Head Chef Franky Gissinger (r.) and Michelin-starred Chef Harald Wohlfahrt present February’s fischer gourmet dish.

“I learn something new every time”

15. March 2019

We meet Franky Gissinger just after 2 pm. The Head Chef seems relaxed – despite the fact that the big lunch rush in the fischer staff canteen only ended 30 minutes ago. “Everything went well, and the employees enjoyed the food”, the 48-year-old says with satisfaction. Now Gissinger and his 15-strong team have to prepare for the following day, when none other than the legendary chef Harald Wohlfahrt will be arriving in order to cook for the employees of the Swabian fixing specialist in Waldachtal.

Nervous? “No”, Gissinger says with a smile. After all, he has no reason to be. The two of them have been cooking for the fischer members of staff one a month since 2013 and have since become a well-cooperated team. Nevertheless, the days with Harald Wohlfahrt are always exciting. The master chef, whose Schwarzwaldstube restaurant in the Hotel Traube Tonbach in Baiersbronn has won three Michelin stars 25 consecutive times, continues to let his creativity run free in the fischer staff restaurant.

The gourmet dish with beef filet au gratin, homemade gnocchi and assorted beans is perfectly arranged.
Experiencing appreciation: Every plate is perfectly arranged.

Staff restaurant with a touch of stars

February’s gourmet dish is simply mouth-watering: There is Argentinian beef filet with a Piedmont gratin served with homemade gnocchi with an olive tapenade and assorted beans. “This means that we cook the basic sauce the day beforehand, trim the beef filet, chop the beans, prepare the crust and roll out the gnocchi”, Gissinger explains. Harald Wohlfahrt then arrives the next morning around 9 am in order to finish the menu together with the team. The Michelin-starred chef, who undisputedly ranks as one of the world’s best of his trade to this day, likes to let people look over his shoulder, provide advice, help with the seasoning and much more. “I learn something new from Harald Wohlfahrt ever time”, Franky Gissinger says. This can easily involve 300 portions being passed across the counter. The other half opt for classic dishes such as lentils with Spätzle (a Swabian type of pasta), a meatless option or the reduced-calorie fitness dish. Although they may be canteen prices, nobody has called it that in a long time – at fischer, you go to the staff restaurant.

A fischer employee proudly displays a tasty meal from the staff restaurant.
Staff motivation fuelled by food: People will happily queue when it’s for a meal cooked by Michelin-starred Harald Wohlfahrt

Good food as staff motivation

The idea for this unusual sign of appreciation came from Prof. Klaus Fischer, the owner of the fischer Group of Companies. He has long since been convinced that providing members of staff with a variety of good and healthy food is important and fair. “I want our employees to feel appreciated and be happy. After all, they spend the majority of their lives at the company and they are the key to tomorrow’s success”,the businessman believes.

High-quality provisions have meanwhile become a key component of employer branding, as Prof. Dr. Nicole Graf, a member of the jury of the renowned Food & Health e.V. initiative emphasises. “When it comes to employee recruitment and loyalty, successful companies score points with attractive general conditions. Nowadays, this includes a healthy canteen that offers enjoyable meals in a corresponding atmosphere”, says the principal of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University in Heilbronn and the founder of its food management degree course.

Lucky faces: The staff restaurant of the Swabian fixing specialist was voted among Germany’s top 50 best canteens

fischer staff restaurant is among the top 50 in Germany

No wonder – fischer’s food concept attracted attention from beyond the local region. The staff restaurant of the Swabian fixing specialist was voted among Germany’s top 50 best canteens in a test by the Food & Health e.V. initiative. Some of the determining factors of the result included the staff restaurant’s focus on quality, sustainability, locally-sourced products and freshness.