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In-Flight Catering: Things To Consider When Choosing Inflight Catering Services

In-Flight Catering: Things To Consider When Choosing Inflight Catering Services

What is airline catering?  In-flight catering basically refers to the delivery of prepared meals including different kinds of drinks as well as cuisines to aircrafts. Inflight catering services include a number of services such as airport catering , private aircraft catering and more.

Inflight services can be segmented based on different factors such as:

  • Type of flight
  • Aircraft class
  • Type of food
  • Length/duration of flight

The success of any flight is directly dependent on the experience of the passengers. Being able to offer a satisfactory experience to the passengers includes the kind of food they are served.

This is why it is important to partner with the finest caterers, such as Dark Wing Inflight, when choosing an in-flight catering service provider for your private aircraft catering needs.

In-Flight Catering Services For Your Private Jet Meals

Choosing the right catering partner to meet your private aircraft catering needs can be a tough decision. 

Here are some tips to make your decision a bit easier:

  1. Region, Time & Length Of Flight:

    The region to/from which your flight will be flying, is an important factor when it comes to choosing a catering service. Similarly the time of day/night during which you fly and the length of your flight are all important factors. Short business trips will only require lighter meals. You can also opt for energizing food options for short trips. However, longer/international flights require proper, full-fledged meals. This also means that you have the option of serving culturally diverse cuisines like Asian or Mediterranean. Regional comfort foods are also a luxurious and tasteful option. Some people may prefer healthier food options so keeping personal preferences in mind is also important when planning a private jet meal .

  2. Kind Of Packaging Matters:

    When the duration of the flight is long, the food packaging matters. Bulk entrées for reheating are common in longer, international flights. However, for shorter flights, you can opt for a simple meal or perhaps a teaser sampler such as a protein entrée with salad, some fruit, shrimp, different types of cheese, fruits, etc. This is because these dishes take less time to prepare. The key is to choose packaging that suits your flight length, time and the resources available to the flight attendants. 

  3. Full-Service Caterers For Longer Flights:

    For longer or extended flights it is a smart choice to consider multiple meal services with snacks in between. It is also a great idea to order multiple meals and additional entrées as it offers a certain level of flexibility for the passengers to choose from. Always ensure that there are enough backup snacks, just in case. Non-perishable snacks are also a must.

  4. Decide On The Basis Of Time Of Day:

    During what time of the day is your flight flying? Tailor your catering based on the time of day. For morning flights you can choose from healthy options like bagels and fresh fruit. For shorter afternoon flights, opt for light snacks and salads. However, for evening flights you can choose meals such as soups, proteins and desserts. The duration of your flight as well as the time of day during which you are flying, both are important deciding factors for the kind of meals you should add to your catering menu.

  5. Consider The Prep Time Available:

    Keep in mind the time constraints. For instance, for shorter midday flights, sampler platters can be the ideal choice as they require less preparation effort. Avoid foods that pose a challenge by requiring reheating. Prioritize foods that maintain freshness such as sushi or dim sums.

  6. Temperature Matters, For Safety Purposes:

    Ensure that food safety is a top priority. Choose a caterer who will deliver chilled (below 40°F or 4.4°C) or hot (above 140°F or 60°C) meals. Gel packs and dry ice are of great help to maintain the temperature of food, but stay cautious so that the food doesn't end up frozen. If you find that reheating during the flight poses an issue, consider doing it at your fixed base operator.

  7. Additional Things To Consider

    When you are making decisions related to in-flight catering for private aviation, it is important to keep a number of factors in mind. These factors include elements that can directly impact the well being of passengers as well as their preferences.

    Here are some of these factors that you must consider while choosing a caterer for private jet meal , especially during lengthy flights, to ensure optimum passenger comfort and satisfaction:

    1. Understanding the Impact of Food Choices on Brain Activity:

      Travel during the night means that the passengers will prefer to sleep. If your flight involves overnight trips, the ideal choice is to opt for a heavy dinner that is high in carbs. This can include a number of foods such as pasta, fritters, pancakes, etc as these tend to promote a deep and sound sleep. 

      It is also crucial to be mindful of any food allergies that the passengers might suffer from and other cultural or religious preferences. It offers a sense of a much more personalized experience for the passengers, improving their overall travel experience. 

      If the passengers on your flight are more likely to be working during the travel or engage in activities that require mental stimulation, it is a smart choice to opt for meals that prioritize high protein levels.

    2. Adapting to Onboard Cooking Facilities :

      The galley in an aircraft is the area where meals are prepared for the crew as well as for the passengers. The size of a particular aircraft’s galley and the equipment that is available are both important factors that determine the meal preparation. The larger your private jet, the more cooking facilities will be available and more diverse meal options will be available. However, smaller jets and planes offer limited space and equipment which may limit the heating capacity as they offer comparatively lower storage space. 

      For longer flights it is a viable option to have a menu of diverse food as well as beverage options such as appetizers, salads, cocktails and main course. On the other hand, for shorter flights, such an extensive range of meals does not make a lot of sense.

      Many charter operators maintain standard aviation containers for products which facilitate orders from restaurants or catering services. Aircrafts with limited space may require alternatives such as canned food or vacuum sealed foods.

    3. Avoiding Negative Passenger Reactions to Dishes:

      Until and unless specific requests are made on the behalf of the passengers, operators must opt for caterers that offer foods with a more neutral flavor. Different passengers have a diverse and different palette which is why it is important to cater to the unique tastes of each passenger on board.

      Flights with a short travel time do not justify elaborate cuisines which is why it is important to prioritize simple meals. This not only ensures efficiency but also saves a lot of time. Simpler meals on short flights help the passengers enjoy a comfortable journey.

    4. Offering Drinks & Beverages to Ensure an Optimal Experience For Passengers:

      Most natural juices feature high amounts of sugar. This may not suit all passengers as each individual has different tolerances towards sugar. Similarly, carbonated drinks and beverages that constitute artificial sweeteners are also discouraged. This is because they may aid in inducing hunger. 

      Another factor to keep in mind is the amount of alcohol to be served. This is because the effects of alcohol may be increased at such high altitudes. 

      It is recommended to offer plain water during the flights, especially if it is a short flight, to maintain the water balance in the body. Similarly, teal with minimal amounts of sugar and milk can be offered.

    5. Considering Cultural Traditions for Onboard Meals:

      Passengers from different regions have varied and diverse food preferences. This may have an influence on the portion size as well as the style serving for each passenger.

      North Americans may prefer a larger portion size. In contrast, Europeans and Asians may require a smaller portion size. The meal preparation style may also differ depending upon cultural preferences. Different religions or cultures may have varied preferences with respect to food etiquettes as well as the utensils used in the preparation of meals. 

    Final Thoughts

    Private aircraft catering is not rocket science. It does not have to be a stressful and complex experience. Simply keeping some factors in mind such as the length of the flight, time of day, preference of passengers, etc, can help create a successful catering experience. 

    Get in touch with Dark Wing Inflight for a diverse menu and cost effective VIP inflight catering services .

2024-02-22 12:02:36

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