Aviation catering: don’t order a restaurant!

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14 October 2014 by bizavcatering

Restaurant-FloWhen comes time to work on a catering order, most of Flight Attendants are considering either to send it to the aviation catering or to a restaurant… Think carefully! In case you are not in a very small airport or in Africa, I have to warn you about the consequences of a restaurant order…
1 – Bacteriological risks

I do not want to go into technical details but to make it simple to understand, a restaurant is producing food to be eaten straight from the oven. The cooking process is much simpler in a restaurant than in a catering facility.
As a matter of fact, if you decide to order from a restaurant for aviation catering, the food will obviously be eaten at least 5 hours later, multiplying the risk of contamination with consequences on your VIP passengers’ health.

If you need more details, do not hesitate to go on Paula Kraft advices, from Tasfully Yours Catering, she is the Expert.

2 – Restaurant’s choice

Despite the contamination risk, if you still want to order from a restaurant, you have to understand that you may have problems to get what you want.

A Restaurant can accept or reject a take-away order. Why? Because they know there is a high risk of contamination. Therefore, it is not because you want the food from the restaurant that you are going to get it!

In case the restaurant accepts, you will have to stick with what the restaurant have on the menu. Keep in mind the restaurant do not have the same dishes all year long, so if you work with a 6 months old menu, you will be in trouble!

3 – No specific orders’ requirement

A restaurant is not the best place to get what you want as you want it. Indeed, a restaurant does not know anything about aircraft. Therefore, you will not get the proper foils or packaging to store the food properly in the aircraft. You already have a small galley, the wrong packaging size will make a mess on storage or in the oven (in case of an oversize foil for example).

Something you expect usually from your airline catering is the ingredients separated or sauce on side… Restaurants will not make and will not understand why you want the food this way, just to bother them…

4 -Logistical side of a restaurant order

One more important thing is about your order delivery. From the restaurant, there are two options:
–    When the restaurant makes the delivery. Does it have a cold truck to keep the cold chain till the airport? Then, as the restaurant have no access to the tarmac, the food will be handled by different intermediaries, and probably stored for a while in the FBO’s fridge probably. In that place, it may be maintained with inappropriate temperature: this will increase again the food contamination…
–    When the aviation catering is asked to take the food from the restaurant and deliver it to the aircraft: the fees of going to pick up and deliver the food will increase your invoice… does it worth it?!

5 – Food quality

After all that troubles, you are on air and managed to re-heat the dishes ordered in your restaurant. Good thing done after all!

But, a little too late you realize that the food has nothing to do with what you had at the restaurant. The restaurant does not know your galley and oven, does not know food dehydrates more when cooked on air, does not know you have to spice more the dishes eaten,… As a result, you get a very so-so dish and lots of disappointments…

Next time, make it simple, order directly to a professional airline catering who knows about your concerns, and most of all, avoid all kind of risk : do not risk your passenger’s health.

In case of a passenger request on a restaurant dish, do not hesitate to inform him about the risks… He should understand and follow his FA, professional of the on-board food and safety…

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