and other brands. Students order via an app, food workers load the order into the robot, then the robot drives itself to the appointed location, whether that’s a dorm or a bench near the library."

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