IN TALK: Markus Meindl / Christian Schottenhamel
Photo: Peter Straub – GAS


Markus Meindl: As a Munich native with values and entrepreneurial principles, you run your family business. Who was your teacher?

Christian Schottenhamel: The family. We children
were always there and learned firsthand,
watching the grown-ups and trying things out later.
The passion for gastronomy and dealing with
and dealing with people was, as the saying goes,
in the cradle.

Markus Meindl: What are you thankful for, and what are you
you particularly proud of?

Christian Schottenhamel: Professionally, of course, I am
grateful to have been born into an important family tradition.
tradition and to be able to continue and build on what my
my ancestors have built up, and to be able to continue and develop it.
and develop.
And I am also grateful to my family for giving me the
the tools they gave me along the way.
I am grateful for the fact that I was able to try things out at a young age.
and today for the fact that I can rely on my business partners
I can rely on my business partners 100 %.
In my private life, the most important thing for me is that my family
and I are healthy. That cannot be taken for granted and is
the basis for everything else.

Markus Meindl: As a meadow landlord, you are always in the
in the limelight and under enormous pressure.
pressure. You are put through your paces. Partly
below the belt. Envy or competition?

Christian Schottenhamel: I’ve been in the business for so long,
I’ve been in the business so long that I know how to deal with pressure.
deal with pressure. The cohesion among the innkeepers is
great. When attacks do come, they tend to come from outside.
The media landscape, which is always looking for sensations
and new topics, likes to make a mountain out of a molehill.
a mosquito to the elephant and incidents to topics,
that are not real issues at all. Some things you just have to
just have to endure or sit it out.

Markus Meindl: What is most important to you when choosing your
most important to you when choosing your employees? Is there anything that you
you can’t stand at all? And is there anything
that someone who wants to work for you absolutely needs?

Christian Schottenhamel: Honesty and openness are very
are very important to me. Everyone is allowed to make mistakes,
It’s important to know about them and to find solutions together
solutions together, because that’s the only way you’re able to develop.
Gastronomy is not a profession, but an
attitude to life. Employees simply have to
to work with people and make sure they have a good time.
good time. And that even when things get
get hot under the collar. The team spirit and the moments of
moments of joy compensate us for the stress that we sometimes experience.
experienced at times.

“Suddenly, overnight, I was the youngest Wiesnwirt at the time and, at only 25 years old, carried immense responsibility.”

Markus Meindl: Your company has been around since 1896 – quite a responsibility to stay true to its history and values. What do you always use to motivate yourself to master the incredible workload?

Christian Schottenhamel: The Oktoberfest and Munich’s calendar of events have always been the
my life. I don’t know it any other way and I need that.

Markus Meindl: Can you still distinguish between private and business?

Christian Schottenhamel: The boundaries are fluid. But gastronomy is more a lifestyle and less a profession anyway. It takes times and moments that belong only to my family. That’s important. Children need their father, and a relationship also needs a lifetime of work. This should not be overlooked despite all the stress and passion for the business.

Markus Meindl: When you think back to your childhood, are there any moments or experiences that were particularly formative for your professional and private career?

Christian Schottenhamel: The much too early death of my father. Suddenly, overnight, I was the youngest Wiesnwirt at the time and, at only 25 years of age, carried an immense responsibility. That naturally shapes and changes a person.

Markus Meindl: Is there any good advice you would like to give to today’s youth?

Christian Schottenhamel: Live more in the here and now! They’re all stuck in some virtual world, but real life happens out there! And: Nothing is given to you in life. Nothing comes from doing nothing. And doing nothing cannot be
fulfilling in the long run.

Markus Meindl: What do you think of the current geographical, societal and social changes? Can Germany overcome this crisis with our politicians, or is it time for new elections?

Christian Schottenhamel: I think that the current problem is not so much individual politicians, I am more concerned about the overall social situation and development. People’s actions are becoming increasingly selfish and are often ideologically driven. This is also evident in politics – more and more individual interests are being pursued and the view of the big picture is being lost.
Money is poured out with full hands, ideologically motivated. Good examples of this are the green-painted bicycle lanes in Munich or four million euros spent on the gender-appropriate redesign of the city’s IT landscape.
city. Actions may be well-intentioned and, viewed in isolation, may make sense in part, but in the long run, all of this is not affordable for this country. In addition, there is a prevailing conviction that the state is the insurance company for everything. Many people no longer feel responsible for themselves and their progress and think that the state is responsible for their well-being. I take a critical view of efforts such as an unconditional basic income and citizen’s income. Here in the
We have a glaring shortage of personnel in the catering industry, and this is the way to motivate fewer and fewer people to earn their living with honest work in our or similarly strenuous but important industries. Who will then care for the elderly and the sick? Who will drive our buses and subways? Keyword child care? Unfortunately – and I am by no means a pessimistic person – I see our country sliding into a huge crisis. Anyone who knows a little about business administration and/or economics can see that this cannot go well in the long run. A sensible asylum policy and
immigration with the aim of real integration will be essential for the future of our country. I am also increasingly critical of the role of our media.
Genuine, well-researched journalism is immensely important, but has become rare. The media are also commercially driven, and bad, sensationalist journalism, just like propaganda, threaten our democracy and social peace.

