12 February 2014 by bizavcatering
You are a Flight attendant arriving for the first time in an airport. Unfortunately you know nothing about the catering companies but your passengers are very demanding. How can you select the catering company which will make a success or a disaster of your next flight ?…
There are 5 Golden Rules to follow to avoid basic mistakes :
1- Select a catering company instead of a restaurant
Prefer a catering company dedicated to the aviation industry : they know how to prepare, package and deliver at the aircraft. In case you have a last minute change, they also have the highest reactivity. They are also fully equipped with all what you need (from packaging to highloader, in case you need it !).
Despite it all, you may want to order from a restaurant downtown… You can make it, sure, but try to avoid this solution as much as possible as the food in a restaurant is made to be eaten straight but not hours after the delivery : it increases risks of food poisonning… Managing the logistical will be a nightmare as you have not cool truck to pick up the food and deliver it at the FBO, but only a cab ! It will be time consuming and bring you more stress in your flight preparation.
2- Make sure the catering is fully certified
The aviation industry does attract a lot of people/company driven by the smell of easy money. Make sure the catering company is professional and gets expertise in the food industry. Otherwise, this will bring you disapointment, lack of reactivity and high price. If you are a Flight attendant, food is very important for your passengers on board, it is therefore important to make sure the catering is made seriously. If you can, try to take time to visit them… you might be surprised by the poor quality of the facilities some catering (sometimes part of groups) are working in. If you have no time, ask the catering to give you a copy of its certifications.
3- The false good idea
To avoid any bad surprises, at least in the big airports, avoid all intermediaries, and specially the on-line plateforms which put in contacts airlines companies with catering. These companies business model is to make money on top of your invoice : they pretend to have signed with fully certified catering companies… reality is different as they never audit any catering but sign with the catering that gives the biggest margin… If you have any doubt, ask for a copy of the audit made by the on-line plateform.
4- Good communication with the catering
For the first order you send to a new catering, take a bit of your time with the Operation team to explain what you want and how you want it. More advices you will get from the catering, the best experience you will have at the delivery.
Then, as a Corporate Flight attendant, you know the schedule of your flight can change, from earlier to later. Never forget to ask the catering how reactive it is. In case you have to change the content of your order, do not hesitate to ask how you can make the changes and the conditions. A catering specialised in the Private and business aviation knows how to deal with it…
5- Do not forget the special requests or your limits
All catering companies have menus and suggestions with a price list, the good catering provide also dishes not included to their menu but special dishes you want/ask. In this case, do not hesitate to contact them to see if they can make it and in case if you have a budget matters, inform them about your limit. A good catering will also tailor the selection to fit your budget. But to avoid any misunderstandings or anything, it is important to be clear from the start. At the end, the good thing with food is that everything can be made as is not a manufactured products : you have an infinite way to prepare it !