With its bright colour scheme and modern interior décor, the all new Delta Café resembles a trendy dining outlet frequented by youths more than it does a staff canteen. However, the sights and sounds of airplanes preparing for take-off in the distant background gives it away as Changi Airport’s very first staff canteen at the airside.
Previously, staff working in the airside may take up to 10 minutes to clear security and walk to the staff canteens in the terminals for lunch. With the introduction of Delta Café, they can now save precious travel time and enjoy a longer break.
SATS technical ramp officer Ramos Erwin Tapang, who was enjoying lunch at Delta Café, said, "Before this, it was a hassle clearing airside security checkpoints as I had to offload several pieces of equipment I carry with me for work. Now, I am happy because I can just come here for my meals or breaks, and still have time to chill and take a rest."
Clarence Ong, an Airbus maintenance officer working at Changi, also liked the convenience the café brings, especially when sometimes, all he can afford is a 20-minute break in between servicing of aircraft at different aircraft stands. "Otherwise, the next nearest canteen is at Airline House, which is easily a 10-minute drive away."
Convenience is not all that Delta Café provides. Besides a spacious air-conditioned area, the café doles out generous servings of mixed rice dishes with prices comparable to terminal staff canteens, as well as yummy local delights like mee siam and mee rebus. Aside from hot meals, a variety of finger food and snacks such as steamed buns and spring rolls, are also available for staff looking for a quick bite. Delta Café, operated by Happy Kitchen Mighty Chef’s owner, Mdm Rena Tan, is in the process of obtaining halal certification for the café. This process typically takes about three months.
Having been designed to offer creature comfort, staff can now enjoy TV programmes shown on the TV in the café during their lunch, while at the same time, keep an eye on flight updates from a panel of screens in the café. Besides recharging themselves, a row of power points along the side wall allows staff to charge their electronic devices as well.
It is not just the staff who appreciate the convenience that Delta Café offers, however.
Gilbert Ow, who helps run Delta Café with his mother Mdm Tan, said: "Previously, we were operating as a mobile food service in the airside. Now, we can serve customers in the comfort of the café without having to go out."
Meanwhile, Mdm Tan and her son are simply delighted to welcome airport staff to their café for a hearty meal!