The guests of our canteens and cafeterias always ask us many questions - whether to our employees on site or to our administration via e-mail. We have noticed that similar topics are always on the minds of our guests. Therefore, we have decided to take up frequently asked questions and bundle them for you.
Holders of the following ID cards can visit our dining halls:
- CampusCard - for students
- CampusCard - service card
- CampusCard - for guest students
- CampusCard - access card (card cannot be used as a means of payment!)
- Students of other universities and colleges with the corresponding ID card
- Pupils with student card
- MensaCard holders (see MensaCard)
Legitimation at the Mensa cash desks with the above-mentioned cards/IDs is required. Please have the card ready at the cash desk.
Prices and payment
Every person with a student identification can buy the main dishes, the side dishes and desserts at the student rate. Employees of the universities or student services and guest students are welcome to visit our canteens, but pay a higher rate.
Of course! And we even offer a special service: Children of students and employees are welcome to put together a ‘Kid’s plate’ from the daily offerings for only 1€. This service is available to children up to a maximum of 10 years of age.
The prices for the main dishes are calculated according to the purchasing price and a mark-up. Normally the purchasing price and the production costs are higher than the selling price. The Studentenwerk receives grants from the federate state Lower Saxony which makes it possible to work cost-covering and also offer meals at student-suitable prices. To offset the lower student rates, the prices for employees are higher.
As explained in the abstract above, the selling price depends, at least partially, on the purchase price of the foodstuffs. There are different factors which influence these prices: regionality, organic cultivation, animal friendly farming, conventional sourcing etc. All main dishes have the same mark-up which means we don’t make meat dishes artificially more expensive. Also the vegan and vegetarian meals – contrary to the meat dishes - are often complete menus including a side dish. Therefore it is possible that sometimes a meat dish has a lower price than a vegan or vegetarian meal.
Paying with CampusCard is extra quick and leads to shorter queues at the cash register. But of course it is also possible to pay in cash.
In addition to students and university employees, we also welcome guests of the universities in our dining halls. These include, for example, guest lecturers, visitors in the context of university operations and other groups of people active for the university. Since these persons usually do not receive an identification document from the universities, these guests can legitimize themselves with the MensaCard at the cash desks of the canteens.
Persons without university affiliation cannot use the refectories. This is because Lower Saxony's student unions have a university-related service mandate.
The MensaCard is issued at many university offices. Please contact the office or the secretariat of the institution through which your connection to the university is established: Organigram of the university.
No. The MensaCard only serves as proof of eligibility to use the canteen.
Persons who identify themselves at our cafeterias with the MensaCard pay the guest price. This is the price for students plus the corresponding surcharge for guests.
No. The Studentenwerk Oldenburg does not collect any personal data in connection with the MensaCard.
The MensaCard is used exclusively for the purpose of legitimization at the cafeteria cash registers; no other university authorizations/entitlements are created by the receipt of the MensaCard.
In all our catering enterprises you can find an “Allergie- & Zusatzsstoffverordnung” that gives you information about all compulsory labelled additives. This can help you to find the right meal for you. Please note that due to the many different foods that are processed in our kitchens and also the cooking process, cross- contaminations can’t be fully prevented.
We have high quality standards, so we always plan need-based and buy very fresh products. In rare cases, it can happen that our suppliers have delivery problems or that a technical difficulty occurs. Then we have to re-plan at the last minute. It can also happen that a meal sells out.
Our experienced canteen managers are pretty accurate when it comes to calculating the required amount of dishes. However, it can sometimes happen that more people than expected show up and that a meal sells out quickly. Also for sustainable reasons, we try not to overproduce and provoke unnecessary food wastage. In this case, we offer a suitable alternative so that there is still a good selection until closing time.
Since the 1980’s, we have been buying organic products and since 2004 all our canteens, cafeterias and café bars have the EU organic certification. In our enterprises, you can find placards that show you which products we offer solely from organic farming. In May 2021, the amount of ecological products offered was already about 30% but we are continuously trying to improve on that.
