Onboard Rail Catering Market Report by Catering Service (Mobile Catering, Static Catering), Mode of Booking (Online, Offline), and Region 2023-2028

Onboard Rail Catering Market Report by Catering Service (Mobile Catering, Static Catering), Mode of Booking (Online, Offline), and Region 2023-2028

Report Format: PDF+Excel | Report ID: SR112023A11861
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Market Overview:

The global onboard rail catering market size reached US$ 17.3 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 24.1 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% during 2023-2028. The increasing marketing and promotional efforts to enhance passenger awareness, the rising governments regulations promoting quality onboard catering services, and the incorporation of sustainable packaging and waste reduction initiatives are some of the factors propelling the market.

Report Attribute
 Key Statistics 
Base Year
Forecast Years
Historical Years
Market Size in 2022 US$ 17.3 Billion
Market Forecast in 2028 US$ 24.1 Billion
Market Growth Rate (2023-2028)

Onboard rail catering, a crucial aspect of modern train travel, elevates the passenger experience by combining culinary delights with convenience. As travelers embark on their journeys, they are welcomed with a delectable array of food and beverages, transforming mundane trips into gastronomic adventures. The onboard rail catering services are thoughtfully designed to cater to diverse tastes and preferences. From fresh sandwiches, salads, and wraps to hot meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients, passengers can indulge in various delectable options. These delectable treats are complemented by multiple beverages, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, and even premium wines and spirits for those seeking luxury. Beyond the culinary experience, onboard rail catering fosters a sense of community among travelers. The dining cars provide a social hub where passengers can connect, share stories, and forge new friendships over a delightful meal. With a commitment to quality, convenience, and customer satisfaction, onboard rail catering continues to redefine train travel, ensuring that every journey is as memorable as the destination itself.

The global market is majorly driven by the increasing demand for convenient and time-efficient travel options. In line with this, the rising preference for eco-friendly transportation alternatives is significantly contributing to the market. Furthermore, the growing awareness and appreciation of the dining experience during travel is positively influencing the market. Apart from this, the expanding rail networks and improved connectivity are catalyzing the market. Integration of innovative technology to enhance catering services offers numerous opportunities for the market. Moreover, the inflating disposable incomes of individuals are leading to more spending on premium travel experiences. Customization options catering to diverse dietary requirements and preferences propel the market. Besides, the introduction of gourmet and locally sourced food offerings is bolstering the market. Additionally, the special promotions and loyalty programs to attract repeat customers are providing a boost to the market.

Onboard Rail Catering Market Trends/Drivers:

Collaborations with renowned chefs and restaurant brands

Collaborations with renowned chefs and restaurant brands have emerged as a significant factor in fostering the market. These partnerships bring a touch of culinary expertise and reputation to the train dining experience, elevating it to new heights. Train operators can offer exclusive menus curated with creativity and finesse by partnering with well-known chefs. Passengers are enticed by the prospect of savoring delectable dishes crafted by culinary masters during their journey, adding a unique and memorable aspect to their travel experience. Renowned restaurant brands also lend their credibility and expertise to onboard catering, assuring passengers of high-quality and authentic meals. Such collaborations often introduce specialized cuisine, regional delicacies, and diverse flavors, catering to various tastes and preferences. These partnerships attract food enthusiasts seeking exquisite meals and enhance the overall perception of rail travel as a luxurious and enjoyable mode of transportation. As a result, collaborations with renowned chefs and restaurant brands have become a potent catalyst for the success and growth of the onboard rail catering industry.

Introduction of regional and cultural cuisine to cater to international travelers

The introduction of regional and cultural cuisine to cater to international travelers is strengthening the market. As railways expand their global reach, passengers from diverse backgrounds seek authentic culinary experiences that reflect the destinations they traverse. By incorporating regional specialties and traditional dishes from different cultures, onboard catering enhances the overall travel experience, offering a delightful journey through various flavors and tastes. International travelers, eager to immerse themselves in the local culture, are drawn to these gastronomic offerings, fostering a sense of excitement and anticipation during their rail adventures. This culinary diversity satisfies the palate and promotes cultural exchange and appreciation among passengers. It creates an inclusive environment where travelers worldwide can bond over shared dining experiences, forging unforgettable memories. The introduction of regional and cultural cuisine attracts more international passengers. It distinguishes train travel as a vibrant and enriching journey, making it a compelling choice for globetrotters seeking a truly immersive and gastronomic expedition.

