Having lunch at Roche

“Food is not just a supply mandate – it is also well-being and health” (Christophe Hoegy)

“We are more willing to buy expensive engine oil in our daily life, than consuming high-quality food.” With Christophe Hoegy, Head of the canteen at our site in Mannheim and Peter Auer, Head of the canteen in Penzberg, we spoke about their day-to-day work at the canteen, strengths and Roche values, as well as about sustainability and visions.  Explore the culinary diversity of our sites!

How does a usual working day at the canteen look like?

In Mannheim and Penzberg, the day starts at 6 a.m. with the incoming goods and the preparation of the meals. Every day several thousand meals are served at each site. Therefore, a lot of work is required, especially, as we set high standards for the freshness of food. From 10 and 11 o’clock the different parts of the canteen open: Including the coffee bar, the actual canteen as well as the shop. This means high time pressure for about 100 employees per site, but they cope with it in a “well-organized chaos”. At about 1:30 p.m. the work in the canteen slowly comes to an end. This does not mean that the working day is over, instead, project work, like recipe design, preparation for the next day and cleaning need to be done.

What distinguishes the Canteens?

Christophe Hoegy: With our opening hours of the canteen from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as well as the additional offer from the coffee bar and the cafeteria we provide flexibility. The food offering is also flexible, for example with the size of the meal. One can keep a well-balanced diet, as we have a large offering of salad and raw vegetables.

Peter Auer: Penzberg offers a large variety of meals and also has a high standard for freshness of the food. What also distinguishes us is: our different menus and the possibility to freely put together one’s meal being able to choose from different components.

One of our fundamental principles is, “passion and performance” in our work. How does this affect the canteen?

We show that we have the courage and passion to try out new things. We support diversity and cultural variety at the site, by offering dishes like kebab or sushi.

How do you manage nutrition?

We have our own procurement, our own production as well as cash register and merchandise management systems that are perfectly compatible with one another and therefore ensure a smooth overall process. If this would not be working properly, we would face major problems in our daily work. Therefore, the organization is very IT intensive. In Mannheim we also have a diploma nutritionist, who mainly looks for a balanced menu and secures the food and its quality. This means that she controls the menu and the food and ensures a proper labelling of additives and allergens.

In Penzberg we also have the supporting IT systems; otherwise it would not be possible to offer the different menus. These include six different lines, from “Homemade”, where the meal only includes fresh products, to the “Well-fit” menu, where a meal only contains a maximum of 700 calories.

Roche focuses on being sustainable – how does the canteen contribute to this value?

Sustainability is a value of very high importance to us at Roche and we strongly care about it. Therefore, we make an effort to work sustainable and environmentally conscious every day. As an example: we explicitly focus on working with regional and high-quality suppliers. This helps to reduce CO2-emissions and respect the environment. Another aspect is that we only buy fish with an MSC seal. We also look for sustainability and environmental protection regarding “waste” and “waste disposal”. In Penzberg there is also an “Earth-Week”, during this week only meals are served which consider climate protection and sustainability.

What is new and what can we expect in the future?

In Mannheim, there is a new pizza oven in the cafeteria since May, so that we also sell freshly baked pizzas. Then we also have a Frozen Yoghurt or soft ice cream stand and additionally, since the beginning of June we also use an increased amount of bio products. We are also planning to provide take away meals in the future and the expansion of our vegan supply In Penzberg we are planning another “Earth-Week” in September and in November there will also be a week which focuses on the topic “Peru”.   So there is something to be excited about!

A big thank you to Christophe Hoegy and Peter Auer for these interesting insights into nutrition at our sites in Mannheim and Penzberg.

Tags: Career Blog, Germany