Wassermann & Company AG recently secured the rights to provide the catering services at Messe Zürich. This company is no stranger to MCH Group, having been the exclusive catering partner of the Congress Center and Messe Basel for the past six years. We met with CEO Frank Wassermann and he shared with us the challenges he expects to face in this city on the Limmat and what role the topic of sustainability will be playing in this respect.
Frank Wassermann, we are delighted to be welcoming Wassermann & Company AG as a catering partner at Messe Zürich too. How are you intending to configure the catering operation so as to ensure guests have the best possible culinary experience?
If catering is to be a success, it has to be tailored to the occasion, the number of guests, the budget and, of course, the conditions at the particular location. Our Sales Team draws up an individual offer to this end and, together with the kitchen, creates a matching food concept. We will also be operating various pop-up restaurants in the public catering area. Some of these will have table service and some will be takeaways. Here too, we will be introducing new options on a regular basis, such as bowl concepts, Levante kitchen or specialities from Nikkei cuisine.
What, in your opinion, are the special features of trade fair and congress catering?
You need to be in the right place at the right time – and with the right quantities in the right quality. This all sounds easy in the first instance. We deliver punctually and are in constant contact with our customers. We also discuss all the relevant aspects in advance, such as the number of guests or crew members and the equipment required. There are no dress rehearsals for catering, however, and each event is unique, which means that everything must be precisely planned right from the start. This can only be achieved with a well-versed team, good communication and the necessary know-how
What have been the highlights of your cooperation with Basel to date and what are you looking forward to in Zurich in future?
When it comes to our work at trade fairs and shows, we are proud to be a long-term catering partner of Art Basel, Swissbau and Holz. We also have fond memories of the congresses and conferences with more than 1000 guests staged in the Congress Center, as events of this size are what we enjoy most. In Zurich, we are looking forward among other things to the Powertage trade fair, the HR Festival and the IFAS Expo. And naturally to Giardina too, when it is held again in 2023
In 2022, the Congress Center and Messe Basel and also Messe Zürich are focusing on sustainability to a somewhat greater extent than usual. How important is this topic for Wassermann & Company AG?
Very important! But because there are so many different aspects to sustainability issues, we took the decision to divide them up into numerous smaller projects. I’ll take the topic of food waste by way of example. We want to help our customers avoid waste through careful planning. In the past, buffets have been booked for about half our events. We calculate approximately 1.2 kg raw food per person, and an average of 18% of this is not consumed. We additionally allow a reserve of 5 to 10%, which results in excess production of some 25% that remains unused. This is why we are offering alternatives in the form of set meals and flying lunch or flying dinner options, which are much more sparing on resources than buffets. Also, vegetarian dishes have a much better carbon footprint than meat-based ones. But whether we are talking about this particular example or a different aspect, one thing is certain. The switch to sustainable solutions is a continuous process that we will be focusing on intensively in the future too.