Increasing focus on food safety and hygiene standards

The increasing focus on food safety and hygiene standards is creating a positive outlook for the market. As passengers become more health-conscious and discerning about the quality of their dining experiences, ensuring strict adherence to food safety protocols has become paramount. Rail operators and catering services are proactively implementing rigorous hygiene measures to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness throughout the food preparation and serving processes. Regular sanitation of kitchen facilities, utensils, and surfaces, along with proper food handling practices, reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses and instills confidence in passengers. Certifications and audits from health authorities further reinforce the commitment to food safety, assuring travelers that their well-being is a top priority. Transparent communication about safety measures builds customer trust and loyalty, encouraging repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. By prioritizing food safety and hygiene, onboard rail catering not only complies with regulations but also meets the expectations of health-conscious passengers, ensuring a worry-free and enjoyable dining experience during their journeys. As a result, this emphasis on safety standards plays a pivotal role in the continued success and growth of the market.

Onboard Rail Catering Industry Segmentation:

IMARC Group provides an analysis of the key trends in each segment of the onboard rail catering market report, along with forecasts at the regional and country levels from 2023-2028. Our report has categorized the market based on catering service and mode of booking.

Breakup by Catering Service:

  • Mobile Catering
  • Static Catering

Mobile catering dominates the market

The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on catering service. This includes mobile catering and static catering. According to the report, mobile catering represented the largest segment.

Mobile catering services involve dedicated staff moving through train carriages, offering a wide selection of food and beverages directly to passengers' seats. This personalized approach enhances convenience and accessibility, providing travelers with diverse culinary options on the go. Mobile catering ensures that passengers can indulge in freshly prepared meals and snacks at their preferred time during the journey. The flexibility and efficiency of mobile catering contribute to an overall positive passenger experience, encouraging more people to choose train travel over other transportation options.

On the contrary, static catering, dining cars, or buffet cars provide passengers with fixed dining areas for a more relaxed and spacious culinary experience. These dedicated spaces offer a sense of ambiance and allow passengers to socialize while relishing their meals. Static catering services often feature elaborate menus, including multi-course meals and themed dining experiences. This adds an element of luxury and sophistication to train travel, attracting discerning passengers seeking a premium gastronomic journey.

Breakup by Mode of Booking:

  • Online
  • Offline

Online dominates the market

The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on mode of booking. This includes online and offline. According to the report, online represented the largest segment.

With the advent of digital technology and the widespread use of smartphones and the Internet, online booking platforms have become increasingly popular among passengers. Online booking systems allow travelers to pre-order their meals and beverages before embarking on their train journey. This convenience ensures that passengers can secure their preferred meal choices and reduces the risk of food unavailability. Online booking also enables easy payment options, exclusive deals, and discounts, enticing more passengers to opt for onboard catering services. Moreover, through online platforms, catering providers can gather valuable data on customer preferences and behaviors, enabling them to tailor their offerings to meet the evolving needs of passengers.

Furthermore, offline booking options remain relevant, especially for last-minute travelers or those with limited internet access. Onboard catering services typically have counters or kiosks at train stations or onboard trains, where passengers can purchase food and beverages during their journey. While offline booking may not offer the same convenience as online options, it ensures accessibility for all passengers, irrespective of their technological proficiency.

Breakup by Region:

  • North America 
    • United States
    • Canada
  • Europe 
    • Germany
    • France
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Others
  • Asia Pacific 
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Indonesia
    • Others
  • Latin America 
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Others
  • Middle East and Africa

North America exhibits a clear dominance, accounting for the largest market share

The report has also provided a comprehensive analysis of all the major regional markets, which include North America (the United States and Canada); Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and others); Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and others); Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and others); and the Middle East and Africa.

The market in North America is experiencing a rise due to several factors. Improved rail infrastructure and the introduction of high-speed and luxury trains have heightened the appeal of train travel. In response to the growing demand for enhanced passenger experiences, catering services have evolved to offer a diverse range of culinary options. Additionally, collaborations with renowned chefs and local food suppliers have elevated the quality of onboard meals. North America's emphasis on food safety and hygiene standards has also reassured passengers, fostering confidence in the catering services provided. The region's focus on eco-friendly initiatives and innovative technologies further enhances the overall appeal of onboard rail catering, contributing to market growth.

On the other hand, Europe has a well-established and extensive railway network, making train travel popular for domestic and international tourists. The onboard rail catering market in Europe expands on the continent's rich culinary heritage and diverse food culture. As trains connect major cities and picturesque landscapes, catering services incorporate regional and cultural cuisine, creating an immersive experience for travelers. The trend of collaborations with renowned chefs and restaurant brands is also prevalent in Europe, offering passengers exceptional dining options during their journeys. Moreover, Europe's commitment to sustainable practices and environmental consciousness aligns with the preferences of modern-day travelers, adding to the appeal of onboard rail catering services and fostering market growth.

