TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The extremely popular Taiwan Railways bento boxes are expected to be served as in-flight meals as soon as next year, reports said.
Prepared by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), the bento boxes containing rice, meat chops, and a variety of Taiwanese-style side dishes hold a special place on the local gastronomic scene. The boxed meals, which are sold at major railway stations and in train cars for between NT$60 (US$1.96) and NT$120 per unit, are a signature specialty in the lives of everyday Taiwanese.
According to Huang Shih-hsien (黃士弦) from the TRA's catering division, the company plans to franchise out the lunch box service in a bid to expand business. Ensuring the quality of the meals is a prerequisite for would-be franchisees, CNA quoted him as saying.
Kaohsiung Airport Catering Services, China Pacific Catering Services, and TransAsia Catering Services are among the companies having expressed interest in franchise operations, said the report. Clients of these three catering companies span both local and foreign airlines.
Franchise fees, food preparation procedures, price setting, package design, and other details are likely to be settled by next year, Huang stated.
According to the TRA, more than 10 million Taiwan Railway bento boxes have been sold per annum since 2016. The most sought-after variety is the pork chop meal, which accounts for 90 percent of sales on average, reported CNA.
Taiwan Railway bento box. (TRA website photo)