Of course the croque-monsieur is still very much on the menu. But purists will no doubt cry sacrilege, as it has been revisited by young chef Alexia Duchêne, who is responsible for the recipes for the dishes sold on SNCF Inoui TGVs since 14 October. Her colleague, pastry chef Nina Métayer, will be in charge of the sweet side of the menu with a selection of gourmet desserts. TV presenter and food critic Julie Andrieu is overseeing the catering on the Intercités trains, with a more hearty cuisine that celebrates the areas we travel through.

Products from sustainable agriculture or from a High Environmental Value farm

In order to keep up with the trend for seasonal, sourced, quality cuisine, the Newrest catering group, which manages this activity on behalf of the SNCF, has also called on French producers (for 94% of the products), giving pride of place to organic products, which account for 44% of the menu. A vegetarian and gluten-free dish cooked in the Drome region by La Fabric sans gluten, a social and solidarity-based company, is also on the menu. ” The SNCF has chosen to give a high profile to SMEs and VSEs, which will be responsible for manufacturing 42% of the products offered to customers“, emphasises Alain Krakovitch, Director of Voyages SNCF. The yoghurts are made in Machecoul in the Vendée by the Beillevaire cheese factory, the organic orange juice in Normandy by Mimouna lemonades, the compotes by Lucien Georgelin, and the shortbread and cookies by Les Deux gourmands, a small biscuit factory in the Yvelines recently set up by two young entrepreneurs, sons of farmers. The volumes required to supply the entire TGV park, i.e. more than 50,000 cookies to be supplied monthly, 25,000 yoghurts or 10,000 lemonades, represent a major support for these local food companies which will have to keep up the pace while maintaining quality.

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The water bottle goes green

The ecological aspect is not just about sourcing products, however, as the SNCF is also committed to reducing the use of plastic. Gone are the 2 million plastic bottles sold each year on board, replaced by L’eau Neuve, a water from the Ariège region packaged in a cardboard or aluminium container that is 100% eco-responsible because it is recycled and recyclable. A selective sorting system will be progressively set up in each train to recycle all this waste. And food waste will be reduced as much as possible through a new logistics scheme for the delivery of fresh produce.

Touch-screen terminals to facilitate sales

In order to reduce waiting times at the bar – a source of exasperation for many customers – digital terminals will be installed in the trains by 2023 so that customers can place their orders and pay for them before collecting their purchases from the barista via a fast line. Self-service coffee machines will also gradually be deployed for passengers in a hurry. This service has long been offered on the Paris-<a href=”https://www.voyages-d-affaires.com/euralille-tgv-avance-20200127.html” target=“_blank” rel=”noopener”>Lille where the short journey time justifies the absence of a bar car. Finally, a low-cost Express formula has been introduced, including a water and a sandwich for €7. ” This is the same price as in the station“, says Alain Krakovitch, as the SNCF has regularly been criticised for the price of its bar food, which sometimes leaves something to be desired. A judgement considered harsh, which the transport company hopes to put behind it once and for all by playing the card of these young chefs and the choice of regional producers to give taste and consistency to its catering offer.