Anyone who has been to Germany knows that train travel is ubiquitous. They probably also know that food options in many train stations are formulaic, expensive and plagued by queues during peak times. With this in mind, an award winning new start-up is currently trailing it’s innovative new concept in Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof.
GeTasty, which won the “Innovative Ideas for Railway Stations” competition run by the Deutsche Bahn has built a business concept around the following scenario: your train is leaving in just a few minutes, the queue at the train station bakery is 20 people deep, and you only have enough cash in your pocket for a bretzel.
This scenario is familiar to anyone who has travelled by train in Germany, and is even more acute for business travellers and regular commuters. The Hamburg-based start-up wants to provide a new option, however, whereby customers can select a ‘food bag’ online, pay directly, and then pick up their food and drink combination at a specified time at the train station without having to wait.
The company, which received 25,000 euros in prize money from the DB competition, is currently testing the concept in Berlin along with a pop-up shop. But one of the main hurdles according to founder Lisa Behn will be establishing the concept in the marketplace.
“This is a concept that the customers have yet to learn. They see no solution here, because they have yet to understand the problem.”
They will also need to encourage cashless payments in Germany which are only slowly becoming more popular.
In addition, GeTasty has also taken on an investment partner in the form of the convenience food producer Scoom. Five months after its founding in May 2017, the company now has four employees.
Since mid-August, the start-up has been testing the model. For example, they currently offer Burritos, Bircher Müsli or Cappuccinos and a total of 12 snacks and 15 hot and cold drinks for a maximum of 3,50 euro each. Since opening, the food start-up has served nearly 5,000 customers. Although the concept is aimed at online customers, the pop-up shop still attracts travellers and employees from surrounding office buildings as customers. The food is prepared daily in Berlin by their partner Scoom, delivered to the shop and then assembled on site.