Markus Meindl: Right now, our youth are regularly sticking themselves to streets, smearing art paintings and generating attention. Not exactly the right way to solve our climate problem. Christian Schottenhamel: The issues are important, but breaking laws or even damaging works of art, putting others in danger, that’s the completely wrong way and I can’t
approve of that.

“Gastronomy and also our customs, culture, etc. are important links between us people””

Markus Meindl: Sustainability is the order of the day. As the managing director of some gastronomic businesses, you have a lot of responsibility. Where do you see the most opportunities and the greatest
potential for becoming more sustainable?

Christian Schottenhamel: Through the purchase of our products. We pay a lot of attention to this and now source 90% of our goods from the immediate region and, whenever possible, in organic or Naturland quality. And with packaging and consumables.
We no longer use straws and offer reusable bowls if guests want to take some of their food home. With the Festhalle Schottenhamel, we create a CO2 offset by planting trees after the Oktoberfest to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions we cause, according to calculations by the company Climate Partner. We also take part in programs such as Ökoprofit, the Q seal, excellent Bavarian cuisine and the GastroManagementPass (GMP), all of which help us to save energy in various areas of the value chain, reduce waste and raise awareness among our employees.
Gastronomy can do a lot, and more and more

Innkeepers are going down this path. Qualitatively sustainable – everyone can make their contribution – on a large and small scale: smaller portions, local producers, small farms from the surrounding area, etc.

Markus Meindl: How was the Oktoberfest for you this year, personally? Did you have one or two moments of happiness (family, friends)?

Christian Schottenhamel: The best moment of every Oktoberfest is always the tapping of the mayor in our tent, this year especially, because then it was clear that the Oktoberfest would really take place.
Until then we were trembling. To see people celebrating happily, without any restrictions, that was actually something that filled me with happiness during the first days of the Oktoberfest.
was something that filled me with happiness and made me sentimental. In those moments, you really realized what the time during Corona did to you as a person and that, above all, the interpersonal was missing. Another great moment is always the concert of the Wiesn bands, when colorful balloons rise into the white-blue sky to the Bavarian anthem.

Markus Meindl: Where do you go when you are not in your
your own tent?

“Bad, sensationalist journalism, just like propaganda, threatens our democracy and social peace.”

Christian Schottenhamel: I leave the tent during the Wiesn
only for official obligations, such as the Wiesn landlords’ concert, etc., because we landlords are obliged to be on site at our businesses at all times. My cousin, his son and I stand in for each other when we stop by to visit friends in the meantime.

Markus Meindl: What have we learned from the past two years? Social renunciation? The responsibility to maintain our urban Bavarian culture is a beautiful responsibility. Eating, drinking, celebrating and our traditional costume. Without our culture, we are missing a very important part of life.

Christian Schottenhamel: For me, the most important thing I learned from my time at Corona is what social beings we are and how much we need contact with others.
with others. Gastronomy and also our customs, culture, etc. are important links between us people, build bridges, create common ground and bring us together. People have lost a lot and they have a lot of catching up to do. Some things have to find their way back.

Markus Meindl: Munich is unique and home. Which corners do you love the most?

Christian Schottenhamel: I like standing at the Ruhmeshalle at the top of the Bavaria and looking down on the Oktoberfest. Yes, I love that place very much.

Markus Meindl: What makes the city special for you,
why is Munich so special?

Christian Schottenhamel: For me, Munich is the center of Europe. “Laptop and lederhosen”, for me that actually says everything about the city. The lively tradition, combined with the economic pulse of the city – that’s really something special. In addition, the location and the nature that surrounds us. From here, you can be in the Alps or at the sea within a short time. And then, of course, Munich is my home.

Markus Meindl: Hunting has a great meaning for you. Passion for nature and responsibility. Respectful treatment and hunting tradition are the basis
are the basis for honest hunting. What was your best hunting experience?

Christian Schottenhamel: I hunt in the high mountains myself, and shooting a black grouse was something very special for me. Every day for a week
I got up at 5 a.m. every day for a week and sat in various places until I got it. A unique experience. The trophy hangs prepared at my home and fills me with pride and awe. To be out stalking in the high mountains at dawn is wonderful. You feel so close to nature
so close. In my hunting area there are no deer, so unfortunately it will be nothing with leather pants from self-shot prey. But such a part would of course be the crowning glory.