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News Briefs: Awards and Social Responsibility

As part of its commitment to advance regenerative agriculture practices on one million acres of farmland by 2030, General Mills is partnering with organic and conventional farmers, suppliers and farm advisors in key growing regions to drive the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices. Key suppliers to drive adoption across key ingredients will include oats, wheat, corn, dairy feed and sugar beets. 

“Our first on-farm training and education academies will focus on North American growers where we source high-quality oats for Cheerios, Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, Nature Valley and Blue Buffalo,” said Jon Nudi, president of North American retail for General Mills, in a release. General Mills is granting $650,000 to non-profit organization, Kiss the Ground, to support farmer training and coaching through Soil Health Academies where growers will learn how to increase farm profitability, build resiliency into the land and decrease input costs using soil health practices. 


A new state-by-state analysis released on the eve of Equal Pay Day by the National Partnership for Women & Families finds that women employed full time, year-round in Minnesota are typically paid just 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man in Minnesota—a yearly pay difference of $10,014. This annual wage gap represents money Minnesota women could be spending on housing, child care or health insurance costs, the organization says. If the wage gap closed, on average, a working woman in Minnesota would be able to afford nearly 11 additional months of rent, 10 additional months of child care or more than seven additional months of premiums for employer-based health insurance. Working women in Minnesota lose a combined total of nearly $16 billion due to the wage gap each year, the study says. 

The analysis finds that nationally, Latinas are typically paid 53 cents, Native American women 58 cents, Black women 61 cents, white, non-Hispanic women 77 cents, and Asian American women 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wage gap for mothers—who are breadwinners in half of families with children under 18—is 71 cents compared to every dollar paid to fathers.


Millennials with children increased their restaurant visits by 5 percent in 2018 compared to the prior year, reports The NPD Group. Their visit increase is in comparison to flat traffic growth for the total foodservice industry in 2018, according to NPD, which tracks on a daily basis U.S. consumers’ use of restaurants and other foodservice outlets.  Millennials overall make the most restaurant visits per capita although their visits have been slowing.  As teens and young adults they influenced the growth of the fast-casual category, the “fresh” movement and were early adopters of the hottest sauces and an assortment of ethnic flavors. Now as parents with hectic lives, they’re turning to restaurants for convenience. Their outlets of choice for a family meal are quick-service restaurants, which include fast-casual restaurants. Millennials with kids made 7.3 billion visits to quick-service restaurants in 2018. Dinner is the meal when they are most likely to turn to foodservice, but lunch and morning meal get their share of visits as well, NPD found.  

The Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted the 23rd annual Diamond Service Awards in mid-March at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington-Minneapolis South. The gala event honored front-line service personnel from Bloomington’s hospitality industry, including employees from hotels, restaurants, retail, and attractions.

Diamond Service Awards were given to recipients in these foodservice categories:

Best Hospitality Administration (Other)
Conrad Simmons, Chick-fil-A, Mall of America

Best Bartender
Teransc Phillip, Minneapolis Airport Marriott

Best Banquet/Catering Personnel
Brandon Olson, Radisson Blu Mall of America

Best Restaurant Personnel
Natasha Johnson, American Girl

Best Hotel Restaurant Personnel
Annette Cummings, Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington

TIE: Best Bus/Dishwasher
Ahmed Amin, Hyatt Regency Bloomington
Michael Santore, Hard Rock Café

Best Food Production Personnel (Hotel)
Fabiola Olmedo Chavez, Sheraton Bloomington Hotel

Best Food Production Personnel (Other)
Hugo Sanchez, Hazelwood Food and Drink, Managing Director Amy Senn

More News Briefs

Del Taco Restaurants, the nation’s second leading Mexican quick-service restaurant (Taco Bell is first), started offering Beyond Meat’s 100 percent plant-based protein option at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country.

Amy Senn


Michael Symons will be joining Baldamar, a new concept by local restaurateur Randy Stanley, as general manager. Symons has more than 15 years of restaurant experience working as a partner, operating manager, general manager and chef at a variety of establishments across the Twin Cities. Baldamar, located at Rosedale Center in Roseville, is a 8,000-square-foot freestanding restaurant, which Stanley describes as “a modern American steakhouse for the urban suburban,” and anticipates a fall 2019 opening date. Shea is the designer of the property.


Newmark Knight Frank has added a Capital Markets team comprised of tenured industry professionals: Senior Managing Directors Bob Pounds and Tim Prinsen; Managing Director Amy Senn and Senior Analyst Lori Pounds. The team joins the Minneapolis office to form an investment-focused group specializing in retail, office and industrial properties. The firm’s Minneapolis operation already includes specialists in office, industrial, retail, project management, property management, valuation and advisory—and now investment sales. The four join NKF from Colliers International, where the investment team completed 300 transactions valued at $2.3 billion in sales. Newmark is actively recruiting for its Minneapolis office.


Rational North America, the leading manufacturer of combi technology, has announced its full-year 2018 preliminary results after a year of record growth. The company continued its successful performance, generating a 26 percent increase in year-over-year revenue growth. In addition, the Rational North America Distribution Center shipped a record-breaking 10,000 units, bringing the North American total install base to more than 60,000 active Rational combi-steamers. 

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