climate plate at the cafeterias. Copyright by Österreichische Mensen.

A climate-friendly plate

How? Well, it's not the plate itself that protects the climate. It's what's on the plate: if seasonality and regionality are taken into account when cooking, then the climate is also being helped. For these reasons, Österreichische Mensen Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (ÖMBG) is introducing a cafeteria climate plate, so called Klimateller. Read more here about this project, which is not only challenging from a culinary point of view.

"Mensa" means table. What's important for everyone is what's on the table. ÖMBG cooks for the "university lunch table". This makes it the largest company in Austria in the field of communal catering: There are refectories at more than 60 locations in our country. All of them bear the Austrian Ecolabel, which not only guarantees culinary quality!

Now the ÖMBG is offering the hungry a "Mensa Klimateller". For the preparation of the Klimateller's dishes, "only ingredients that are seasonal and regional are cooked. Organic produce is used wherever this is already possible in the purchasing process. The dishes are also meat- and fish-free," explains DDr. Franz Haslauer, Managing Director of ÖMBG. "We see adding the Mensa climate plate to our product range as a logical step on our way to CO2 reduction and climate neutrality in our operations."

Mission sustainability on many plates! "The mission of the Austrian cafeterias is to be a leading company for sustainability. A large part of the clientele of the Austrian cafeterias - i.e. students - will help to determine the future of our country. Sustainability and environmental protection are part of our corporate philosophy - this is how we formulate the goals of our product management. In addition, there are the required criteria of public procurement. All our operations are strictly and closely monitored to ensure compliance with the defined measures," emphasises DDr. Franz Haslauer.

Creations of the chef team. When and where will the Mensa Klimateller be offered? "We will start a test phase in the summer semester of 2022 at our facility at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna. A variety of new recipes are currently being developed. The goal is to offer the product at all our establishments throughout Austria in the near future." An additional plus: the Mensa Klimateller will not differ in price from the other daily specials!

Cafeteria marketing. Will the Mensa Klimateller be advertised in a special way? "Yes, we plan to advertise it on our channels, such as on our menu screens, on our social media platforms as well as on the homepage. Also in print, e.g. via folders and posters in our business premises. Of course, our actions towards climate protection will be mentioned." The Mensa Klimateller will be marked with a special icon on the menu and thus quickly recognised.

Logo of the Klimateller. Copyright by Österreichische Mensen.

Conscious dining. There was already a vegetarian dish on the menu every day. What was the demand like from the students? "The demand is very high and is getting stronger. Depending on the location, the vegan or vegetarian portion of our daily menu is already higher than the conventional one. We are therefore constantly expanding our range with new vegan and vegetarian dishes." In addition to the Mensa climate plate, vegan and vegetarian dishes will therefore continue to be available in the Austrian cafeterias.

The Mensa sustainability plate is also a very important, welcome offer on the menus of the Austrian cafeterias! Because it prevents the disposal of quality food and also helps people in Austria who are financially strapped to have a warm, tasty meal. DDr. Franz Haslauer explains to us how this works: "All meals in the Austrian cafeterias are prepared fresh every day and carefully according to the requirements of the ingredients. The only exception is the Mensa sustainability plate. This is characterised by the processing of ingredients and dishes from the previous day - i.e. goods that have not been used up and are still available in first-class quality. These dishes are also freshly prepared the following day and offered as sustainability plates. The ÖMBG is thus making a contribution against the waste of valuable food. The Mensa sustainability plate is offered at a discounted price and is very popular with our guests."

Eat something good and do something good for the climate at the same time! This is possible with the new Mensa climate plate, but also with the already proven Mensa sustainability plate, which is increasingly available at Austrian cafeterias! This is what a sensible meal looks like! Here we come! Where will we find the knife and fork? And where the tray?

climate plate at the cafeterias. Copyright by Österreichische Mensen.