17.05.2017 Austria Center Vienna introduces innovative foyer cafés for conferences

Foyer Café Bild vergrößern

The Austria Center Vienna and Motto Catering have created a new feelgood ambience for break areas with a sophisticated system of contemporary foyer cafés. Sustainability and process optimisation are the leading priorities in the project.

Lunch for 20,000 congress participants and just one hour to serve it: a huge challenge for catering services in terms of both capacity and logistics. But a new concept has been developed so that delegates can choose from the wide variety of food on offer without being rushed. The new, highly appealing foyer cafés enable guests to choose their meals even more quickly.  

New design for catering stations

Over the last few months, four foyer cafés at the Austria Center Vienna have been repositioned directly outside the large conference halls – with the idea of “bringing the food to the people, not the people to the food,” so that guests can be served straight after sessions end. “We worked very closely with our partner Motto Catering on the redesign. The new Café Motto at the Austria Center Vienna has been very successful and Motto has impressed our customers over the past two years with innovative catering concepts for large congresses,” said Susanne Baumann-Söllner, Managing Director of the Austria Center Vienna. 

The food and drink on offer and the quality of the catering are a decisive factor in making guests feel at home at events. But as well as the quality of the food, it is important that participants are able to enjoy it in a relaxed setting. At scientific conferences the programme is densely packed, breaks are short and participants increasingly have to pay for meals themselves.  

Established look and feel for foyer cafés

Bright, friendly colours, large information boards, and glass display chillers to present dishes attractively are key design elements. Depending on the size of the congress, the number of serving points varies between two and four, with the required number of modules opened up so that guests can see the serving points.  

Operational procedure already tested

“Our aim is that guests look at the boards and screens while they are waiting to see what’s on offer, make a final decision when they are close to the till, and the order and preparation are handled by a tandem catering team,” explained Baumann-Söllner. The units are designed in such a way that while the order is being taken and paid for, it is prepared at the same time. All utensils required to serve the order as well as the coffee machine are within easy reach of staff, a maximum of two metres away. “This allows us to significantly shorten the whole process, which makes a big difference to how guests feel during their break,” commented Bernd Schlacher, owner of Motto Catering. “We tested the new foyer café set-up at the first big congress of 2017, with over 20,000 participants, and established a corresponding procedure for optimal operation.” 

Mobile catering islands and trendy food trucks

“We have also been very pleased with the results of using mobile catering solutions to supplement the foyer cafés. Food trucks are often set up on the square in front of the Austria Center Vienna, and mobile bars constructed specially for the conference centre are also used. This gives us the flexibility to always offer participants appealing, standardised catering stations in line with the design and layout of the event, even in the middle of the exhibition space,” Baumann-Söllner commented. 

Sustainable catering at the Austria Center Vienna

In addition to high quality standards, the sustainability-related aspects of conference catering also play an important role. Both of the Austria Center Vienna’s caterers, MOTTO Catering and M*Eventcatering, are certified in accordance with the Austrian Ecolabel, and put the focus on local ingredients and dishes. When it came to designing the new foyer cafés at the Austria Center Vienna – the first conference centre in Austria to become a Green Conference Centre – the energy efficiency of the new catering stations was a major factor. This means, for example, there are no open-fronted display chillers. “This is in line with the CSR strategy which we have been successfully pursuing for years,” Baumann-Söllner emphasised.

Press Release
Foyer Café (c) IAKW-AG. Ludwig Schedl
Foyer Café Front (c) IAKW-AG, Ludwig Schedl
Susanne Baumann-Söllner, CEO (c) IAKW-AG, Andreas Hofer
Panorama Austria Center Vienna (c) IAKW-AG, pov.at
Foyer Café D (c) IAKW-AG, Ludwig Schedl
Mobile Smoothie Bar (c) IAKW-AG, Ludwig Schedl
Food Truck (c) MOTTO Catering

Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna. The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre, with 24 halls, 180 meeting rooms, and some 22,000 m² of exhibition space, and is one of the top players on the international conference circuit. IAKW-AG and the Austria Center Vienna are headed by Chief Executive Officer Susanne Baumann-Söllner. Visit www.acv.at for additional information.

IAKW-AG, Austria Center Vienna
Nicole Krebs
Head of Marketing & Communications (on an interim basis)
Tel: +43-1-26069- 2241
Email: nicole.krebs@acv.at