For the past few months or so I've regularly heard gate agents at CVG making announcements for flights departing to LAS, LAX, PHX...etc. that they will be beverage only flights with just a snack/peanuts-type service and advise people to go buy something to bring on the plane. I understand that catering errors or short turns can result in the aircraft not being catered sufficiently, but this is a regular occurance/announcement I've heard almost every time I'm near these boarding DL flights (which is often since I work at the airport).
My question is what gives? These are 4+ hour flights that are supposed to have sandwhiches and BOB type offerings, why is DL skimping on the inflight service? Or am I misunderstanding the announcement and they're really just trying to say there will be no free food? Even if the latter were the case, why would they encourage people to bring on food and hurt potential BOB sales?