Restaurant operations became even more important to Fazer’s business operations when Fazer Catering (now Fazer Food Services) was founded in 1976. The field of operation of the company was “managing personnel restaurants and preparing frozen food”. The first restaurant was opened in Helsinki in the Akava building. From the very beginning, customer orientation, quality and international trends were enhanced in the operations. However, not many people know that a great part of Fazer’s know-how in food services was inherited from Finnish ladies who had served as caterers during the war.
The Lotta Svärd organisation was established in 1921 as a sister organisation of the Finnish civil guard organisation. It was a support organisation based on women’s voluntary work to support national defence and it also supported disadvantaged civils. During the war, 1939 to 1944, these ladies volunteered to perform different national defence tasks. According to the stipulations of the truce agreement, the organisation was disbanded in 1944. Prior to that, its leaders created the Support Foundation of Finnish Women to aid and assist women and children who had suffered due to the war. When the war was over, the State of Finland began to plan the reconstruction of Northern Finland. At the same time, the Support Foundation of Finnish Women cared for the livelihoods of women who had served in the Lotta Svärd organisation during the wars. In the autumn of 1944, an association called the Working Site Service was set up. It provided jobs to many of these women and organised catering at reconstruction sites and, later, operated personnel restaurants in large companies. The association was incorporated in March 1945. The Helsinki Olympic Games were a showcase for the Working Site Service – they fed 75,000 people every day. In 1978, Fazer bought the Working Site Service, the forerunner in workplace catering. By the end of the 1970’s, Fazer Catering employed over 700 people of whom 600 were permanent employees. With the acquisition and, above all, the employees, a great competence capital was transferred to Fazer that had been developed ever since the Working Site Service association was created.
Today, Fazer Food Services offers delicious food and tailor-made service solutions. In Finland alone, we serve 130,000 meals a day. Our services include private and public sector personnel restaurants, student restaurants, restaurants at conference and meeting venues as well as food services for schools and public service organisations. In addition to lunch, Fazer Food Services provides diverse customer specific solutions for every moment of the day to support well-being as well as varied and nutritionally balanced food to take away. Fazer Food Services offers also quality catering services for special occasions for its clients.