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UZH Cafeteria Price Changes

Meal prices in the cafés and cafeterias of UZH haven’t changed in over 15 years and are well below the Swiss average. To meet current expectations in terms of sustainability and quality, UZH has decided to adapt its pricing strategy.


Cafeteria City Campus.


Meal prices in UZH cafés and cafeterias have remained low for a long time. However, these low prices make it nearly impossible to meet the customers’ growing expectations when it comes to food quality. The Executive Board of the University has thus decided to adapt the meal prices in the cafés and cafeterias of UZH. In an effort to consider as many needs of UZH-internal stakeholders as possible, representatives from various interest groups were involved in the decision-making process, including the Catering Board, Catering Commission, the Sustainability Team and the University of Zurich Student Association (VSUZH).

The following changes will thus apply from 1 September 2021:

Gästegruppe Veg/Vegan Meals Meat Meals
  prev. now prev. now
Students 5.40 5.80 5.40 6.90
Staff 7.00 7.90 7.00 9.00
Guests 10.50 11.80 10.50 13.50

There are several reasons for these changes:

Responding to current demands: A 2019 survey showed that 80% of cafeteria users were in favor of more sustainable food options. A majority of customers stated that vegetarian meals should cost less than meals containing meat. In addition, the demand for vegan food options has also increased significantly over the past few years.

Promoting sustainable behavior: The University of Zurich is committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. Our cafés and cafeterias can make a significant contribution here. For example, the environmental impact of vegetarian meals is less than half that of meals containing meat. This is why prices for meals with meat have increased more than the vegetarian options. At the same time, UZH is promoting sustainable purchasing and sourcing practices – in favor of more regional, seasonal and organic products. This reduces carbon emissions across all types of meals. Moreover, a basic vegan meal is now available for the same price as the vegetarian option. 

Keeping prices low: Compared to other universities, the new prices in the cafeterias at UZH are still fairly low. Meal prices for staff have increased slightly more in relation to prices for students. This was done to account for the fact that current prices for staff are relatively modest compared to student prices. In addition, staff are entitled to lunch checks, which cover some of the employee’s lunch costs.

The increased sustainability will also affect the cafeterias’ additional offering, which is why there may be minor price increases there too. The ZFV will inform in due course.

Checking quality regularly

Cafeteria operators have committed to making the relevant changes to their menus and ensuring that the increased quality and sustainability is apparent to cafeteria users. Thanks to the new prices, the ZFV will now be able to offer for example organic milk only and meat predominantly from farms with high animal welfare standards. UZH will carry out regular quality checks.

Given the high cost of living in Zurich, affordable cafeteria prices are very important for students. With the new meal prices, the Executive Board of the University is making sure that the prices, in particular those paid by students, remain low and that current expectations in terms of food quality and options can be met.

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