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‘Dinner is served!’ – SBB Restaurants are reopening

From 8 June, rail catering will be available again to hungry and thirsty passengers. What passengers can look forward to, how the protection concept will work and why preparations took three weeks – an overview in three points.

Baked product
Baked product

A clean sweep: safe travelling, eating and drinking.

Keep your distance, wash your hands, job done. But how will it work in the SBB Restaurants with ‘masks strongly recommended’? What’s certain is that, to ensure the best possible hygiene for passengers, our hosts in SBB Restaurants will be wearing masks and disposable gloves. They will greet customers and show them to a seat. What applies ‘on land’ also applies on the rails: for every group of four guests or more, one person must be registered for possible contact tracing. Of course, passengers can also enjoy our takeaway options. When queuing, please make sure you maintain a 2m distance or wear a mask!

Further hygiene measures:

  • All guests receive a fresh (or freshly disinfected) tablecloth.
  • Our staff disinfect the menus after each use.
  • Disinfectant wipes are available for guests in the SBB Restaurant.

Freshly served: the menu from June 2020.

For the reopening, two new dishes await customers: how do you fancy gazpacho soup or a bulgur salad with cranberries and mint? SBB is now backing a partnership with regional bakers. This guarantees regionality and avoids long transportation distances.

Initially, SBB is starting with a slightly reduced range. Don’t worry – we have passengers’ favourites on board of course, like the appetiser platter and the white wine risotto. However, some dishes with a short shelf life are not available. This will help SBB to prevent food waste most effectively. So far, fewer people are travelling by train than before the lockdown. This also means fewer restaurant visitors so a higher risk of food waste. On that note, when rail catering had to shut down from one day to the next back in March, SBB subsidiary Elvetino donated around 2.8 tons of food to various organisations, such as Swiss food charity Schweizer Tafel.

As always, because of space restrictions, the SBB Restaurant can only carry limited stocks. So some items on the menu may not be available. Your host will gladly recommend an alternative.

An appetiser platter to start...
…then a portion of mince with macaroni...
…and a delicious dessert to finish. There’s something for everyone in the SBB Restaurant.

An appetiser platter to start...

…then a portion of mince with macaroni...

…and a delicious dessert to finish. There’s something for everyone in the SBB Restaurant.

Changing on the fly: the art of reopening over 100 mobile restaurants.

Over one hundred SBB Restaurants have had to be made ready for reopening. The challenge is that they are not just sitting in storage waiting to be reopened. Instead, they are travelling throughout Switzerland as normal and must therefore be stocked up and made ready on the fly. The right quantities at the right time in the right quality at the right place. And these ‘R’s of logistics are even more complex:

when the lockdown closed down on-board catering, all SBB Restaurants were emptied of food. After almost three months of enforced holiday, they have been thoroughly cleaned. Then the “offices”, the kitchens that is, had to be made ready again and restocked with everything from croissants to bottles of beer.

SBB Restaurants in figures

  • over 100 SBB Restaurants
  • an average of around 500kg of food and drink per coach
  • an average of around 70 litres of beer on board
  • an average of around 30 cutlery sets