Into the new normality at express speed: LSG Group Train Services has done just that. The train catering specialists are offering the usual service again, only about two months after the complete shutdown of the management of Deutsche Bahn’s Intercity 2 trains on long-distance routes in West, East and North Germany.
Luca Schlosser, Team Manager Operations at LSG Group Train Services, speaks about the intensive preparations for the restart: “Immediately after we had to withdraw from the trains on March 17, we took a close look at hygiene concepts,” he says. “We remained in constant communication with Deutsche Bahn and had already defined the framework conditions for resuming catering during the compulsory break. That’s the only way everything could run smoothly.”
It became apparent early on that only the at-the-seat service would continue to be possible in order to avoid passenger congestion and unnecessary movement through the train cars. All preparations were made in order to offer card payment on each route. Sufficient quantities of mouth and nose protectors were ordered in good time, and the supply of gloves was increased.
“Products that we had in stock and did not need during the break, we donated. For example, disinfectants to care facilities and food to social institutions,” says Schlosser. “We were glad to be able to help, at least.”
Meanwhile, LSG Group Train Services trained its staff to keep contact with guests to a minimum, without missing their usual friendliness and cordiality. “When we sell a chocolate bar, we don’t hand it to the guest, but place it on the folding table in front of him or her,” says Schlosser. “It’s the little things that can reduce the risk of infection.”
When Deutsche Bahn resumed the operation of tourist routes on May 29, catering also returned to the Intercity 2 trains. LSG Group Train Services succeeded in managing over 90 percent of the connections during the first week. “Hospitality is an engine for customer satisfaction. That’s why catering belongs on board,” explains Luca Schlosser. “Only when the trains are very full do we pause service to protect passengers and our staff.”
The compulsory wearing of masks on Deutsche Bahn trains is only a minor restriction: passengers may remove them for eating and drinking, but must put them on again immediately afterwards. For those who have forgotten their mouth-and-nose protection, LSG Group Train Services can not only make the journey more comfortable, but can even save it: Masks are now also available for purchase in the on-board shop.