May 21, 2022

Meet our 2021 Industry Champions

We are pleased to announce our Industry Champions for 2021.

This past year has turned the spotlight onto resilience and commitment. As the industry navigates its way out of the pandemic, Onboard Hospitality wanted to celebrate and share the stories of individuals and teams went the extra mile to reshape the future and support recovery. In this free-to-nominate category we identified nine Industry Champions, with special merit going to the SATS’ Executive Culinary Team

Merit Award Winner: SATS’ Executive Culinary Team

Passenger volumes fell over 98% in Singapore during covid but the team at SATS demonstrated resilience and grit in response, supporting national initiatives and pivoting its operations to support and grow its non-aviation business while still protecting the workforce and aviation core. Supporting national pandemic relief initiatives included catering 45,000 meals daily for quarantined workers as well as meals for delivery drivers maintaining commerce with neighbouring Malaysia. It included launching new products and service concepts for Singapore Airlines – inflight, in lounges and for the at-home market. And it involved pivoting towards non-aviation businesses to grow revenue and protect the workforce with retail and ready meal developments.In short the Executive Culinary Team led the transformation of the company’s kitchens so they could evolve from a specialised inflight catering facility to one that is now able to support institutional catering and manufacturing activity.

Monty’s Bakehouse – Entire team

Despite the instant drop in customer demand for inflight food solutions during 2020, and while facing an uncertain future for themselves, the team at Monty’s Bakehouse recognised there were people in it’s local community who needed their support. The team applied their resilience and commitment to their social responsibility and set out to donate their hot snacks and meals to local families, homeless and NHS staff, all at a time when they faced extreme difficulties. Since they started, the team has donated over 1.3million light meals or snacks.

Retail inMotion – Entire team

Retail inMotion implemented three onboard retail programmes in parallel in less than a year through virtual teamwork during the pandemic.The Austrian Melangerie, Lufthansa Onboard Delights and SWISS Saveurs project team had to find new and collaborative ways of working with all stakeholders, embracing modern communication technologies, effective working systems, team set-ups and multilayered exchanges. A set of guiding principles were established in the fields of hospitality, sustainability, regionality, premium positioning and brand across the group, allowing the team to develop an unique product assortment that puts the spotlight on each individual brand. The team had to overcome new challenges, including risks for infection and increased hygiene regulations onboard. Special features, such as cashless payment, antibacterial printed menu cards and additional digital menu cards were developed and implemented for each programme.

Linstol’s account managers

Linstol’s account managers stepped up and went above and beyond in the COVID era. The team includes Carolyn Weld, Vanessa Smith, Matthew Dunham-Novoa, Julia Gilchrist, Melissa Briant and Jane Shade. Their actions over the past 15 months are described as ‘nothing less than heroic’. They handled the cancellation of millions of dollars of purchase orders, successfully worked with suppliers to shut down production lines, and found warehouse space for container loads of supplies – all the while maintaining customer relationships. As Linstol started a pivot to PPE, the account managers became experts in navigating the complex world of FDA regulated products, found new local suppliers, new sales avenues and took responsibility for managing increasingly complex supply chain and delivery processes.

Robert Smithson, General Manager Culinary, dnata catering

With 25 years experience in dnata catering, Rob heads up the Culinary and Development team as General Manager Culinary. Rob and his team were hit hard during COVID. Airline menus had to be adapted to suit the pandemic and the reduced budgets available at a time of stand downs and redundancies. Rob did this with poise and professionalism, working to make sure his people were ok. Utilising technology and the few limited flights flying out of Australia, Rob devised a way to hold virtual menu presentations and arranged for meals to be sent to airline teams on the other side of the world for tasting. He committed to creating and delivering great food with a focus on sustainability and ethical supply chains, no matter the challenges thrown at him.

Australian People & Culture Team, dnata catering

The Australian dnata catering people & culture team was at the forefront of staff lay offs and hardships during the pandemic. As the company, ultimately, removed over 1,100 labour hire staff and 1,000 permanent staff (50% of the workforce), the team worked long and hard to try to ease some of the burden of what affected colleagues were experiencing. They made themselves available day, night and weekends to answer calls and emails from extremely distressed staff, listening with compassion and assisting where possible. The team went out of its way to find support for those who needed it from alternate employment opportunities to chaplain support, food hampers to grocery vouchers.They are now facilitating a positive return to work as business begins to resume.

John Garnham, Business Manager, snapfresh

John Garnham, recently promoted to Business Manager at snapfresh, proactively worked during the pandemic to take what is traditionally a B2B operation, predominantly servicing airlines, direct to consumers in the B2C market with a ready-made meals website. Additionally he actively pursued revenue streams outside of the traditional airline market to help get his people back to work. He has gone out of his way to make this a success, leaving no stone unturned.  He also introduced new machinery into the business to ensure it was able to service non-airline markets. In additon he worked with the snapfresh CEO to supply ready-made meals to the St John’s Crisis centre on the Gold Coast, which supports vulnerable people in the community.

The John Horsfall Design Team

The John Horsfall Design Team comprises Michael Coupland, Head of Sourcing & Product Development; Alex Allen, Design Manager and Kirsty Sumner, Product Manager. They are experts in their field and have shown great dedication, enthusiasm, and pragmatism by using the company’s COVID down-time to push innovation and new product development, while also supporting the sister company Interweave Healthcare textiles which had a sudden influx of new product requests.The team seized the opportunity to look at how the business could expand its product range, while increasing the use of sustainable materials. They then utilised their textile-expertise to create an innovative range of recycled woven blankets.This work has culminated in the launch of ‘Re-Thread’, John Horsfall’s sustainable textiles range.

Frank René Welkerling, Chief Executive Officer of Compass Supply Solutions (CSS) & Chichester Bonded Solutions

As a leading service provider to the cruise and airline Industry, the global pandemic brought the CSS business to a virtual standstill, overnight. Rather than hit the pause button during this time and ruthlessly cut costs or mothball operations, Frank and the leadership team invested, taking the opportunity to build a stronger, more agile business. They invested in best-in-class training, recruitment and education – all foundations to provide clients with consistent and expert service ready for a strong economic revival.They invested over £1 million in a new state-of-the-art warehouse too. The training initivative has culminated in certification to the Internationally recognised ISO9001:2015 standard.

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