Hotel Management School Thun

by Schaerer Marketing Team
coffee world report

Hotel Management School Thun uses the Schaerer Coffee Soul 12

“None of this would work without cappuccinos!”

“Heart and soul, passion and dedication” are the guiding principles of the hotel management school in Thun. Since 1986, the school in the Bernese Highlands has been training students to become certified hoteliers/restaurateurs. As the first hotel management school in Switzerland, the teaching institute has been offering this course of studies either full- or part-time for more than five years. Mainly restaurateurs who will later work in the SME hotel industry are trained here. “Our graduates should be down-to-earth and open to turning ideas into reality – and that is also the way we teach. The focus is on linking theory and practice,” explains vice-director Janine Rüfenacht. Rüfenacht herself studied in Thun, and when she was a student, coffee machines from Schaerer were already available to students and staff at the school. After around 16 years of faithfully supplying the necessary boost of energy in the morning and helping overcome many an afternoon slump, it was time for a change. In the summer of 2022, the hotel management school received three Schaerer Coffee Soul 12 machines. Consultation, service, the large selection of beverages as well as easy payment with rechargeable Batch or Twint options were important arguments – and these are all points that Schaerer has always lived up to during the decades of collaboration.

The school on Lake Thun has four buildings, one of which is the Lab Hotel, a mix of three-star guest house and living research laboratory. In the labs, students can try out their own ideas or develop concepts as part of their thesis, for instance pop-up gastronomy concepts. And depending on the year of training, they also work there, gaining experience in service as well as marketing and administration. The main building of the school is where everything flows together, because the ground floor is open to both guests and students. The hotel reception, bar and restaurant are located there, as are open co-working spaces and seminar rooms. All three Schaerer coffee machines are also set up in this area. They are always accessible in self-service mode; only during breakfast is one Coffee Soul reserved exclusively for self-service operation by hotel guests.


The Coffee Soul can handle any coffee rush hour

The machines are in full operation before classes start at 8:00 a.m.: Students, teachers and staff of the hotel management school get their first coffee of the day there. Then there are the hotel guests who are having breakfast. This is a peak time. During the breakfast break from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., the machines run at full capacity again – and after lunch as well. Hotel and seminar guests help themselves in-between these times. School events with up to 300 guests also create additional peak times in the evening. Even though the machines are in demand at different times of the day, the customers have one thing in common: They need their coffee quickly. “None of this would work without cappuccinos”, Rüfenacht explains. The Italian classic is the most popular beverage after café crème.


Large selection, easy operation and amazing milk foam

“Our priority was the selection of products that we can prepare. This is because the students are young people from 20 to 25 years old. They drink different types of coffee than staff or teachers. So it was important for us to be able to serve different types of lattes as well as cold coffee. Ice coffee is especially popular in the summer. That’s why we have a fairly wide range of speciality coffees and placed a strong emphasis on the Schaerer Hot&Cold technology”, explains Rüfenacht. There are also trends such as vegan milk alternatives, which are becoming more and more popular among students. At the moment, the Twin Milk system, which automatically prepares vegan beverages in addition to ones with cow’s milk, is not yet in use in Thun. The different milk alternatives are available at the bar or next to the machines. However, according to Rüfenacht, the fact that the Coffee Soul can be retrofitted at any time if demand continues to rise is another major point in favour of Schaerer. Another request having to do with equipment was a modern payment system that makes it possible to buy coffee without cash using Twint and Batch. “The display is completely designed for self-service and is very easy to operate”. A highlight since the first cappuccino was served from the Coffee Soul 12 at the hotel management school has been the milk foam. “The way it flows into the cup and the way it glistens really makes you want a latte”, says Rüfenacht, who personally only drinks café crème. “Even I, a café crème drinker, sometimes get jealous when I see the milk foam”.