Having made a few enquiries into why such a ‘lean’ service is being provided, part of the contingency plan to deal with the industrial action involves possible last minute flight changes, aircraft changes, flight reinstatement, etc. To cater an aircraft takes several trucks and precious time, so in order to keep disruption to a minimum, if the amount of carts and cannisters can be reduced by not loading the ‘extras’ as Loyal mentioned, this can help to keep everything & everybody moving.
Why no hot food?
Please keep in mind salads and chilled items can be kept chilled for a decent amount of time in chilled carts, whereas soon-to-be ‘hot entrees’ are part frozen and can’t sit on a catering truck for long as they need to be loaded onto the aircraft and cooked within quite a limited time frame.
(The catering company loads everything, not only food items. All carts and containers must be x-rayed, sealed, transported, etc from customs and security approved sites.)
Hope this helps.