Speaker Q&A with... Rupert Kien - Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo America

Speaker Q&A with… Rupert Kien

Vice president of all F&B services at Sea Chefs, Rupert Kien will share his years of industry expertise at the debut Marine Catering Forum, taking place on June 19-20, 2019. Ahead of his session, ‘Produce & Menus’, Rupert sat down with the #MCE19 team to discuss his journey so far.

Thanks for speaking with the Marine Catering Expo team today! Tell us about your current role and what it entails on a day-to-day basis?

Overall, I am responsible for the operational side of the entire F&B department an all TUI Cruises’ cruise ships. There are around 4000 workers onboard, and on the office side, we have around 13 positions.

What inspired you to venture into the marine industry?

Speaking with my friend and sales director at Steripower, Mr. Arno Ahrens!

Can you tell us about any key opportunities or challenges faced by the marine catering industry at present?

A key challenge will be ensuring the supply of quality and quantity for all cruise ships around the world.

Tell us about a recent project that was particularly challenging, interesting, or unique in some way.

I couldn’t single out one project, but we are working on some interesting initiatives. We will reduce plastic waste by 80% by 2020. Food waste will be reduced by 40% by the end of 2019. We are developing our own coffee, tea, and chocolate brands, debuting in 2020 with direct sourcing. We are also working towards providing farmers in this supply chain with better conditions.

In the world of marine catering, products and services supplied to the galley are largely dependent on cruise dining trends and larger issues such as sustainability. What trends are you expecting to emerge in the next few years?

The biggest upcoming trend will be where the goods come from and the story behind them. Also, the passengers with special dietary requirements and allergic passengers are getting more and more variety. For our market, it is also important that the passengers see that everything is freshly cooked and not too many convenience products are used.

Using just three words, how would you describe the current state of the industry?

Everything, everywhere, outstanding!

Come June you’ll be speaking in the Marine Catering Forum. Without giving too much away, can you tell us what we might expect from your session?

I will talk a lot about the German market.

Finally, we have to ask, what are you most looking forward to at the inaugural Marine Catering Expo?

This event is happening for the first time, so let’s see what happens!

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