DoN in Austria
March 13, 2019
DoN has won back its contract for Austrian rail. Roger Williams, IRCG chairman, looks at what that means for customers onboard ÖBB trains
D oN Travel became ÖBB’s new onboard services partner this summer 2018, having won back the contract from Do & Co.
Securing the contract was a real boost for DoN as it has stuck with the rail industry as one of its core markets. Through its work with station lounges and an ambitious train-catering contract in Iran, DoN was able to demonstrate this commitment and impressed ÖBB with their offer. It is also vindication of ceo Josef Donhauser’s insistence on providing high quality, fully connected, culinary services and front of house hospitality in every area.
With a raft of new concepts designed to connect with the Austrian railway’s customer base, DoN has transformed the onboard offer through exciting high end products, pre-ordering of speciality dishes and gifts, and onboard ordering of food for delivery to seat.
DoN’s coo Christian Hoelbl showcased the offer at the IRCG General Assembly in Berlin where it was greeted very positively as a template for the future.
The three main USPs are new ‘Easy Austrian Dining’ products; new crew ‘Education and Training’ and ‘New Technology’ for both customers and crew.
“We have based our offer on the three things we feel will bring the most differential to the ÖBB service,” said Hoelbl. “In particular, the introduction of a digital ordering platform allows the entire train to turn into a restaurant. Using the onboard epos system or direct from the customer’s own smart device, orders for food can be placed via DoN’s new Orderman system.”
A message is sent directly to the kitchen detailing order, seat and coach number so staff can efficiently prepare and deliver food to the seat. Hoelbl adds: “Many customers do not wish to leave their seats – if travelling with children, or with baggage or valuables. Once delivered, payment is by cash or card, adding confidence as the customer does not have to pay for something upfront.”
The Orderman system also includes inventory management and control of sales where crews need to change over, as well as aiding crew training and planning through improved sales data, analysis and resource matching. Additionally it links to the ÖBB loyalty programme so customers can collect points from catering purchases.