The menus are personal creations of the flight attendants and they are as important as the cleanliness of the aircraft or the service flow.
Besides the capability to plate food in a nice and fancy way, another great talent is the ability to choose the right dish.
In order to do that, a precious help is the crew briefing. This is the list of information related to that flight that we receive before every mission.
Take your time to go trough it closely and take note of how many customers you will have, their age and nationality, if there’s any dietary restriction or allergy, time of departure, length of the flight, airport of departure and facilities in terms of catering where you can have access to.
Let’s visualise the different scenarios: if the customers have made a catering preference at the time of the booking, then simply follow them.
If nothing has been specified, you can pick up whatever you want as long as there’s a good variety of food that will satisfy even the most demanding taste.
When you have checked the catering wishes, let’s move then to the time of departure and length of the flight.
Decide how many and which type of service you will conduct, considering that a 5 courses full lunch or dinner can take up to 3 hours in the westerner culture.
If the flight is short, just go for a light lunch or a snack instead.
The age, the nationality and religion play a key role when choosing your menu. You really have to be conscious of dietary restriction related to religion and meal timing related to age.
Of course children will require a simple menu, which is matching their taste and their nutritions requirements.
Once all this has been set and you have ordered your catering, it’s time to prepare the menu.
Unless you have a menu card holder and menu layout guidelines given by the Operator, the creation of the menu is totally under you responsibility and you can prepare it in the way you like.
Just keep in mind one important word: elegance.
Chose an appealing menu wording but not too difficult. Prepare a nice layout, choose the perfect paper, select a font which is readable and classy. Add some color (maybe the aircraft or the company color), make it personal by adding date and route and the name of the customer if you like, or add a quote that is classy, funny and smart.
Consider also to write a separate menu for children.
If you don’t have a menu holder, wrap it up nicely and classy, and deliver one copy per customer.
The menu preparation is one of the talents of the flight attendants.
What is your technique for menu preparation?