COVID-19 set to change cruise sector dining – MCTC

2020-07-27T14:51:13+00:00 July 27th, 2020|Safety|

The cruise sector needs to think hard about how it can meet the social distancing requirements linked to COVID-19.

This needs to be thought out while still delivering the expected luxurious experience of being on board a cruise liner, without destroying and bankrupting the industry, a leading catering expert said.

Christian Ioannou, Managing Director of MCTC Leisure (pictured), said that while the industry was being hit hard by COVID-19, life post virus would be very different.

For example, costs will increase, due to limitations in passenger numbers because of social distancing restrictions and there will be an increase in hygiene procedures and extra precautions in place to provide a safe environment, he added.

“The overall client experience is changing, as table service will be limited and buffets will no longer be allowed. The tide is turning towards digitalisation and away from human contact. Menus will be displayed digitally, and orders placed online to limit exposure to others to help increase safety levels. In turn, it means that prices will increase in dining experiences as cruise lines need to cover their operating expenditure regardless of client numbers,” he explained.

He said he believed that the industry was smart and would adapt.

“I believe we will see an increase in high-end dishes, not in respect to expensive ingredients though, because we need to substitute the loss of the dining experience. À La Carte service will be the heart of the restaurant and menus will need to entice diners inside and away from room service.

“Food is more than just a nutritional need. It’s an experience and if these elements no longer exist then demand will decline. Overall the expectation for fine dining shall be a necessity for the industry to keep catering on board afloat,” he added.

MCTC Leisure offers a complete service package to cruise ship owners in managing its catering operations, as well as ensuring a high level of competency.