Dussmann Food Services took on responsibility for food service at the new DFB campus in Frankfurt in March 2022
“We do the usual, we just do an outstanding job at it,” says Oliver Vellage, Southwest Regional Manager at Dussmann, looking into the spacious and bright lobby of the recently opened DFB campus and toward his food services team. Their elegantly sporty matte black polo shirts feature bright yellow jersey numbers, making them reminiscent of the tactical positioning of a soccer team.
Who has a 1 on their back? Ulf Kleinert. He is the property manager and “goalie.” His job is to make sure everything in the area of food services goes smoothly in the DFB building, which occupies some 50,000 square meters, and that his team in service and the kitchen work hand in hand. His service crew members with the jersey number 5 work at the public sports bar (capacity 70) at the main entrance, serving up sincere hospitality and taking care of all the culinary wishes of the nearly 600 administrative employees of the DFB and the many figures from the world of sports who are guests here every day.
Korbinian Friedmann, 28, is one of the “liberos” who roam the field almost 24/7, forming the backbone of the team. Friedmann holds the position of Junior Operations Manager at Dussmann Food Services, supporting the service team in all their tasks. Right now, he is in the DFB’s modern press conference room, checking to make sure all the tables are properly set with beverages and finger food for snacks. In addition to the day-to-day business in the sports bar and the employee restaurant, which serves several hundred meals a day, the Dussmann team is also responsible for the conference catering side of things, which takes place in 40 workshop rooms. Friedmann adds, “We also serve many high-level events. In late July, for example, we prepared lunch packs for the players, the coaching team, and the DFB delegates for the reception at Frankfurt’s city hall honoring the German women’s team, who had just placed second in the European championships.” The next highlight of the calendar is coming in fall 2022, when about 600 guests are invited to a reception to mark the drawing of the qualification groups for the 2024 European championships.
The menus are designed by the Dussmann team, whic works in an office on one of the administrative floors. While DFB experts work diligently on new IT projects in the neighboring offices to his left and right, the team crafts new culinary menus for athletes and DFB employees. Just like in the midfield, good team play is crucial in the DFB Academy kitchen. The kitchen crew here has a bright yellow 8 on their jerseys.
A look at the menu for the employee restaurant and bistro
shows that the food concept at the DFB Academy is based on local German cuisine – with a fresh, light, and healthy take provided by the Dussmann Food Services team. Although the majority of diners do prefer plant-based options, classics like schnitzel and currywurst are a must at the three main course buffet stations at regular intervals, always sourced locally. “We also get regular advice from nutrition experts via the DFB campus,” Sascha Groß, Head of Food Services Region Southwest, explains.
During the bidding for the DFB catering contract in January 2021, the Dussmann Food Services team scored special points for its individual dining concept that balances nutrition and home economics while putting freshness front and center. “Our kitchen team makes everything in-house, from pasta to dressing. The only thing we buy from outside is our bread, which comes from a bakery in Frankfurt. At the same time, we try to process all our food residue optimally. When it comes to vegetables, we manage that 100 percent,” Vellage explains, adding, “The Dussmann Food Service Innovation Lab has been working on sustainable nutrition for a long time. We know that resources are finite.”