Questions and Answers

Between December 2015 and January 2016 we conducted an online survey among our dining guests. We wanted to know what is important for our customers and what kind of questions on dining halls and menus they have. Here are the most frequent questions and answers.

On which basis is the serving size determined?

Each of our meals is prepared according to a calculated recipe. The serving size is based on the average daily nutritional requirement of an adult. As every canteen kitchen, Studierendenwerk works with standardized calculations. Therefore, it is not always possible to adjust the portions to individual requests.

Why are the portions sometimes different in size?

The service staff use standardized serving cutlery (ladles, tongs, etc.) of uniform size. As the meals are served manually the portion sizes can be slightly different.

Do I get a second helping?

We want no customers to leave the dining hall hungry. Therefore, we offer a free second helping of starch side dish with sauce. Like this, every individual customer gets enough and unnecessary food waste can be avoided. If the portions were bigger in general, much food would be thrown away in the end.

How is the menu created?

The seasonal eight-week menus are written by our product management and our chefs. That is a real challenge considering that up to 13 000 dishes are served every day and many factors need to be reviewed: for example the capacity of the kettles, our suppliers’ offer, culinary trends as well as different tastes and eating habits of our customers.

Special training courses and trade fares keep us up to date. International dishes, e.g. Mediterranean or Asian cuisine, make the menu varied and create a mix of food styles. In order to develop and improve the menu we are happy to receive feedback from our customers.


Why do dining halls sometimes run out of meals?

The food is purchased on the basis of statistics and experience. Unforeseeable factors such as sudden changes of the university timetables or weather conditions can lead to more customers than expected. Of course, we always try our best to provide enough food for our customers without producing too much food waste.

What is the vegetarian/vegan offer?

Eleven percent of the customers who took part in the survey are vegetarians. Four percent are vegans. Therefore, we offer the wok dishes and stews in vegetarian variations. Beside the vegetable and salad buffets there is a vegetarian dish on the menu every day and a vegan dish twice a week.

Why is there no nutritional information anymore?

Nutritional labeling is complex when many different ingredients are used. As labeling is very important to us and our customers we are currently working on optimizing the registration of this data.

Why are there plastic cups at the soft drink dispensers?

The cups are made from degradable cornstarch. Alternatively, you can bring your own reusable cup or use the Studierendenwerk MensaCup. Providing reusable glasses or cups at the soft drink dispenser would create high costs as many of them go missing.