Canteen turns Five

Over the years, mealtime has been a service most staff at Qatalum have taken for granted. It is the dedicated effort from those in the catering department for such a seamless effort, ultimately enjoyed by many judging by their growing waistlines.

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Under General Services with leadership from Catering Supervisor, Ahmed El-Debabi, the canteen turned 5 years old on 20 October 2015 and called for a celebration with the spread of a special birthday meal.

Since opening 5 years ago, the canteen has matured into a sophisticated catering operation with several milestones under its belt. By 2015 the meal automated deduction system was implemented whereby with a swipe of your ID card the subsidized cost of the meal is automatically charged and deducted from your salary. The system works at the canteen and also for the lunch box 'delivery to desk' service.

The canteen has successfully served over 1.2 million meals without any recorded safety or health related incidents. Last year the canteen's kitchen branched out to service the contractor canteen as well, maintaining standards but taking on a larger service without incident.

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Constant kitchen renovation has led Catering to sustain a high standard of provided service and which won the "Best Canteen" award, twice, from Mesaieed Industrial City. Additionally, the National Human Rights Committee were also impressed with the service, variety and quality of the food served to employees when they visited last year.

The motivation of the staff and leadership has always kept the momentum and interest for canteen food interesting. Specials over the years have included seafood day, themed days, festival and national celebrations, respectively serving such main course delicacies as lobster, camel and mahalabia for dessert - not to forget the best French fries east of Belgium.

However, all these successes are not without their challenges. The impending contract ending of the current catering service provider will mean having to make huge efforts to achieve a smooth transition to a replacement contractor, maintaining or surpassing quality, sanitation, safety and staff. Nevertheless it is a challenge the catering department will take in its stride.