Press release, 06.07.2022
Gastronomic potential in zoos and animal parks
Use Case: ROKA provides dynamic solutions at Rheinböllen Zoo
Germany's market leader for mobile catering systems, ROKA Werk GmbH, has implemented ice containers, snack lake containers as well as storage refrigerated containers for the Rheinböllen Zoo, thus creating the optimal conditions to exploit the great gastronomic potential in the zoo operation.
"There is a demand not only for the obligatory fries that are simply part of a visit to the zoo, but also for culinary delights for events such as weddings, children's birthday parties, and bistro food for guided tours and workshops," explains Volker Beck, managing owner of ROKA, adding: "The gastronomic offer should also take into account or allow for the expansion of the enclosures. The gastronomic offer should also take into account the expansion of the enclosures or allow for it spatially and must therefore be mobile or at least semi-mobile - otherwise meerkats and co. will end up moving too close to the deep fryer and steal the fries. Our mobile solutions can be moved at any time. They give the necessary flexibility in planning."
The concept of the park combines nature & enjoyment
The Rheinböllen Zoo stands for the discovery of local nature. Under the slogan "A real nature treat", you can explore unadulterated flora and fauna here. Such offers have experienced a new boom since the Corona pandemic.
Kristof Fröhlich, Managing Director of Tierpark Rheinböllen GmbH, has creative gastronomy concepts to inspire young people to visit the zoo. One of these is "Seezeit", where on Saturdays an all-you-can-eat barbeque with cocktails, deck chairs and live music is served at the large pond. On Sundays, there is "Breakfast in the Park" with products from exclusively regional producers, such as the local organic farm for cheese, the local fruit press for juice and jam and the sparkling wine cellar for bubbly enjoyment. In addition to the "robber's provisions" for children, the ready-packed picnic baskets are increasingly booked by young adults.
Generate additional income via gastronomy - with ROKA
Fröhlich approached ROKA to professionally upgrade the existing catering equipment. "Originally, we ordered the construction of stainless steel kitchens from ROKA and rented an Airstream Food Trailer from ROKA for the time of the conversion during the Easter holidays to be able to meet the demand. In the process, we realised that the ROKA mobile concept is so smartly thought out that at times we only needed one person to be able to serve the high demand. As a result, we cancelled the expansion of the kitchens at ROKA and switched to a container solution. By then the project had actually been running for three weeks. We were able to change the order at ROKA overnight," reports Fröhlich, who runs the zoo as a family business, and adds: "A container was modified for us within a very short time and was ready to go. The dynamic in the partnership and in the solutions was exactly what we needed. We built on that." ROKA's solutions now serve all of the Rheinböllen Zoo's food concepts, such as excursion catering, company parties and the zoo school. "From currywurst to vegan tarte flambée, beer from the mobile tap to a three-course menu with ingredients from our own park, we can implement anything with ROKA. When the park is full, it simply has to be buzzing. With ROKA, we were able to develop and expand the gastronomy on a handshake - from family business to family business," says Fröhlich.
There are now three gastro locations on 760,000 square metres of parking space. These include the Waldbistro in the existing building, which was expanded with a mobile refrigerated container and frozen food container from ROKA. The ice cream container was placed directly opposite the Waldbistro. For the winter, when Fröhlich and his team organise the "Christmas in the Park" with Christmas tree sales at the zoo on Advent weekends, the ice cream container can easily be converted into a mulled wine stand. This ensures year-round occupancy.
The forest hut at the large adventure playground functions as the main catering facility and is complemented in the park by the 6-metre-long lake container with snack equipment from ROKA. In addition, there is the lakeside hut where outdoor events such as the all-you-can-eat barbecue, company parties and weddings take place. The professional serving of cocktails, beer and delicious spritzers takes place here via a drinks counter from ROKA.
"Now everything has a fixed location, but since we are developing very dynamically as a zoo and we do not yet know the infrastructure for the next three years, we are on the safe side with mobility. We already move the refrigerated containers frequently for individual, large events in the middle of the park," reports Fröhlich and adds: "The simplicity of the container solutions fits in very well with our wild nature with lots of water. In many places, we combine the exterior cladding with wood. A sea container like this radiates durability and looks like a rock in the surf. Standard dimensions for the containers ensure standard transport options, which is simply optimal."
All income from zoo operations and zoo catering benefits the animals. "As a rule, public zoos do not have to make a profit because they are subsidised with public funds. It's different for a privately run operation like the Rheinböllen Zoo," explains Fröhlich and adds: "That's why professional solutions are essential for us to work optimally and efficiently in catering as well."
Mobile solutions are optimal for animal and amusement parks
In the capital, ROKA has also placed a mobile ice cream parlour with the regional ice cream brand Gimme Gelato at the Berlin Zoo near the antelope house and at the Berlin Zoo on the Kakadu terrace. The smart, mobile solutions can be recognised by their mint-green summer colour, which whets the appetite for seasonal fruit, sweet cooling and enjoyment. The taste experience is made available at arm's length and served with edible spoons and recyclable or 100% recyclable packaging. "Good, gastronomic concepts as visitor magnets are simply best implemented with mobile solutions in the world of zoos," Beck sums up.
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