For the first time ever, LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand Ltd. (LSG NZ) will provide its catering expertise to KiwiRail, New Zealand’s state-owned rail operator. LSG NZ will cater three of KiwiRail’s scenic train services known as “The Great Journeys of New Zealand”, which started with the “TranzAlpine” from September 18th, 2020. Gradually, LSG NZ will also serve the Coastal Pacific (Christchurch – Picton), starting on 13thOctober, and the Northern Explorer (Auckland – Wellington), once the service startup date is confirmed. The contract covers one year. Meals for the TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific journeys are produced in Christchurch, while LSG NZ’s facilities in Auckland and Wellington will supply the Northern Explorer. For the launch period in Christchurch, LSG NZ will cater 126 meals per day.
“Working with KiwiRail is a great opportunity for us and we are looking forward to bringing our catering experience to the tracks,” said Mauricio Novaes, Head of New Zealand & Pacific, LSG Sky Chefs. “The meals on board of the train will be served to guests directly at their seats. It is similar to serving food on an aircraft,” adds Bilal Ozturk, Sales and Services Director, New Zealand & Pacific. “We developed the meals from local produce and with a premium dining experience in mind.”
KiwiRail’s Executive General Manager Tourism and Marketing Ahleen Rayner says KiwiRail is looking forward to working with LSG on the new enhanced service. “We’ve ensured that the menu allows guests to savour the tastes from the regions they pass through, for example Kaikoura crayfish on the Coastal Pacific and Canterbury lamb on the TranzAlpine. “New Zealanders have demonstrated that they’re keen to see their country and our new Scenic Plus service enhances our acclaimed journeys.”
LSG NZ will provide a full offering with a cold breakfast, lunch, cheese platters and farewell canapés. Additionally, the company supported KiwiRail with finding the right equipment such as trays, drawers, tableware, glassware, service ware, napkins and tray mats. The new business comes at the right time for LSG Sky Chefs in New Zealand. Like the whole aviation industry, the company suffered from the drastic drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. LSG NZ recently expanded its business to supermarkets and supplies grocery distributor Foodstuffs’ retail franchises New World and PAK’nSAVE with in-store ready-to-heat meals.