How Has Marine Catering Technology Evolved?
Much like on aircrafts, cruise ship galleys have faced continual revamping to maximize on space and optimize processes, but in this ever-evolving industry, it can be hard to keep up. In this feature, we reflect on galleys of the past, explore what impact dining trends have had on equipment and technology, and anticipate what to expect in years to come.
Galleys of yesteryear
Many things have changed in the past 40 years or so, when dropping a fire blanket over an open flame passed as decent fire safety and an alcohol stove was considered a galley innovation, (according to this archived article from 1978, anyway). Since then, we’ve discovered the world wide web, flares have come and gone out of style on multiple occasions, and disco has officially died, but that’s nothing compared to changes faced by the galley. Galleys of the past were a much simpler affair, with fewer restrictions on the materials and technologies allowed, and more flexible health and safety rules. Now, cruise ships must abide by stringent passenger safety rules, including no open flames in the galley. Although we may have come a long way since 1978, up until a few years ago galleys still operated relatively inefficiently, using several appliances where one would now suffice. Galley suppliers such as RATIONAL have innovated the galley, creating multifunctional equipment such as the iKitchen, which encompasses three tools in one, or MKN’s FlexiChef, an award-winning piece of equipment that offers cooking and cleaning solutions.
New trends increase demand for innovative galley equipment
Trying to keep up with cruise dining trends means cruise lines are always in search of state-of-the-art galley technologies to help them keep up with the requirements of diners. In recent years we have seen the popularity of the main dining room decrease, while speciality eateries are growing in popularity. This new trend has added complexity to the already challenging galley operation process, as interior outfitters, designers, and cruise lines must account for movement between multiple venues. Additionally, studies show guests are opting for quicker meal times, as opposed to the more leisurely dining experience of times gone by. The more commonly favoured 90-minute dining experience (versus two hours previously) means mobility between venues must be a seamless process to avoid unnecessary time add-ons.
Keep reading to find out more about how marine catering technology has evolved and see what we anticipate for the future of the galley. Plus, don’t miss Marine Catering Expo on June 19-20, 2019, for unmissable conference sessions created to improve best practices in the galley and illuminate attendees on new and upcoming industry trends.