Hosting the world at Krones
When the drinktec’s doors close at 6 in the evening, then Krones’ day is far from over. Because on the past four days we had invited our clients to a Bavarian evening – in a Bavarian ambience, with Bavarian music and (of course) Bavarian food.
Seats at what we call the regional evenings are much prized. Unsurprisingly, since the event is not a run-of-the mill dinner party, but a truly immersive experience. Entertainment is provided by a brass band and a folk-dancing group. In order to conjure up the requisite atmospheric flair in the hall, Krones had specially erected an Alpine-style lodge (the “Krones Alm”), 40 metres long and 20 metres wide, where the guests sat at rough-hewn wooden tables and where real hop bines were hanging from the ceiling.
But what would a Bavarian evening be without the right authentic food? A team of around 170 staff from the Rosenheim-based catering firm Prinzipal made sure that all the guests at a table got their food at the same time, and of course appetisingly warm. Every evening, the team served the approximately 800 guests a three-course meal – this means 2,400 plates in just two short hours. A smoothly functioning team and above all intelligently planned logistics are essential here. In order to prepare the staff for the evening, a briefing was held at the beginning of each shift. “During the preparations, I often feel like a mental coach. Because it’s very important that I push my people mentally too,” explains Klaus Wurmannstätter, master chef, co-founder and one of the two Managing Directors of Prinzipal. But it’s not only in service, but also in the kitchen that maximised precision is the measure of all things: for example, there was a sample plate of every dish, as a model for all the meals that were to be served to guests on the day in question.
Talking of food: it was just as varied as the guest list. On Tuesday, for example, there was poultry on the menu. Because on this day clients from Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East were invited – and among them were numerous Muslims, who for religious reasons refrain from eating pork. There was plenty of action on Wednesday, when guests from North and South America thronged the dance-floor. At the Asian Evening, there was an unequivocal star: Volker Kronseder. Every group of clients wanted a selfie with the son of the company’s founder and the Supervisory Board Chairman. Volker Kronseder stayed serene and smiling – he enjoys personally interfacing with clients, and is himself a huge fan of Chinese culture.
All the clients were unanimous; everyone praised the authentic atmosphere that Krones conjured up in its hall at the fair. And the Alpine lodge, of course, wasn’t only open in the evenings. For lunch, there was a choice of warm dishes, and in the neighbouring beer-garden, the guests could enjoy cold snacks all day long. Over the week as a whole, then, up to 55,000 plates and wooden snack platters issued from the kitchen. In the beer-garden and the Alpine lodge, of course, one thing was an absolute must: beer! An incredible, unbelievable 110 hectolitres of beer flowed out of the taps and bottles this week. “This is already the fourth drinktec where we’ve done the catering for Krones. The guest list reflects the entire world of the beverage industry – it’s particularly gratifying for us to be hosting so many experts. And the feedback we’re getting from the guests is brilliant – everyone is full of praise for the Alpine ambience,” reports Andreas Schmidt, likewise one of Prinzipal’s Managing Directors.
Before the clients departed, there was also a rather special souvenir: gingerbread hearts with white-and-blue icing will still be reminding them of their visit to Krones’ stand after they get back home.