Q&A with Timothy Lake, DL SERVICES - Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo

Q&A with Timothy Lake, DL SERVICES

timothy lake headshot

Recently, Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo Founding Partner DL SERVICES appointed Timothy Lake as Project Director of Global Marine. He has made this exciting move to the cruise industry following his previous role as Director of Sales in Global Marine & Scandinavia at MKN. We caught up with Timothy to learn more about his new position, the importance of creating a seamless cruise galley design and the future of the cruise buffet.


Thank you for speaking with us and congratulations on your new role as Project Director of Global Marine at DL Services. Can you tell us a bit more about DL Services and your new role?

I was excited to be presented the opportunity to join the DL SERVICES’s team as Project Director of Global Marine. My role is to ensure that DL SERVICES’ signature “A la carte” carries across all departments by offering excellent hospitality solutions for all cruise liners. With DL SERVICES expanding the team, this shows our positive commitment and outlook towards the future and developmental growth of the cruise industry. As fully independent marine catering architects, we see a bright future where we will continue to develop and refine world class marine catering solutions for newbuild and modernization projects.

I have recognition and experience in the industry as an expert in F&B, equipment, design and hospitality. This has enabled me to oversee the design of USPHS galleys, pantries, bars, and buffet areas. I thrive on bringing projects ideas to life and creating something special with added value. I love working with creative movers.

What aspects of your new role are you most excited about?

The whole industry excites me. It really is such a diverse industry with amazing people creating amazing spaces and experiences for the public to enjoy.

Being part of a highly skilled team where we create and innovate is so giving. It is such a rewarding experience to see the results of our input become a reality. That’s why the most exciting part of this role is stepping on board after delivering a project and seeing the finished product for the first time.

What part does cruise galley equipment play in developing a streamlined operation?

Starting from provision stores to galleys, food preparation pantries and bars, in line with the culinary concept of the operator, space is a crucial factor for choosing the right equipment for the right area and operation. Defining available space in the very beginning is key to be able to develop a streamlined food service operation. A well-designed cruise galley will reduce cost, both on initial investment, and on operational cost. A well-designed galley will also save energy, while also creating a safe ergonomic and efficient workspace for the crew.

What are some of the key challenges of modernising and refitting an already-fitted cruise galley?

Modernisations are generally time restricted, so thorough planning is key. Additionally, it is vital to gather as much in-detail information as possible before creating a new design. This is to ensure you do not miss anything during the installation.

Sometimes with older vessels it is not easy to obtain drawings in digital format. This can present an extra challenge as we must pay careful attention when measuring the area to be re-designed. There is much to consider, such as existing power supply, water/waste connections and ventilation to name a few. However, with the right knowledge and detailed area study you can save a lot of cost and time.

As cruise ships are beginning to offer more specialty restaurants, how does this impact the kind of equipment used in galley design and refits?

As the trend is moving toward more speciality dining concepts, we again consider the size of dedicated galley space. Satellite galleys are often very compact, therefore, we need to optimize the size and function of equipment used in these spaces according to the dining concept without losing functionality. For these areas we dedicate equipment that is often used for the finer “finishing moment of the cooking stage”. As a result, we use a lot of pots and pans and Compact Combi ovens during service. These galleys also need to have sufficient refrigeration for the storage of “Mise en Place” as in many cases ingredients are prepared in other specifically dedicated preparation areas then transported to the speciality galley for the final cooking stage.

Have you noticed any changes to equipment being specified for new cruise galleys since the COVID-19 pandemic?

Following the operator’s concept, we design the galleys accordingly in the most streamlined way possible for optimal health and hygiene from an operational perspective. We deliver equipment and installation for each project according to USPHS regulation. This process is very hygienic from the get-go. We are always on the lookout for new innovations.

We are currently seeing a trend for increased dining options onboard. This influences the design and choosing the right equipment for the specific venue. Sourcing optimized, tailor-made seamless cooking blocks from reputable manufacturers is a key focus.

During the pandemic, the cruise buffet gained a lot of attention and discussion. Do you think the closures and changes we have seen will be permanent?

The trend seems to be focusing on more specific dining options and table service. We are seeing a return to the finer side while still maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. Cruise lines have managed to achieve this balance while providing a good selection of dining experiences. For example, table service is a great way to avoid contact with surfaces and to avoid buffet queues. This creates a healthier environment by allowing for better control over the quality of food being served and portion sizes. This helps cruise lines lower food costs and reduce waste, resulting in a win for the customer, the operator, and the environment.


DL SERVICES will be exhibiting on booth 407 at Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo America. This action-packed event will be reuniting the cruise ship hospitality community for two days of networking, sourcing and engaging at our inspiring conference, Cruise Conversations Live!

Find out more about Cruise Ship Hospitality here.

Latest news...