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New leaseholder for several canteens on the Aarhus campus

From the new year, students and staff will be greeted by Jespers Torvekøkken in several canteens on the Aarhus campus. At the same time, the canteens in Stakladen, Dale's Café and Moesgaard will close, and Aarhus University will take over operation of the Student House conference centre. This is the result of the call for tenders launched earlier this year for Studenterhusfonden’s operating tasks.

2020.11.20 | Anders Hylander

[Translate to English:] Jespers Torvekøkken, der i forvejen varetager kantinedriften i Samfundsfaglig Kantine, bliver ny forpagter i flere kantiner på campus i Aarhus. Foto: Ida Marie Jensen/AU Foto

Honest, delicious and sustainable food. This is how the new leaseholder of several AU canteens describes their products on their website. Jespers Torvekøkken has been selected as the new leaseholder of the Nobel Park canteen and bakery, the Nobel Park deli and the School of Dentistry canteen. Jespers Torvekøkken is already responsible for canteen operations at the social sciences canteen. Jespers Torvekøkken will be operating the three canteens, the deli and the bakery until the end of 2026.

This is the result of the call for tenders to run Studenterfonden’s canteen operations that was launched in the spring. Arnold Boon, university director, was head of the steering committee of the call for tenders. He stresses quality and sustainability as important criteria for the choice of the new leaseholder:

"We know that we’ll get high quality from Jespers Torvekøkken, who already run the social sciences canteen. In short, they make really good food and deliver a high level of service. For this tender, we were able to place added emphasis on greater sustainability in our canteens - and thereby live up to the ambitions of AU’s climate strategy.”

Jespers Torvekøkken distinguished itself during the tender process by delivering on the parameters of product quality, service quality and quality assurance procedures. They also scored highly in the assessment of their security of supply. In addition, the steering committee emphasised the clear sustainability strategy of Jespers Torvekøkken that obligates them to reduce carbon emissions.

Closing canteens in Stakladen, Dale’s Café and Moesgaard

Before the summer holidays, it was announced that the canteens in Stakladen and Dale's Café would close as a result of the call for tenders. The Moesgaard canteen has also been closed temporarily. Currently, the university is working on finding a solution to make it possible for students and employees to continue to be able to buy food and drink at Moesgaard. 

“The decision to close down these canteens is partly because they have been unprofitable for quite some time. In the case of Dale’s Cafe and Stakladen, one explanation for this is that they’re located close to the canteen at the School of Dentistry, the Nobel Park canteen and the Royal Library canteen,” explained Arnold Boon in July, when the closures were announced.

The steering group expects that, by consolidating food services in fewer locations, it will be possible to maintain high quality in the remaining canteens, which are already popular among students and staff at AU.

Studenterhusfonden to close

In early March 2020, AU announced that the operation of Studenterhusfonden’s canteen would be put out to tender. At the same time, it was announced that the university would take over operation of the Student House conference centre, which the foundation had previously been responsible for. On this basis, the board of the foundation decided to dissolve the foundation as of 31 December 2020. On that occasion, board chair Erik Meineche Schmidt said:

“With the termination of the agreements, the objectives of Studenterhusfonden’s activities laid down in its articles of association will no longer exist, and the foundation’s board has therefore decided to wind it up with effect from 1 January 2021. The foundation will continue its operations throughout 2020 and will work closely with AU to ensure a good transition to the new leaseholders of the canteens.”

Since then, the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in the periodic closing of several of Studenterhusfonden’s canteens. In autumn 2020, it was decided that the canteens in Stakladen and Dale's Café would not reopen after the lockdown, and the canteen at Moesgaard would remain temporarily closed.

"On behalf of AU, I would like to extend my thanks for the good collaboration with employees and managers at Studenterhusfonden. At the same time, I respect the foundation's decision not to bid for canteen operations again, and the subsequent decision to close the foundation,” concludes University Director Arnold Boon.

From 1 January 2021, operation of the conference centre, which involves local administration and building-related service tasks, will be taken over by Aarhus BSS Building Services. Information about booking facilities in the conference centre will be published in the near future on this website.      

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