The question if, and how, CO2 declarations are possible is a topic that we and other Studentenwerk organisations have been busy with for a while. Currently, due to different origins, cultivation methods and ways of preparation and also the seasonal and other factors involved, it’s extremely difficult to calculate an exact result. The Studentenwerk Oldenburg and other student services in Lower Saxony are in regular contact on that topic and are optimistic that one day we’ll find a solution. However, today it’s important for us to help the climate by, for example, buying local and organic vegetables directly from the producer.
We try to source more ethical meat wherever it is possible. Since the late 1990’s,100% of the purchased pork, beef and lamb is from animal friendly farming, this also includes the cold cuts which are used for sandwiches & co. Purchasing organic or animal friendly poultry is much more difficult. That’s why we offer poultry from conventional farming more often.
We actually label that in our meal plans and at the counters to keep you informed:
- G = Poultry from animal friendly farming
- GK = Poultry from conventional farming
- L = Lamb from animal friendly farming
- R = Beef from animal friendly farming
- S = Pork from animal friendly farming
In the canteen Uhlhornsweg, you’ll find at least one vegan meal each day. Also many of the side dishes are vegan. In the other canteens, we always offer at least one daily vegetarian meal or some days vegetarian/vegan. Because of different demand and capacities in the kitchens and counters, the choice of vegan meals varies from place to place. Also in our cafébars and cafeterias the variety of vegan snacks is constantly growing. The labels (V= vegetarian ; V+ = vegan) will help you to find plantbased food quickly. If you have questions or any suggestions, you’re welcome to contact our employees.
There are strict hygiene regulations in the food service industry which are implemented to protect our guests from foodborne infections. Therefore we can’t reuse all foodstuffs that have been at the serving counter. That’s why, before closing, the offer is reduced. Prepared meals, which haven’t left the kitchen, may be reused the following day in a different variation. Foodstuffs and leftovers that can’t be used the next day are being used in the energy production, where biogas plants generate eco-friendly energy, for example electricity, heat energy, biodiesel and components of organic fertiliser.
We offer disposable tableware so our guests can enjoy meals on the go. For many years already, we’ve been using disposable tableware which is not made out of plastic and tinfoil, but of renewable or recycled materials like paper, cardboard, or corn starch. As an alternative to the single use coffee cups, we are testing the RECUP-system at our campuses in Emden in Wilhelmshaven and hope to install the deposit system on all campuses.
The REBOWL-System is already in place which is a waste-free and climate friendly alternative to single use plastics.
Due to the standardised food portions and hygiene regulations, we can’t serve the food to your own lunchboxes or plates. What you can do is swap the Mensa tableware yourself, having taken a seat in the cafeteria/canteen, for your own lunchbox or plates.
In some canteens we offer your meal in a REBOWL. At the cash register, a deposit of €5 is charged. You can return the Bowl at all cash registers and your deposit can be credited to your Campus Card or returned in cash. Please bring the complete set back: The Bowl itself and the lid. For hygienic reasons we won’t accept dirty bowls or bowls containing leftovers. REBOWL is a Germany-wide deposit system so the Bowls can be given back at all partner firms.
We have high hygiene- and quality standards in all our enterprises. The HACCP-Concept, a self-control system, makes sure that we have a seamless food monitoring e.g. temperature controls in all production processes. Parallel to this, we have regular internal and external audits and we are constantly looking for ways to optimizing our processes.
University groups and student councils flyers are allowed display flyers free of cost. The originator must be identifiable (Logo or address). Please don’t put more than two flyers on each table. The flyers must be re-collected early afternoon (after the lunch period), otherwise we will charge a disposal fine of 25€..
All our canteens are easily accessible for mobility-impaired persons. You can find elevators in all canteens that are not at ground level. Of course our colleagues will also support you by carrying the meal tray or clearing the table.