Thorsten Haane has worked as a chef in several upscale restaurants throughout Europe. In a hotel in Frankfurt he last proved his skills as a chef. For 15 years now, he has been the Head of Production of the Casino Operations at Roche Diagnostics in Mannheim.
Every day, Thorsten Haane pursues his passion for gastronomy as the Head of Production of Roche's Casino Operations. His goal is not only to provide the people at the site with food, but also to provide them with a platform for optimal nutrition and enjoyment in everyday working life.
Mr. Haane, why did you decide to work for Roche?
Roche was looking for a Kitchen Manager in Mannheim. Until then, I had worked exclusively for the catering trade and not for an industrial company. I was actually sure that company catering was not my area of expertise. But the job advertisement sounded very interesting. – And in the meantime I have been with Roche for 15 years.
What has changed in the area of employee catering during this time?
A lot has changed. We have developed a gastronomy strategy for the site that is based on partnership with the guests, employees and suppliers. The factors healthy, balanced nutrition, sustainable conservation of food resources and energy efficiency, an attractive, innovative, modern range of food and a pleasant environment that serves to maintain the health and well-being of our guests are taken into account here. Measures are, for example, that we use organic food, pork from species-appropriate rearing, and exclusively MSC-certified fish. And, if possible, from regional suppliers. When new investments are made, special attention is paid to energy efficiency and resource consumption.
Among other things, we have expanded the Conference and Event Catering section, added a promotion stand and a food truck to our portfolio, which also serves our guests in the evening.
And we are still a long way from reaching our goal. We are in the planning stage, but I don't want to give too much away.
What steps are necessary to add a new dish to the menu?
We need about eight weeks from the idea to the implementation. The dish is sample-cooked several times by our team until it meets our quality standards. We attach great importance to sustainability and fresh seasonal products in our creations, which ideally come from the region. We completely do without flavor enhancers and try to avoid unnecessary ingredients. At present our daily food offer in community catering consists of approximately 55% vegetarian and vegan dishes. These are particularly beneficial for lactose-intolerant guests. In addition, we offer a gluten-free main course. It is important to us that we can offer an authentic, tasty dish for everyone from the different groups of guests at the location (ethnicities, nationalities, allergy sufferers, tastes & budgets). Because, in the end, pleasure should be in the foreground.
How important is a well-trained team here?
A well-trained team is essential, because it is the basis of our quality philosophy. Our colleagues come from all areas of gastronomy. Due to the increasing number of guests and our Casino strategy, we are looking for support in the area of Conference & Event Catering. We are looking for a cook with a classic gastronomic background.
What additional things should a cook have to work for Roche?
Passion for good food is the basic prerequisite of our work in the Casino. Food is a passionate topic. Here everyone can contribute their innovative ideas. They should have four to five years of professional experience in the hotel and catering industry. They should be a team player, quality-conscious and reliable. An affinity to technology and IT is advantageous because we work with a merchandise management program on a daily basis. But more important to us is the fun of cooking and delighting our guests.
What is so special about working as a cook at Roche?
We have the opportunity to work with many fresh products and help shape the meals on offer. We live diversity - our team currently consists of 23 nations working together. Our product range is diverse and varied. From finger food for 5, flying buffets for up to 1,500 people, to a modern fresh cuisine in the staff casino for over 3,000 guests daily. And all this with regular working hours, which are not a matter of course in gastronomy.
We work in a forward-looking way. We also attach great importance to the topic of digitization. Whether the Casino homepage, our own Casino app, the online conference ordering tool or networked kitchen technology. We regularly inform ourselves about new market trends or technological achievements.
What about further development?
Whether cooking style, new cooking methods, technical requirements, IT or our own personality, we always ask ourselves where we should develop in order to be able to perform our tasks in the best possible way in the future. There is no standstill in our industry.
Interested employees will find a variety of development opportunities with us, which are supported by a leave of absence or also financially. We also regularly exchange information at networking events.
Are there also stressful times?
We are very well organized. Boredom never comes up. Sometimes short-term orders present us with challenges. The positive stress, the motivation, drives us to question ourselves again and again, to optimize processes and is the basis of new creations.
What is your personal balance to your job?
There are many things. On the one hand my family with our nine-year-old son and on the other hand the topic of gastronomy. I like to hike leisurely in the Palatinate and enjoy good authentic food, well prepared dishes and the excellent wine from the region. If time permits, I also enjoy diving and cycling.
Our goal is to create a modern, genuine and transparent fresh food kitchen.
It combines the aspects of pleasure and health with the classic sustainability fields to form a holistic gastronomic concept.
It is innovative and continuously adapts to the changing needs of our guests.
We want to create added value for employees, guests and Roche.