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How is the price of a complete meal calculated?

For students, the main meal components cost 1.20 to 1.80 € per item depending on the cost of goods used; the price is shown on the information system (screens in the Mensa dining halls). Side dishes cost between 0.40 and 0.60 € for students. Staff and guests are charged higher prices. Food from the wok, barbecue and pasta counters, where high-quality dishes are prepared directly in front of the guests, costs slightly more.

What determines the size of the servings in the Mensa?

The serving sizes in our prepared meals are based on the recommendations of the German Nutrition Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung, DGE).

Which guidelines are used for the meals in the Studentenwerk catering facilities?

We also put together our menu plans and the individual dishes according to the guidelines of the German Nutrition Society (www.dge.de). They provide for a balanced diet made up of a wide variety of foodstuffs and the right combinations of nutritious and low-energy foods. We make sure that we always have a good selection of cereal products, potatoes, fresh vegetables and salads on offer and that fish is regularly on the menu. Our chefs prepare the dishes wherever possible with small amounts of fat, use low-fat foods and add salt and sugar sparingly. Thanks to our modern kitchen technology, it is possible to use gentler methods of food preparation. In other words, eating in our dining halls is the best way to make sure you are getting a balanced and healthy diet and are fit for the demands of student life.

Why do the catering facilities have different opening hours?

Because the Mensa dining halls in particular are designed to cater for students and university staff at lunchtimes, they generally close after the usual lunch period. The Hauptmensa in Essen and Duisburg stay open from Mondays to Thursdays until 18:15 h, albeit with a slightly reduced service. Food is served until later in the cafeterias, which serve hot meals and snacks until 19:00 h during the semester. In the various cafeterias, the opening times are worked out to best match customer traffic and in this way guarantee economic viability for the Studierendenwerk.

Do you use gentle methods of preparing food?

Our meals are prepared fresh and with little or no fat in combi steamers. We also pay attention to careful processing so that the nutritional value of the food is preserved and its vitamin and mineral content is as high as possible.

Do you cater for vegetarians and vegans?

All the Studierendenwerk’s Mensa dining halls have at least one vegetarian option per day. In all the other dishes, the types of meat are indicated separately. Our side dishes are entirely suitable for vegans; the both Hauptmensa in Essen and in Duisburg serves a full vegan meal every day. In the other dining halls we are in the process of extending our vegan range.

Does the Studentenwerk declare allergens?

It is always difficult for a commercial kitchen to declare all the possible allergens – particularly where in some cases they are only trace elements – on the menu. We can therefore provide no general guarantee for the information. However, to assist allergy sufferers and give them an initial guide, we offer allergen menus, which are available on this homepage. 

Can study groups meet in the Mensa dining halls?

The two Hauptmensa dining halls are available to be used as study space from Monday to Friday after mealtimes.
We urgently request students not to work in the dining halls during the main mealtimes.

What about returning cutlery and crockery: do I have to put my tray on the conveyor, or can I also use the containers?

The tray containers are only intended for emergencies when the conveyor belt is out of operation. Unfortunately we do not have the staff capacity to empty the containers regularly. We therefore have to rely on the cooperation of our guests to place their used trays on the conveyor. The cutlery should be removed from the plates and dishes and any leftover food or other waste disposed of in the bins provided.

Why do the cafeterias not always have all types of bread roll?

Generally, all the filled rolls are available up to 11:00 h as part of the standard range in the cafeterias. However, if there are no filled rolls left you can ask one of our staff to prepare them for you; fillings and bread rolls are normally available in sufficient quantities for this purpose. Only in Café Rosso and the Caschü this regulation isn't effective. Due to small stock and production opportunities the two cafeterias get their bread rolls from the canteen.

Does the chip card system comply with data protection guidelines?

The card chips do not contain any personal data. When the chip card is topped up, the amount is simply credited 1:1 to the card. The Studierendenwerk can therefore only see the amount of credit on the card and the transactions. No connection can be made between the card number and the card owner. Further information on the CashCard is provided in the Paying without cash section.

How is the hygiene standard in the canteen kitchen guaranteed?

In addition to the general annual inspections by the local food control authority, we also commission an external body - TÜV SÜD Food Safety Institute GmbH – to undertake unannounced spot checks several times a year in order to ensure that our standards are being maintained.

All these spot checks have returned a rating of “very good”.

They cover: HACCP, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points concept. That are personal, environment, equipment and product hygiene as well microbiological testing.

What happens to leftover food?

Food law requirements prohibit open foods which have already been at the food counter to be served again to guests. We therefore try to calculate the quantities when we are buying in and preparing food so that little or nothing is left over. Food waste is collected by a specialist firm for further processing.

Where does the Studierendenwerk source its food?

We source our food mainly from regional suppliers. Our partners are certified distributors with whom we have been working reliably for many years and who subject themselves to continuous inspection.

What services are available for students with children?

In our gastronomic facilities, we warm up bottles or glasses for your child. For this purpose, please contact the staff at the food counters. In addition, we also offer a children's plate. For 0,50 €, small children up to the age of six can arrange their own lunch.