A century ago, lunch was not always the easiest part of the working day for associates at the Bosch plant in Feuerbach. While some went home to eat, those who lived farther afield either had to spend their hard-earned money at restaurants or bring their meals with them. The decision to set up a proper cafeteria on the plant premises did not come until Bosch shortened the two-hour lunch break to half an hour. With three dining halls for 600 people each, the new Speisehaus, or eatery, was officially opened on January 27, 1919.
A year after the first world war ended, however, food was still scarce. Most of the ingredients were purchased at a reasonable price from local farmers. But Bosch also temporarily grew herbs in its own garden, making it possible to hand out 1,100 meals, such as stews, at subsidized prices every day.
For a while, the company kept pigs behind the building to help deal with the waste produced by the canteen – a fact that today appears both bizarre and, in terms of sustainability, ahead of its time.
The first cafeteria was torn down in 1985. Today, a state-of-the-art cafeteria helps keep associates nourished at work.