Onboard catering has returned to Southeastern’s Hastings to London line.
Grub on the Go©, an employee-owned local company, will celebrate the launch of its service selling food and beverages onboard trains on the line on Saturday 30 June, with MP of Hastings and Rye, Amber Rudd, accompanying a steward to assist serving passengers on the 09.31 train from Hastings to Charing Cross, riding as far as Battle.
Passengers will be able to sample some of the locally-sourced offerings at the accompanying reception.
Barbara Thomas, Head of Passenger Services from Southeastern said the move was about providing more services for passengers and supporting local jobs and the economy.
“Southeastern is pleased to announce that onboard catering returned to the Hastings line this month. We’ve been working with the Hastings Rail Catering Services Ltd for quite some time now to bring the trolley service back for our passengers. This is about supporting local jobs and providing our passengers with quality services to enhance their train journey.”
Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye said, ““This is fantastic news. It’s a collaborative effort to bring back a much needed service, supporting top quality local food and drinks suppliers. I urge all rail travellers to support ‘Grub on the Go’!”
The concept for the new venture was created by several stewards who previously worked for the former catering supplier Rail Gourmet, which ceased offering services in December 2010.
Ray Chapman, Chair of Hastings Rail Catering Services Ltd said: “We are very grateful for the support and encouragement of Southeastern in helping us develop this business. We’ve also received the support of local MP Amber Rudd and we are excited to launch and deliver high quality catering services to rail passengers in the South East.
“What makes us different is that as an employee-owned company staff can take pride in what they do and feel empowered by their ownership, and loyalty will be rewarded as employees gain ownership.
“We’ll be offering healthy food options and products that will be sourced locally, but still affordable. We’ve got eight onboard train hosts and Southeastern has provided space for us in the service centre building based at Hastings Station.”
The trolley service will operate during the week from early in the morning to the early evening, on Saturdays from the morning to mid-afternoon and will also operate on a Sunday during the Summer.
The business will support the community by sourcing all goods from local ‘1066’ suppliers, for example, fruit from a Hastings social enterprise called The Community Fruit & Veg Project, sandwiches and baked goods from 1066 Bakery, specialist beverages from Rye Bay Tea and Coffee and beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards.
The service launched with the 07.01 train to Charing Cross on Monday 18 June.