Sustainable Development in Restaurant and Catering education at Omnia

Here is a description of the Preparing lunch dishes unit.

We have  opened the lunch dishes preparation process and identified what different sustainability targets it has. See photo 1.

Photo 1. The lunch dishes preparation process.

Health, safety and a safe learning or working environment are important in the preparation of lunch dishes.


Menu design and sourcing raw material

We prefer to use organic and local raw materials. Organic products are mainly used within the dairy and cereals products. We have used Fair Trade Coffee. We are committed to using organic ingredients in our student restaurant Herkku and are part of the Organic Stairs (Portaat luomuun) program. 

The Organic Stairs (Portaat luomuun) program is a voluntary program for professional kitchens that supports kitchens ’quest for sustainable choices by guiding kitchens to use organic ingredients continuously, but to increase their use incrementally. The aim of the program is to encourage public sector kitchens in particular to increase the regular use of organic products.

Student restaurant Herkku is situated in organic ladder on level 4/5 and Restaurant Henricus on level 5/5. Restaurant Henricus serves organic and local food in InnoOmnia in Espoon keskus.


Student restaurant Herkku we use domestic raw materials as much as possible.

We have edited the menu to be more environmentally friendly by adding fish and vegetarian dishes and reducing beef and other meat containing dishes. We have made vegan diet alternative in restaurant Henricus.  We have also added a daily warm vegetable supplement and diversified the salad table in student restaurant Herkku by preparing the displayed roots and vegetables variously.


Food Service

Safety is part of the food service and we pay attention to it by ensuring the correct serving temperatures and by taking daily food samples which are stored frozen for 2 weeks. Official national Oiva-system monitors that food is safe.

Various food allergens are reported clearly on the menu and special diets are produced when needed. Different cultures have been taken into account in the menu, for example by a marking that the food contains pork.

Photo by Arja Allekotte

Food loss and Garbage sorting

  • In the educational restaurant Henricus, food waste is measured and documented daily.
  • Garbage sorting is part of the teaching and practical activities.
  • Packaging plastic recycling

Learning environment

Learn new things in a safe work environment.
The learning environment accepts diversity of students and each individual’s conditions are supported. Everyone has an individual learning path.

Students have the opportunity to qualify as Raca (Restaurant and Catering) Sustainability Expert, by achieving various “task signs/ virtual open padges” of competence. Below is an example of suitable “task signs/virtual open padges” for the Preparing lunch dishes unit.

Text & photos: Arja Allekotte, Omnia