Putting the Isle of Man on to our menus

2022 has seen some major changes on board the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s vessels, with one of the most visible being a complete overhaul of the menu offerings across both vessels.

The key to these changes has been an increased focus on customer service across the whole Company, and a recognition of the role the Company can play in promoting brilliant Manx produce.

At the start of the year we appointed Executive Chef, Matt Berry, who brings expertise from working with some of the Isle of Man’s and UK’s leading restaurateurs, to redesign the menus and to help make our galleys into great places to work.

Working with our excellent on board cooks one of the first things Matt did was review suppliers and bring on board as many local businesses and products as possible – from freshly baked Manx bread, beef burgers made with 100% Manx beef and Isle of Man Creameries cheese.

As well as ensuring that the Isle of Man economy benefits from these changes, there are a host of other reasons for choosing local: freshness, traceability, lower carbon miles and the ability to specify exactly what is needed.

Another area where Matt turned his attention was to ensuring that passengers with dietary requirements are catered for. There is now a fantastically varied menu featuring gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options on every sailing throughout the year.

The experienced and skilled galley crew have taken our new menu options to heart with the results clear to see: throughout the year, sales of food of new menu items have increased across the fleet, and the customer feedback has been strongly positive.

It’s not just the food offering that has been improved, Customer Services Manager Seamus Byrne has pushed his team to ensure that wherever possible the on board beverage offering features the best of Isle of Man produce.

The popular Bushy’s ale, a staple of many TT fans, is now available on Ben-my-Chree after a successful introduction to Manannan earlier in the year. Other locally produced and distributed drinks and spirits are also available on board including Fynoderee gin and Outlier Distillery rum and liqueurs. Other popular brands available on board include Seven Kingdoms and Peggy’s,

Managing Director, Brian Thomson, said: ‘As a lifeline ferry service, people travel with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for a wide variety of reasons. We want to make sure that whatever the reason you’re on the boat – holiday, business, – you see, and taste, the Isle of Man is woven into the fabric of our Company.’

We’re lucky to have such a unique Island with lots of innovative and dedicated producers and we, as the Isle of Man’s ferry operator, are in a very fortunate position to be able to offer a shop window for them.’

Of course, being a small galley with a high customer turnover, not all allergies can be safely catered for, but our Executive Chef Matt Berry has created as inclusive a menu as possible within our operational parameters.

Julie from Allergy Village added: ‘An increasing number of people (around 2% of children and 8% of adults in the UK) now suffer with dietary needs including food allergies, intolerances and medical conditions restricting their options so it’s really important that there is a safe and available range of choices when travelling or eating out. It really is great to see the Steam Packet Company focussing on different dietary needs.’

Simon Ross (Ross Bakery), Matt Berry & the catering team on board Manannan

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