Competitive Landscape:

Top companies are pivotal in fueling market growth through innovative strategies and customer satisfaction commitment. These companies recognize the importance of providing passengers with a delightful culinary experience during their train journeys and continuously strive to exceed expectations. Leading companies collaborate with renowned chefs and restaurant brands to curate exceptional menus that showcase regional and international flavors. Their focus on culinary excellence attracts food enthusiasts and encourages passengers to opt for onboard catering services. Furthermore, these companies offer diverse menu options, catering to various dietary preferences and cultural tastes. Their comprehensive offerings cater to a broad spectrum of passengers, from gourmet meals to healthy snacks. Moreover, these companies facilitate online booking systems, enabling passengers to pre-order their meals for a seamless experience. They actively seek feedback from passengers, continually improving their services. Positive word-of-mouth and repeat business from satisfied customers further drive market growth. Additionally, numerous top companies adopt eco-friendly practices, reducing waste and promoting environmental consciousness, appealing to environmentally-conscious travelers.

The report has provided a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape in the onboard rail catering market. Detailed profiles of all major companies have also been provided.

  • National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
  • Deutsche Bahn AG
  • Eurostar International Ltd. (SNCF)
  • Great Western Railway (FirstGroup plc)
  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
  • Newrest Group Services SAS
  • Swiss Federal Railways
  • Trenitalia (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A.)

Onboard Rail Catering Market Report Scope:

Report Features Details
Base Year of the Analysis 2022
 Historical Period 2017-2022
Forecast Period 2023-2028
Units US$ Billion
Scope of the Report Exploration of Historical and Forecast Trends, Industry Catalysts and Challenges, Segment-Wise Historical and Predictive Market Assessment: 
  • Catering Service
  • Mode of Booking
  • Region
Catering Services Covered Mobile Catering, Static Catering
Mode of Bookings Covered Online, Offline
Regions Covered Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
Countries Covered United States, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico
Companies Covered National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Deutsche Bahn AG, Eurostar International Ltd. (SNCF), Great Western Railway (FirstGroup plc), Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, Newrest Group Services SAS, Swiss Federal Railways, Trenitalia (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A.), etc.
Customization Scope 10% Free Customization
Report Price and Purchase Option Single User License: US$ 2499
Five User License: US$ 3499
Corporate License: US$ 4499
Post-Sale Analyst Support 10-12 Weeks
Delivery Format PDF and Excel through Email (We can also provide the editable version of the report in PPT/Word format on special request)

Key Questions Answered in This Report:

  • How has the global onboard rail catering market performed so far, and how will it perform in the coming years?
  • What are the drivers, restraints, and opportunities in the global onboard rail catering market?
  • What is the impact of each driver, restraint, and opportunity on the global onboard rail catering market?
  • What are the key regional markets?
  • Which countries represent the most attractive onboard rail catering market?
  • What is the breakup of the market based on the catering service?
  • Which is the most attractive catering service in the global onboard rail catering market?
  • What is the breakup of the market based on the mode of booking?
  • Which is the most attractive mode of booking in the global onboard rail catering market?
  • What is the competitive structure of the global onboard rail catering market?
  • Who are the key players/companies in the global onboard rail catering market?

Key Benefits for Stakeholders:

  • IMARC’s report offers a comprehensive quantitative analysis of various market segments, historical and current market trends, market forecasts, and dynamics of the onboard rail catering market from 2017-2028.
  • The research study provides the latest information on the market drivers, challenges, and opportunities in the onboard rail catering market.
  • The study maps the leading, as well as the fastest-growing, regional markets. It further enables stakeholders to identify the key country-level markets within each region.
  • Porter's five forces analysis assists stakeholders in assessing the impact of new entrants, competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and the threat of substitution. It helps stakeholders to analyze the level of competition within the global onboard rail catering industry and its attractiveness.
  • Competitive landscape allows stakeholders to understand their competitive environment and provides an insight into the current positions of key players in the market.

Need more help?

  • Speak to our experienced analysts for insights on the current market scenarios.
  • Include additional segments and countries to customize the report as per your requirement.
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Onboard Rail Catering Market Report by Catering Service (Mobile Catering, Static Catering), Mode of Booking (Online, Offline), and Region 2023-2028
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