Policy for better restaurant services

The selection of restaurant services is based on the values and strategy of Aalto University. The cornerstones of restaurant activities are sustainability, environmental values and the general well-being of all at Aalto. The restaurant services are of high quality and cost-efficient and they correspond with the needs of the university and its stakeholders.
Dallapé 2018 -ravintolan annoksissa on syksyisiä makuja. Kuva: Annu Moilanen.

In its restaurant activity, Aalto University also underlines the overall well-being of its faculty and staff and students. The selection in the restaurants puts emphasis on well-being and the promotion of healthy lifestyle, while also taking into account the best practises of the branch as well as the available research results. Responsibility in environmental issues will be taken into account when a competitive bid for a restaurant is called. Social responsibilities and ethically sustainable activities will also be taken into consideration. Aalto University requires that the restaurants create operational targets in order to make sustainability more visible in their activities. The students are the largest group of customers in Aalto’s restaurants. Therefore it is vital that the restaurants also take into account Kela’s boundary conditions on student meals as well as the recommendations on lunches offered to students.

The following aspects will be the focus areas of Aalto University's restaurant services in the coming years:

General principles:

  1. The restaurant activity supports Aalto University's strategy and values.
  2. The quality and the price of the meals are in balance.
  3. Correct amount of restaurants provide the said services. A part of the restaurants can focus on e.g. vegetarian or ethnic dishes.

The facilities and the environment

  1. The facilities are fit for purpose, versatile, adaptable and effectively in use. The goal is that after the restaurants close for the day, the premises become available for other things, e.g. for students to work on their projects or for research groups to hold their meetings in them.
  2. The basic prerequisite for restaurant activity is reducing the overall environmental impact as well as the amount of waste produced, and both of these must be clearly measurable. No disposable dishes will be used anymore; the restaurants will track their use of energy, such as electricity and hot water, which make up the largest portion of energy usage in the kitchens. It will be recommended that the customers take only so much food as they are able to eat; the restaurants will have e.g. a counter present to show the amount of biodegradable waste produced in said restaurant. Each restaurant will have a clearly marked station for separating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. 
  3. Restaurants will use the environmental passport for catering services through which the service providers will commit themselves for responsible action.

The quality and healthiness of the food

  1. The restaurants will organise themed weeks/days 1-2 times/semester. During such a themed week the lunch menus will focus on vegetarian dishes, food produced with a clean production approach,  as well as on ingredients from the nearby areas. The themed week are organised simultaneously in all the restaurants at the university. In addition to this, the number and variety of vegetarian dishes on the menus will be increased. The vegetarian dishes will be placed first in the service lines, so that the customers can choose from multiple options.
  2. Domestically produced ingredients will be used as much as possible and their seasons will be evident in the menus. Following these steps the number of lunches made from ingredients from nearby areas will increase. The lunches made from such ingredients along with their place of origin will be stated clearly in the service lines. 
  3. Dishes produced with a clean production approach will be used more. It is recommended that dishes will be made available in such a way that each customer can combine their meal from selections produced with a clean production approach. The products as well as their place of origin will be stated clearly in the service lines. With dishes produced with a clean production approach one must, however, take into consideration Kela’s boundary conditions regarding student meals, e.g. the pricing of lunches.
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