We recently had a visit from Samba Catering, the Hull-based company that provides delicious sandwiches for our Café Bar* in Coach B. The team at Samba has been busy creating new flavours for next year, so together we decided that a taster session was the perfect way to gather feedback. Joining us for part of one of our direct services to King's Cross, the Samba ambassadors invited travellers to try sandwiches from their platters. We spoke to Nick Biggs, Samba Catering's Operations Manager, to find out more.
Hi, Nick. How long has Samba been supplying to Hull Trains?
It's been four years now. Samba launched in 2006, so we were delighted after a few years of operating to have our pre-packed sandwich range stocked on all Hull Trains services. We believe that being alongside other local brands such as Great Newsome Brewery is a great way to introduce people from across the UK to East Yorkshire's delicious offerings.
How did the idea to run a taster session come about?
Our main contact at Hull Trains is Katie Beckett. During a conversation it became clear that both organisations were keen to gather passenger feedback from different perspectives. For us, it was to gain insight into what our new line of fillings should be, and for Hull Trains it was to make sure that you stock what your customers want.
How have you found this relationship?
We're very proud of our longstanding association with Hull Trains and the trust we've established with you over the last four years. It's a pleasure to work alongside another organisation that is passionate about the local region. We're committed to continuing this and ensuring that all passengers can expect the very best in terms of service and quality on every journey.
Is this how you usually develop new product lines?
We always send out new products to various customers to gain feedback but we've never done a taster session like this before. Being in the actual environment where customers purchase our sandwiches was very exciting, plus we got to watch them enjoy the new fillings all the way from Hull to Doncaster.
So what are these new fillings that our lucky customers got to try out?
We produced five platters, each of which presented two different sandwiches that shared a core ingredient:
- Roast Pork and Apple Sauce and Roast Pork and Stuffing
- Cheese and Branston Pickle and Cheese and a Spicy Tomato and Onion Chutney
- Tuna and Cucumber and Tuna Salad
- Egg and Cress and Egg and Tomato
- Coronation Chicken
- and Chicken Tikka with Yoghurt and Mint and Lettuce
We then gathered feedback to see which sandwiches got the best score. These will be launched in the New Year with our recently refreshed packaging and distributed in our newly rebranded vans. It's been a busy year for Samba and thanks to Hull Trains we can't wait for 2018!
You can enjoy a sandwich from Samba Catering and many more hot and cold treats by visiting our café bar* in Coach B.
For the cheapest fares, no booking fees and free 4G Wi-Fi, book your trip to London with Hull Trains today.
*Please note, we have replaced our old fleet of trains with brand-new Paragon trains. This means we no longer have a café bar on board.