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AU is putting selected canteen operation contracts out to tender

AU wants to make sure that students and employees get the best value for money when they dine at the university’s canteens. So the university has decided to put some canteen operation contracts out to tender. This will also mean the closure of three canteens in Aarhus.

As a state institution, AU has a legal obligation to put some of its operational tasks out to tender at regular intervals. Canteen operations is one of the operational tasks that has been selected for competitive tendering. This will ensure that the university offers students and employees the best canteens that are sustainably operated – with regard to the central parameters of finances, quality and climate.

As previously announced, AU will be putting a number of canteen operation contracts out to to tender: this applies to the canteens currently operated by Studenterhusfonden, as well as the social sciences canteen, which is currently operated by Jespers Torvekøkken, whose contract expires next year.

“The reason we are putting canteen operations out to tender – in addition to living up to our obligation to tender on a regular basis – is to make sure that employees and students get the best value for money. We also want to make canteen operations financially viable, and ensure that it contributes positively to AU’s climate strategy,” says University Director Arnold Boon, who chairs the canteen tender steering committee. 

The employees of Studenterhusfonden were informed by their management about the tender this week.

Fewer canteens on campus

One consequence of the tender will be the closure of the canteens in Dale’s Café and Stakladen and at Moesgaard.

“The decision to close down these three canteen locations was made on the grounds that they haven’t been sound businesses 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 on the one hand, and the Nobel Park canteen and the Royal Library canteen on the other,” explained Boon, who chairs the steering committee for the tender.

Currently the university is working on a solution that will make it possible for students and employees to continue to be able to buy food and drink at Moesgaard. 

The steering group expects that it will be possible to maintain a high standard of quality in the remaining canteens by consolidating food service in fewer locations.

The next steps in the consultation process

The canteen tender will be published in week 28, and the steering group expects that the winner will be announced in November 2020. The winner will take over Studenterhusfonden’s canteen operations as of 1 January 2021, when the current contract with Studenterhusfonden expires. The social sciences canteen will follow on 1 August 2021.


In connection with the tender, AU has decided to take over the operation of the conference centre in the Student House on Fredrik Nielsens Vej in Aarhus.


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