International Rail Catering Group

A greener vision

December 20, 2019

A new generation of trailblazers now leads the International Rail Catering Group, committed to developing rail as increasingly inclusive and sustainable in the digital age

Beautiful destinations demand our attention and inspire us to protect their environment. And great onboard hospitality should do the same… enthusing the passenger to travel sustainably again and again.

This was the visionary environmental message to rail caterers at IRCG’s General Assembly, held in the inspiring cities of Vienna and Linz, and hosted by the leading Austrian rail caterer, DoN Travel, with a fantastic banquet laid on by DoN’s own catering staff at the Palais Schönburg.

New age leadership
Following an excellent four-year term, which saw IRCG expand its exhibition and membership activities, president Mike La Malfa announced his retirement. A new generation of IRCG leaders stepped forward, with Petr Pospisil, coo of JLV, voted new president and Daniela Corboz, ceo of Elvetino, as new vice-president. Both are driving forces for diversity and youth, and share a vision of sustainable onboard service excellence based firmly in the digital age. Their ‘change’ agenda will bring a new social media strategy, increased networking and advancement of sustainability best practice initiatives.

New members
IRCG welcomed four new members. London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) joined as a full member, while three specialist suppliers joined the supplier category – ECR Retail Systems, Kaelis and Ratcliffe & Brown. All bring significant rail industry experience to the group.

Innovation
This year’s Most Innovative Caterer award went to Elvetino, led by Daniela Corboz, for ‘going the extra mile’ in delivering a really great concept, maximising local menu provenance and using social media to encourage sustainable train travel.

Credit too for joint second place finalists – DoN Travel for its advanced crew management IT system completely paper from management processes and JLV’s ‘Mr Maurer’s dining table’ online booking concept showing just how inventive IRCG members really are.

Expect to see growing social media engagement by train caterers – focused increasingly on leisure as well as business travellers – with more effort to raise awareness of great local provenance, packaging and single-use plastic reductions and generally promoting a sustainable journey experience.