The dialogue centre Omnia is getting a second caterer: Cafeteria De Berg will open its doors next to Faculty Club Novum in two weeks’ time.
‘Essentially, we are joining forces,’ says the owner of De Berg Joost Hofstee. It was Hofstee who took the initiative to approach the Omnia caterer Hutten. Hofstee: ‘I got more and more people coming in looking pale with shock and hunger. They were new graduates with a Master’s or a PhD and they wanted a drink and a snack at the Faculty Club — until they saw the prices on the menu. Which are incredible! I admit, what you get there is pretty good, but at our place you get more for your money: heaps of bitterballen, including vegetarian ones. And that’s exactly what they ordered. My wife and I were sitting on the sofa at home one evening when I suddenly said: “I see an opportunity!”’
Omnia manager David Duku: ‘At our venue, you can host delegations and clients in style. Of course, the prices reflect that. We serve delicious specialty beers with names like Pieper and our appetisers tickle the taste buds. And we get showered with compliments about the look of the place. Still, Mr Hofstee’s phone call got me thinking.’
De Berg will have its own corner in the Faculty Club. ‘The budget option,’ the two men say in unison. Duku: ‘This way, everyone can enjoy this beautiful establishment and still keep body and soul together. Win-win, I reckon.’ Asking around on the campus makes clear that this idea is likely to succeed. A poll of 43 students and staff suggests that people will be more inclined to grab a drink at the Club. Hofstee: ‘A sneak preview for you: we are now developing our own version of the traditional Dutch kapsalon (a takeaway dish of fries, meat and cheese) that will get taste buds tingling in our restaurant too. I am thinking of calling it Duku’s Delight. But I am open to suggestions.’