Well according to Trimline, which bills itself as the longest established interior refitter in the industry, having been formed in 1965, the passenger ship sector looks positive. Commercial manager Simon Dawkins detailed: “As the cruise market in particular grows, we have seen an increase in the demand for refitting front-of-house and back-of-house catering facilities. In addition to galleys, we are asked to construct bespoke serveries, coffee stations, waiter stations, etc. We also replace and maintain existing equipment.”
With the maritime industry being so global, Dawkins underlined: “If a ship docks in the US, then all food-related equipment must be USPH (United States Public Health) compliant. Twice a year, USPH sanitation inspectors conduct inspections when cruise ships are in a US port. If standards are not met, this often leads to the firing of the shipboard food and beverage department head/manager, so it is imperative that all equipment we supply is compliant.
“Even ships that do not visit the US are adopting these guidelines as best practice and the feeling is that Europe will soon follow suit with a similar set of regulations.”
Naturally, all onboard catering equipment must be securely fixed to the deck, but in terms of other design considerations, Dawkins revealed: “For front-of-house catering furnishings there is often a struggle between functionality and aesthetic appeal. We work closely with the ship’s designer and F&B manager to reach a compromise which is functional without losing the integrity of the design.”
FOOD TRENDS ONBOARD CRUISE SHIPS
Cruise ships in particular are keen to pick up on the trends of the foodservice sector on dry land. Therefore Dawkins analysed: “In recent years we have seen ships reducing the traditional fast food outlet options and instead mimicking the High Street with increased availability of coffee shops, sushi bars and gelato outlets. As more and more people turn to cruising, they expect to have the same food/drink available as at home.
CRUISE INDUSTRY GROWTH
“January 2019 has opened with 124 ships on the forward-looking cruise ship orderbook, extending through 2027. The cruise industry is projected to continue to grow throughout 2019 with an estimated 30m travellers expected to cruise, up 6% from 28.2m in 2018, so the cruise industry is likely to continue to follow the High Street with its catering offerings.”