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Between coffee and couscous – the imaginative future of travel catering

June 2020

Between coffee and couscous
LSG Head of Train Services Xavier Muller talks about the future prospects of travel catering. (Photo: LSG Group)

How will we travel in the future? Among others, InnoTrans 2021 will set a strong focus on Travel Catering & Comfort Services in hall 1.1. The aim of the exhibitors is to ensure that passengers feel valued and respected throughout their journey so that they can relax and be at ease. It is not only an important criteria to create comfort on board; a high-quality and well-balanced range of snacks and drinks as well as a firstclass service for rail customers also play a decisive role. LSG Group recognises the importance of Travel Catering & Comfort Services for the industry and has been providing advanced rail services with a wide range of products and services for over a decade. Head of trends are the digitisation of the onboard retail business with order-to-seat and co-operations with well-known, attractive brands.“ Which dish is most popular in the railway sector? Muller: “In the food sector it depends on the type of train, the route and the target group. We supply many different products – from sandwiches to fine dining experiences with filet mignon, served on high-quality porcelain and a tablecloth. There is demand for every-thing. The situation is different with drinks – whatever time of day, coffee is the most popular. A sweet snack Train Services Xavier Muller gave us an insight into the future of an expanding industry.

The motto of InnoTrans 2021 is “The Future of Mobility”. What are your company’s goals in the near future?

Muller: “We want to ensure greater sustainability in on-board sales products and help our customers to use less equipment and produce less waste. This starts with the selection of suppliers, when we look for those who can provide us with the best possible support. It extends to raising the environmental awareness of our employees. Other trends are the digitisation of the onboard retail business with order-to-seat and co-operations with well-known, attractive brands.“ Which dish is most popular in the railway sector? Muller: “In the food sector it depends on the type of train, the route and the target group. We supply many different products – from sandwiches to fine dining experiences with filet mignon, served on high-quality porcelain and a tablecloth. There is demand for every-thing. The situation is different with drinks – whatever time of day, coffee is the most popular. A sweet snack such as a chocolate muffin goes perfectly with it. Such products are very popular."

Which dish is most popular in the railway sector?

Muller: “In the food sector it depends on the type of train, the route and the target group. We supply many different products – from sandwiches to fine dining experiences with filet mignon, served on high-quality porcelain and a tablecloth. There is demand for every-thing. The situation is different with drinks – whatever time of day, coffee is the most popular. A sweet snack such as a chocolate muffin goes perfectly with it. Such products are very popular.“

How has rail catering changed in recent years?

Muller: “On-board sales programmes are becoming increasingly important. The demand for concepts individually developed for each train operator to achieve a gastronomic image is increasing. We have established the brands “La Table” in France and “Reisecafe” in Germany. They are not only visible on napkins or sugar sachets, but also, for example, on train attendants’ aprons. None of our concepts is like any other. They are always tailor-made, which creates recognition value and unique selling points for the customer. In addition, the demand for to-go products has increased – combined with the challenge of reducing waste."

Are rail customers paying more attention to balanced eating?

Muller: “Customers are happy about healthy alternatives such as fruit salad or couscous. Such flagship products add value to the product range. But in the end, many customers still go for classics like curry sausage. They simply want an authentic product range. We concentrate on making fast food on-the-go healthier and more balanced.”

LSG Group Hall 1.1 | 550