Food at EPFL is a topic that has frustrated anyone spending more than a month there (week 5, the moment where the idea of preparing another tupperware is less enticing than working on your algebra series). In this context, many members of AGEPoly have had numerous meetings with the person in charge of EPFL’s catering to discuss excessive prices, lack of variety, non-compliance with cafeteria rules, absence of microwaves on campus, lack of vegan or gluten-free options, and the scarcity of open restaurants on weekends and evenings. In short, there are some issues. Since then, EPFL has opened food trucks in the evenings and weekends in addition to what was already there. The person in charge is also conducting weekly rounds to ensure rule compliance, and they have also committed to improving the meals’ quality. The number of microwaves has also increased. 

The big question remains the price; we are told that it is not economically viable to reduce the cost of meals, but you can always have a second helping of your side dish (rice, vegetables, pasta…) if you’re still hungry at the end of the meal. Negotiations are still ongoing and are far from being concluded.

In response to repeated criticisms voiced by your student representatives, an external body has been commissioned to conduct a study to find out what could be improved price-wise and study the question of internalization of restaurants. We should have the results before the end of the semester. 


The topic was discussed during the last representation-management meeting [link for more details]. We are also addressing the lack of clarity in the rules concerning catering.

Regarding the representation-management meeting, here is the discussion that took place:

CERES raised the issue with the following description: “Menu prices remain high, and the variety of vegetarian and vegan options remains limited. At the last representation-management meeting, two reports were presented with uncertain conclusions. What is the status of the discussion on the internalization of catering services and its impact on the above points?”

The EPFL’s Catering and Commerce Unit, RESCO, had provided the student representatives before the meeting with a document [link here] (RESCO_catering.pdf) that presents the results of various studies on the catering situation at EPFL and its future.

Franco Vigliotti presented the issue.

Regarding the vegetarian options, he stated that they increased from 5% in 2018 to more than 50% in 2024, with a goal of reaching 80% by 2030. These figures are based on sales data.

Regarding the variety of options, it is inversely proportional to menu prices. Therefore, to reduce prices, the variety would also have to decrease.

Regarding internalization: according to the documents presented, a risk analysis must determine whether campus catering should be internalized or externalized, as both options cost the same. In an externalized model, the risk is that a caterer may leave the campus due to insufficient profits. In an internalized model, the main risk is a pandemic or other reason for long-term suspension of campus activities, during which the school would still have to bear human resource costs.

Internal discussions with management about the catering model are ongoing.

Next, regarding the lack of clarity in the rules concerning catering, following a survey on the AGEPoly – Representation Telegram group [link], AGEPoly contacted RESCO to highlight that various rules, such as those for the second service, the announcement of allergens, menu changes, etc., are unclear to the student body. A communication from RESCO on the subject should follow.