The International Rail Catering Group (IRCG) announces its participation in WTCE

05 Jan 2016

The International Rail Catering Group (IRCG), the trade association for the rail catering industry, has announced that it will take its first stand at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®) in 2016, highlighting the ever growing importance of onboard hospitality across the rail network.

With a membership made up of leading railway catering operators from across Europe and North Africa – including companies such as Chef Express (Gruppo Cremonini), DB Fernverkehr AG, Elvetino and Rail Gourmet (SSP Group) – the IRCG aims to support the development, quality and value of catering and hospitality provided across the world’s rail networks.

The Group will exhibit on stand 1E09 at the Hamburg Messe together with representatives from its member companies, with a view to meeting like-minded rail and catering operators as well as suppliers interested in sharing innovation and best practice. Visitors to the stand will also be able to source guidance and advice on the benefits of joining the IRCG and information on the rail catering industry in general, as Mike La Malfa, President of the IRCG, explains:

“We are excited about having a stand at WTCE 2016 as it will provide an excellent focal point for our members to network with their railway clients and key product suppliers. We have previously always attended WTCE as visitors, but with our stand we will now be able to play a more proactive role in supporting our members and promoting the industry. We believe the WTCE show is extremely beneficial as it focuses on some of the best in travel catering innovation. This is perfect for our IRCG members who offer a ‘total railway catering solution’ both on trains and in stations, including menu and product development, purchasing, logistics, station retailing, hospitality lounges, onboard restaurant and café services and much more.”

Roger Williams, Chairman of the IRCG, added: “The value of IRCG’s wide ranging catering and hospitality services is of growing importance in the competitive modern day travel environment. IRCG’s own industry wide research shows that passengers are increasingly looking for a catering service that fits with their modern lifestyles. The trends are for wider use of smart technology for pre-ordering meals, on-board ordering Apps and easy payment solutions such as contactless wave and pay. Consumers are also better educated about food and drink and are seeking higher quality food and drink choices with local route specific products, food freshly prepared on-board rather than pre-packed, healthier menu options with reduced fat and sugars, and of course premium coffee.”

This highlights a strong desire amongst passengers for premium products and services that enhance the travel experience, as WTCE Marketing Manager Danielle Wolstencroft, confirms:

“We have noticed a real increase in rail operator attendance at WTCE so are delighted that the IRCG is taking a stand and attending with its members. We have a large number of suppliers showcasing products that are new, innovative and suitable for the rail sector as well as a specific ‘Rail Trail’ that will lead attendees to exhibitors showcasing suitable products. Our aim is to bring them together and hopefully shape the future of rail catering and onboard services.”

WTCE takes place from 5-7 April 2016 at the Hamburg Messe, Hamburg, Germany.

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