Thinly sliced: What happens to a city when Amazon HQ2 moves in, Chobani gets a facelift, and more
This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.
Editor’s note: On Thursday, we linked to a Fast Company story about a DoorDash initiative to deliver leftovers from restaurants to area food banks. To run this program, the story reported that drivers would donate their time: “In the future, drivers will choose to donate their time themselves.” However, a DoorDash representative reached out to dispute this, and clarified how drivers’ payments will work: “Project DASH is treated like a DoorDash Drive delivery,” they said. “Dashers are paid the guaranteed amount that they are shown prior to accepting a Project DASH delivery. DoorDash contributes all funds to pay Dashers to fulfill Project DASH deliveries and will continue to do so.” As such, we have removed our aggregation of this story.
First things first. Chef José Andrés is using his seat at the table to speak out against threats facing immigrants. Citing his concern for beloved employees that work in his restaurant kitchen, Andrés wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post on Thursday that the recent revocation of protective status for Salvadoran, Honduran, and Haitian immigrants is “throwing families and communities into crisis for no good reason.”
C’mon, already. HQ2 at a city near you! Amazon has released a shortlist of cities for its new headquarters, a project expected to cost about $5 billion in construction and create around 50,000 “highly-paid” jobs. If you happen to live in one of the lucky 20 cities, don’t cross your fingers just yet: The announcement might be framed as mutually beneficial for the behemoth and the lucky winner, but we’re still wondering if scoring an Amazon headquarters will really be worth its salt for city number two.
Another not-so-good deal. The $200,000 initiation fee required for membership in President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago club doesn’t appear to ensure that those members will eat safe food. The Miami Herald reports that the Florida resort’s two main kitchens racked up 15 food safety violations during a November inspection. It’s just sad. Very, very sad.
Also sad. Bonnier Corporation magazine, Saveur, has severed ties with its editor-in-chief, deputy digital editor, and about half of its staff, Eater reports. This comes at a time when the future for food media looks about as nebulous as the future for, well, pretty much everything. Only three months ago, Meredith Corporation acquired 22 food magazines from Time, Inc., a move that consolidated publications like Food & Wine, Real Simple, Travel + Leisure, and Sunset under one roof.
More changes. Diet Coke isn’t the only brand getting a facelift. Chobani recently rolled out some new packaging to compete with other millennial-minded rebrands. Please don’t be fooled by the retro typeface: Chobani hasn’t changed its signature 13 grams of sugar per serving, which prompted a class-action lawsuit in 2014. Because, old habits die hard.
Or, you could just eat a hamburger. By 2025, McDonald’s packaging will be recyclable, says CNN Money. The effort is a response to customer concerns about packaging waste. (Sure that was their only concern?) Either way, this is just the most recent announcement about green-tinged changes for the world’s largest restaurant chain. Last year, the company announced two pilot projects centered on sustainable beef. Though, as is also true of a cup of Chobani yogurt, the essential McDonald’s ingredients will most likely stay the same.
Off the clock but still on payroll. Restaurants are struggling to hit refresh on their operations after owners and chefs accused of sexual misconduct stepped aside, the New York Times reports. Reservations have been canceled. Some eaters report avoiding Mario Batali’s restaurants due to the allegations. And apparently, staffers at one of Charlie Hallowell’s restaurants are threatening to resign if Hallowell does not. It’s the beginning of a long road to equity in the restaurant world, and if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.