Improve the restaurants quality at the University of Oulu

Improve the restaurants quality at the University of Oulu

September 14, 2022
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Signatures: 3,223Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Ahmed Abdelrahim

We, the undersigned, current, and former students and staff members at the University of Oulu, call on the University of Oulu administration and relevant authorities to take practical actions towards enhancing the food quality and services offered at the University restaurants. The quality of the service has been bad since the beginning when the current restaurant service provider took over the restaurants at the University a few years ago. Ever since the service has only become worse and worse, and lunchtime has become an unfortunate part of the day. Initiating a petition is taken as a last resort after trying to approach all the relevant entities that could interfere to improve the situation, but these efforts were in vain. The responses only insisted that the service provider offers services up to all standards. 

We call the University officials to cancel the service provider contract and ban them from ever offering services at the campus or participating in future tenders to run the University restaurants. University restaurants receiving Kela support must be fairly split between more than two providers. No entity shall run most restaurants so that healthy competition would raise the quality of service offered to the students. Food variety should consider the international nature of the students and that not one type of food fits all. Future tendering conditions must ensure that the food offered is humane. Food is not about the number of calories or protein in the meal, as we are not farm animals or soldiers on the march. Eating should be a pleasurable experience for the customers at the University restaurants receiving Kela support.

Below is a list of many things we believe to be wrong with the current service provider:

1-      Using Kela support to become super rich 

The main service provider is becoming super rich at the expense of students’ misery. KELA pays the restaurant from the tax money. For each student meal, the restaurant receives 2.3 Euros from Kela. In 2019, the main service provider turnover was 23 million Euros from selling 3 million meals. (Source: The service provider website) 

2-      Virtual monopoly means minimum quality

The service provider is serving us students’ food with comparable quality to stray animals’ food only because they are virtually the only option from which students can get food for an affordable price at the campus. Having a virtual monopoly over seven out of eight restaurants in the University that receive Kela support means there is virtually no competition. It means that they can serve us whatever bad food at whatever low quality, and we would have to take it. The reason is that there are no alternatives with comparable prices. If eight restaurants at the University receive Kela support, why let only one company run seven out of them?!! This kind of arrangement raises so many question marks.

3-      Very low food quality

The food quality at the service provider restaurants is terrible. One quick look at H2O restaurant shows that majority of its customers are staff members. Staff members pay comparable prices at H2O and the service provider restaurants. Staff members choose H2O because the food there is more humane. Unlike the poor students, staff and administration members are not forced to eat at the main service provider restaurants because of the affordable price, noting that the affordable prices are only made possible through Kela support from tax money.

4-      Cleaning the food properly before serving:

We often get the chicken and immediately start smelling the foul smell of the chicken with the first bite. It is incredibly disgusting. We usually remove the chicken skin with the “chicken fillet.” Please request that the restaurant at least clean the food properly. The smell issue often happens with the meat as well. They should hire more people as they do not have enough workforce to clean the food. If they do not want to hire more people, they should get it cleaned from the source and ready for cooking.

5-      Food quantity

The main dish often has this restriction regarding the portion you are allowed to take, which is completely fine, except that it is often so tiny that it would not be enough to feed an adult. One example is the “1 piece of fish,” another is “1 slice of pizza”.

6-      Food cooking

The food often comes undercooked or overcooked, especially the rice and pasta. It should not be that hard to cook those. It should be mandatory that professional chefs prepare the food so that the food is cooked appropriately.

7-      Food taste

The food taste is usually so bad. The food always tastes the same: the taste of nothing. Most of the time, chicken tastes the same as meat. No other restaurant outside of the university offers food with a worse taste than the main restaurant’s service provider at the University of Oulu.

8-      Food Diversity

The food is repeated all over the restaurants every day. There are minimal (and flawed) options constantly circulated in the restaurants on the regular menu. The diversity and international nature of students who are the main customers at the University restaurants require that the food is also more diverse. For example, at least one restaurant should serve kosher/halal meat or chicken meal and one properly cooked Asian meal.

9-      Protein portion

I believe the food source is of terrible quality, and Juvenues choose the most economical recipe when preparing food. For example, when they offer salmon soup, it is 98% potatoes and 2% salmon. This is similar to any casserole or pasta offered; they either use 98% of potatoes or 98% pasta with 2% chicken or meat.

10-   Plate size

The main service provider reduced the plate sizes, even compared to other restaurants’ plates at the University, and the cup sizes are also getting smaller over time.

11-   Juice, bread, and spreads

We only get two extremely diluted options that you feel like drinking water. We get it that the main restaurants’ service provider at the University of Oulu needs to make a profit, but it is still not an excuse for the pink water that is constantly being offered. The bread is not always fresh, and occasionally we get inedible dry bread. Again, minimal spread (Cheese, butter, and Humus) is not even available all the time.

12-   Staff

The staff at the main service provider-restaurants is never smiling and rarely friendly. We feel like the restaurants are constantly understaffed, with the team mainly stressed, reflecting on how they handle the customers. Again, they don’t have to show any sign of hospitality because the students are forced to eat at their restaurants due to the virtual monopoly the main service provider holds over affordable restaurants.


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Signatures: 3,223Next Goal: 5,000
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