Dear Energy Professional, Dear Colleagues,
Today I will tell you about non- commercial/ unconventional restaurants, which are almost equal if not superior than commercial restaurants. In other words these are "company or public institution canteens" in the local Power Generation market as well as those in the global world where I visited during my last 30 plus years of professional life. It is also a good yardstick as an unconventional credit risk appraisal and rating in Power markets.
These restaurants are in Thermal Power Plants, or in Power Plant construction companies, serving lunch to their employees. Some of them are in our leading technical universities where I visited them to give seminars on how use thermal power plant design software, or in chambers of engineering institutions where I have been invited to carry out joint engineering projects/ seminars/ conferences.
Normally we do not care the quality and importance of those restaurants during our working rush cycle. However we need to give some pause for ourselves and appreciate the importance and the quality they gather in these very important internal institutions. They give you a very important clue in your interpretation and appraisal of that institution.
Those places are normally not commercial since they are basically formed to serve the company employees for their lunch. In most of them food is served free of charge, however in some of them, mostly in universities, they charge you a symbolic figure.
It is my sincere feeling that if the employee canteen is above standards, if it is in high quality in its service, food quality, be sure that its institution is also at high standards. When I visit a power institution, let it be a power plant, or a construction site, or a head office of a construction company, or a technical university, I usually wait my hosts to invite me to their own employee canteen. I am not pleased if they invite me to a fancy expensive commercial restaurant. Invitation to their own employee restaurant is almost no cost for them.
Hence I carefully inspect their food quality, service, hygiene, and the atmosphere. If these criteria are above expectations then I am sure that this company/ institution/ construction site/ or the university or college is successful and will continue to be successful in future.
A good company restaurant means that enterprise cares her employees. That is a very positive indication. If a company does not have a restaurant, and distributes food tickets, it is an indication that either they have some space difficulties at the city center or you should have certain question marks in their long term staff management. That is also a clue for their long term company strategy.
Above procedure has no relation with current Basel-2 credit rating, but it is my sincere feeling that it is also sound and reliable.
Here are my favorite local uncommercial restaurants, all with AAA credit rating, starting from Istanbul,
Yeditepe University, Kayisdagi Campus Academician restaurant, excellent sea view, excellent sea food,
Istanbul Technical University- Gumussuyu Academicians Restaurant, wonderful Bosphorus view, good food,
Turkiye IsBankasi Towers main employee restaurant, once Camis General Manager invited me to have our lunch. You have light (diet) and normal menu to choose.
ENKA Contracting Company Istanbul head office special restaurant named Renaissance, once yours truly invited for lunch. We had extraordinary sea food.
Küçükyali Istanbul Municipality restaurant, no alcohol, but delicious grilled meatballs (Izgara köfte)
METU Academicians restaurant in campus, two open banquets one for selection, the other one for fixed menu, wonderful environment, excellent food. There are two more restaurants in the campus, one in social building and one in the congress centre but they are not comparable with the major at the centre.
Gama contracting company in Ankara, company canteen at the basement, 3-course excellent food, no-nonsense list. Fish on Fridays. Decision-makers come to the canteen at about 1300 hours. If you are newcomer, better have your lunch between 1230-1300 hours.
Guris Construction company Golbasi head office canteen. 4 course excellent food.
Park Energy company canteen, extraordinary food with open buffet salad bar,
Turkish Sugar Corporation Etimesgut premises guesthouse, best "Begendi" kebab ever tasted.
GES Elektrik, Hasanoglan warehouse, excellent Antep kitchen.
ODTU Alumni Association Visnelik, good atmosphere, membership necessary.
Somewhere in Turkey,
Cayirhan Park Energy Thermal Power Plant guest house roof restaurant,
Koc Holding Entek CCPP power plant company canteen, open salad buffet, desert, excellent food, barbecue on Fridays, lots of meatballs, salad and watermelon.
Sabanci Kentsa Izmit, main employee restaurant in recreation area, excellent food, next to swimming pool,
Soktas Textile plant in Söke, excellent food,
Batman Tüpras Refinery guest house, excellent traditional food,
Hopa thermal power plant canteen, excellent traditional BlackSea food,
Orhaneli Thermal Power plant guest house, excellent mezze in dinner,
Soma Thermal power plant company canteen, excellent fish food,
Afsin-Elbistan-A Thermal power plant, extraordinary organization to serve hungry masses,
Yenikoy Thermal power plant, excellent traditional food,
Zonguldak Chamber of Mining Engineers Club House restaurant.
Brown & Root Engineering, company canteen, Wimbledon London, excellent lunch,
Fiat-Avio Torino, Italy, small amount of wine tolerated/served, excellent Italian food, spaghetti, sea food
GE Nuovo Pignone, Florence, small size wine bottles available, excellent seafood,
Siemens Erlangen, one-glass beer tolerated, excellent red meat dishes, their executive restaurant is extraordinary. You get excellent service, plus cognac,
Babcock & Wilcox, Cambridge, Canada, good fish/sea food.
Patrick Lumumba International University in Moscow Russia, extraordinary red meat.
Diar-El-Zor, Syria sugar plant, wonderful kebab, extraordinary Middle Eastern food.
SubContracting Fabrication Plant in Diar-el Zor Syria, Extraordinary special East Indian food, since the subcontractor and his employees are from Bangladesh. Wonderful Indian spices,
ELIN head office in Vienna Austria, reasonable amount of white wine tolerated/ served, wonderful red meat food.
ABB Finpong Sweden, in Christmas time they serve hot punch at entrance,
ENKA Tengiz Kazakhstan site, employee canteen, excellent traditional Turkish food, extraordinary service,
Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the longest open buffet I have ever seen,
Be sure that excellent restaurants are not necessarily commercial. There are also excellent restaurants in power sector, and these are not commercial; the employees of those institutions make them special.
As the saying goes you get back what you give or you reap what you sow.
Haluk Direskeneli, Prinkipo based Energy Analyst