Rail Gourmet, the UKs leading train logistics provider, approached TYC to develop a new type of onboard 'at seat' food and beverage service that would disrupt the sector and change the way that onboard F&B services are perceived. The challenging brief set out to create an eye-catching solution that maximised sales, effectively communicated the F&B offer, was flexible to suit time-of-day changes and clearly displayed the products on sale.
This project started with several weeks of research reviewing customer reactions to the existing trolley, customer behaviors whilst travelling, trends in society and F&B consumption, the market place and most importantly, how Rail Gourmet made money from the service. The outcome of the research stage provided valuable insight and paved the way to radically change the 'at seat' service with clear direction and measures of success. These included better visibility of product, better ergonomics and maneuverability, light weight but improving stability and of course, something remarkably different aesthetically.
The concept design stage included six different potential solutions from the safe to the extreme and everything in-between! From concept we progressed to technical design and prototypes, the first of which were made from cardboard, then MDF and finally GRP on an aluminum frame. Prototyping in detail like this allowed TYC to develop and tweak before moving to full, working prototype stage.
Working with AP Hollings & Sons two working prototypes were created to trial onboard in order to gain approval from the end client whilst also testing against stringent health and safety requirements. The prototypes received huge praise and the final design was approved within a matter of weeks.
The outcome has been overwhelming. With international orders placed upon approval of the prototype, the T2020 is already in use onboard Southern Rail and has enabled an improvement in average transaction value of 11.5% and a significant uplift in sales on the London to Lewes route.
Customer reaction has also been great; in a research study, 93% of customers thought that the new trolley had a positive effect on the service and encouraged them to buy.
The design is 97% recyclable made from rotation molded HDPE on an aluminum boxed section frame. It is perfectly engineered to be ergonomic for the full range of staff users and is 40% lighter than its predecessor.
Part of the research highlighted the potential for an 'on-trolley advertisement screen'. This has also been included in the design and has created an entirely new revenue stream for the client.
In 2011, The Cafe Society Awards recognised the T2020 as 'Highly Commended' in the New Product Innovation category
Project scope: Strategy, Research, Product design, Graphic design
“The team at TYC has been instrumental in providing the sparks of imagination to stimulate 'fresh thinking' within our business. They have helped RG deliver real 'added value' to benefit our customers, our clients and our companies both in the UK and across Europe. “