Are my passengers on a short commute to work or are they using the train to travel long distances to enjoy a holiday abroad? What are the travelers interested in – both in their personal lives and while on board the train? What catering alternatives can my guests access at the station or elsewhere and what is being offered there? These are just some of the questions which train operators have to grapple with in order to position themselves within their own competitive environment and in competition with airlines.
The LSG Group also asks itself these questions in order to create the perfect catering concept for each train operator.
At the LSG Group, we see an obvious trend toward clear segmentation emerging among train services, which has long been the case in the aviation market. There will be “low-cost providers” with a concept focused solely on transporting people from A to B as cheaply as possible. In regards to onboard catering, this may even mean no food or drink will be offered on the train any more. After all, passengers looking to travel cheaply can stock up at the train station or in a supermarket before their trip. On the other hand, other train operators are investing in a high-quality concept aimed particularly at attracting business travelers. In this situation, the in-seat service model will be retained, giving travelers the option of buying snacks and drinks right where they are seated.
Tailored catering concepts
The LSG Group has tasked itself with intensively analyzing the market and competitive environment in which train operators function – in relation to corporate brand values, routes, on-board entertainment, the food and beverage offered on board and the overall service concept. Based on the data we collect, we then position the company and come up with a tailored catering concept for the train operator. Is selling items in-seat most suited to the operator’s target group? Which brand products appeal to the travelers? Over which periods of time can the product offering be optimized?
Regardless of the details behind the concept, it is imperative to be able to adapt quickly. After all, competition and cost pressure are both increasing among train operators. And much more importantly: passenger requests, requirements and expectations are changing – and rapidly. These must be responded to swiftly! The ability to flexibly adjust your product offering is almost considered a USP nowadays.
We get the most honest feedback on products and services in focus groups. In these sessions, travelers tell us how they personally feel about the food and drink offered on board. A product portfolio can be quickly adapted by combining these statements with sales figures.
We will exhibit our products and services as the LSG Group at InnoTrans, the leading international trade fair for transport technology, in Berlin from September 20-23, 2016. Our motto: “WHEN onboard retail MEETS customer satisfaction”. Come and check us out! We will be located in Hall 1.1.