Dine on demand
Werner Kimmeringer and Craig Devoy of Yates+partner will present Dine on Demand at the Taste of Travel theatre at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo from 11.30 on Tuesday 2 April. Here we preview their session…
Define ‘dine on demand’
‘Dine on demand’ means giving guests the luxury of dining to suit their moods. This encompasses a myriad of variables from enabling them to choose what they want, when they want it, without any restrictions on what is available to them to order. Think of an ‘any dish, any time’ mentality – this is what you can expect from a dine on demand menu.
This freedom is in stark contrast to the traditional structured service (Dine on Crew Demand) where guests are coerced into dining when the crew see fit. Often guests must follow the order of service, even when it doesn’t fit their desires at that time.
In short, dine on demand creates an enhanced and more personalised experience for each guest to better tailor their experience to fit individual needs.
What are the challenges of dine on demand in business and first?
The main challenges we experience with dine on demand are focused around galley and meal ratio management, particularly with inexperienced crew. It is essential that crew are extensively trained and up to date with all food and beverage menu changes. Offering dine on demand challenges the service teams to manage the flight from take-off to landing, rather than the traditional initial meal, mid-flight snack and pre-arrival meal model.
What do consumers expect?
A bespoke experience centred around them and more control of their in-flight experience. They also expect a wide range of dishes on the menu and dish concepts that go from light dining to the full a la carte experience.
What are the next advances we will see in this area?
We are going to see more flexibility with enhanced menus and technology also playing its part with direct communication between the cabin and galley. This will streamline the process while managing stock levels and producing less waste.
Which onboard operators are doing this well?
The Middle Eastern carriers are leaders in this area. With Etihad, and Qatar, being well established with dine on demand. Recently we have seen Saudia implement this concept with amazing results.
What changes are we seeing in menu structure, packing and plating to this end?
We are seeing a lot more variety in menus, with differing cuisines and more interesting menu structures. It is easier to enable a different experience for each guest for a more individual, personal service. Enhanced plating techniques ensure a true restaurant experience is achieved, while packing is streamlined and allows for each ingredient to be cooked to perfection onboard.