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Old 24.01.2018, 22:38
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Anybody used felfel?

Hi,

I just "noticed" (by way of an ad on youtube...) the company "Felfel" (https://felfel.ch). It seems to be a startup that wants to "revolutionize" the way people eat at work (ever seen a startup that doesn't want to revolutionize anything?)

I really hate the variety of food (or rather: the lack of) next to where I work and while I do cook stuff for myself, there's no chance I get that much in variety.

Does your company use them or know anybody who does? Would be interested to hear opinions and critique, if the food is worth it, if the portions are big enough etc.

If it's good, I hope to be able to talk our company owner into trying them out. I would also like to use them before they get bought out be Coop or Migros and the food turns into a bland mess...
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Old 25.01.2018, 10:05
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

Hello,

We have a Felfel fridge in the office. It has been there for almost a couple of years.
Positive: the food is always fresh and exceptionally good quality, they are very receptive to feedback. Once you activate their token and link it to a credit card, you will only need the token to pay for food. The portions are good and balanced. They have fully vegetarian dishes. The menu is new every week.
Negative: you will need to have a microwave, as it is a fridge only installation. The prices are not cheap, snacks - 3-7 CHF, salad around 7-12 CHF, main courses - 12 CHF upwards. So if you want a three course meal, it becomes even more expensive than a business lunch deal in a restaurant. Eating from plastic containers at such prices may be depressing (IMHO), yet our office has a kitchen with proper cutlery and crockery.
Another drawback (to me) is salad dressings. Almost all of them contained vinegar in enormous quantity. And as the food is fresh, the stock of dishes is small. I have personally had a few occasions when there was no food left in the fridge after 1 pm.
In a nutshell, quality-wise - a good alternative. Financially I doubt that it is a good every-day lunch substitute.
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Old 25.01.2018, 10:30
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

No particular comment from me, as I don't know the company, but 12.- for a main course sounds like a bargain. There's nothing around here (Basel) for under 15.-, unless you're happy with a slice of pizza or a kebab from the Imbiss.

And who has the time or money for a three-course lunch on a work day? If you want a healthy option, that's unlikely to be it.
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Old 25.01.2018, 10:42
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

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No particular comment from me, as I don't know the company, but 12.- for a main course sounds like a bargain. There's nothing around here (Basel) for under 15.-, unless you're happy with a slice of pizza or a kebab from the Imbiss.

And who has the time or money for a three-course lunch on a work day? If you want a healthy option, that's unlikely to be it.
We have a few options sponsored by the company for 5 to 7 CHF set menu lunches in other company's canteens. Not in Basel though.
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Old 25.01.2018, 11:51
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

We have two microwaves and a small stove. And dishes and cutlery.
Nothing is sponsored here (apart from water and coffee, which is free).
Boss isn't a big lunch-person.

If we buy take-away, it's also in plastic. So no problem with that.


The question would really be how well it would be received here.

There's an Italian place that I think charges 12CHF for pasta+tomato-sauce, which I consider ridiculous (it's not hand-made pasta and the sauce is mostly bland).

So, 12CHF for something that actually tastes well....


Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 03.02.2018, 12:43
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

Our company is doing a trial run at one of our 3 offices and so far the feedback has been pretty positive. (I'm just hoping they expand it to our office soon.)
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Old 25.02.2018, 12:51
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

I've found FelFel to be OK.

The food tries to be different and varied, and the execution is usually acceptable.

I don't really care for the plastic packaging, given that there's some debate about how safe it is safe to microwave it or not. Not sure what the alternative is though.

I also find the prices a touch high, especially for the portion size.

My biggest beef is the payment option. You have to use reloadable tokens or get your pass linked to you credit card. I feel that direct payment via Maestro/Postcard would be way easier.

TL;DR version: It's alright, but something I only use when it's really rainy out.
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Old 29.01.2020, 19:36
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

I visited a friend earlier this week who has a FelFel fridge in his offices - and was saddened to see how much plastic was being used across the product range. Apparently this hasn’t changed in the 18 months or so since the fridge was installed. If Pret ā Manger can be sustainable in the UK why it is so difficult here or is it a legal snafu
around packaging. I know the Swiss love plastic but it all seems so unnecessary.

I’d be interested if folks have any feedback...
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:25
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

FelFel has now a recycling system. Still, the plastic used is crazy.

Apparently, FelFel has also subsidize models. If your companz is kind the food will be cheaper.

There is an other fridge provider Emil Froehlich https://www.emil-froehlich.ch/en/ it is part of SV and also stocked by them. The FelFel on the other hand is stocked with food from various outlets.

A third one is Snäx https://snaex.ch/ This one is owned by the Migros.

There might be others.
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Old 30.01.2020, 15:36
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

Thanks for the input. I spoke to them about the plastic issue and they have no real alternative at the moment. I did a back of the envelope calculation and conservatively estimate they're going through approx 1.6m single plastic use items each year. 80 items per fridge/week x 52 * 400 customers.

They claim recycling is sent to a centre in Thurgau to be recycled for car parts etc. However, the plastic must be clean of any food waste to be recycled so most of it ends up in the incinerator. A friend I spoke to said at his company staff only recycle approx 10% of their FelFel stuff

Surely there are more sustainable packaging solutions out there?
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Old 30.01.2020, 16:00
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

Let us see at the properties needed:
Tamper proof - You do not want a disgruntled employee poisoning the whole fridge.
Tightly sealed - You don not want the fridge smell like a after a few weeks.
Must be able to hold foods w/o leakage for some days and during transport.
Easy to handle in the kitchen - SV or Migros might have other capabilities and processes, but the small companies which deliver FelFel can not invest in fancy packaging machines.
Food is visible.

Bonus: Can be directly used in the microwave and eaten from.

Something like a Hirz Jogurt cup (flimsy plastic, with a card board surrounding) but bigger?
Or like a ice cream container? Plastic lined card board?
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Old 30.01.2020, 18:37
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Re: Anybody used felfel?

Probably one of the few things I really miss about my former employer in terms of infrastructure - the Felfel fridge. Cheaper than popping into a restaurant and pretty tasty stuff. I actually reused their containers for my own food prep when I had the time to do it, so they got reused a few times before going in the recycling bin. Also great for that one friend who never returns containers...
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