Multi cultural canteen – behind the counter too

Jeg vil gerne have en sandwich og en kop kaffe. Har I te og hvad koster en snegl? (I would like a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Do you have tea and how much is a Danish?).

The customers in IA SPROG’s canteen at 2nd floor, Hejrevej 26, must practice their Danish when they want something to eat and drink.

Melek from Turkey, Jonna from Denmark and Kim from South Korea are members of the canteen staff

Because the ‘ladies’  behind the counter insist on speaking Danish to the customers though their own mother tongue is something completely different.

IA SPROG has a growing number of students and the number of customers in the canteen also grows.

The canteen staff is extremely busy making coffee, preparing sandwiches and heating the Danish pastry – a favorite of many students.

In Danish, of course!
Then there is the catering of meetings at the school, ordering, check of the hygiene etc. etc. Everything alongside the providing of fine service to the customers who want something to eat and drink in the short break. Customers, who jump the queue must be tackled with same friendliness as the ones who are holding back – in Danish, that is!

Because the canteen staff, Kim from South Korea, Melek from Turkey and canteen manager Jonna have promised each other to speak Danish over as well as behind the counter! It also applies to extra staff like Fasal from Pakistan and the Danish students who take over in the evening hours.

Former students behind the counter
Kim and Melek have been students at IA SPROG themselves before they became trainees and after that employees at the school canteen. This might be the explanation why many of the school’s students ask the two for advice when they have small and bigger problems. Kim and Melek have probably tried it themselves.

Melek prepares the lunch

Behind the counter a project of integration is taking place too: Rules of hygiene, administration of stock and fine customer service are important parts of that project!

Flexibility and good spirit
But also good cooperation and flexibility is something to be learned. And necessary in a busy working day where customers queue up during the break, where food and drink for meeting must be arranged and where Food Control might visit unannounced.

When you are working closely together like that it is obvious that you come close to one another. It is of course something that we have to nourish when coming from different cultures like we do, says manager Jonna. It will work out, for sure. The mood is as comfortable like the pastry on the counter.