You probably heard that catering on Private Jets is one of the responsibilities of the VIP flight attendants.
Sometimes some organisations have a department dedicated to this task.
This is frequent in charter operations, where they charter the jets to customers as often as possible, and the flight attends won’t have the time to take care of this at the same time as flying.
Where do we take the catering from?
Well, the catering for a flight on a Private Jet can be bought basically anywhere they sell food.
Where exactly you take it depends on your budget, the quality of the food available, the type of flight, the catering wishes.
For example restaurants, supermarkets, gastronomy shops, catering companies.
If you are on a normal budget, restaurants are a good option.
When you are in very tight budget, supermarkets or gastronomy shops are what you need.
Definitely, when you don’t have time to go shopping yourself because of your schedule – landing too late at night or on minimum rest – , then the catering company is the best solution.
What is very important is the quality of the food you chose.
While in the USA the restaurants are the preferred solution, in Europe or Russia for example, many catering companies are of a superb level.
If you order at the restaurant, you basically go for the take away food from their menu.
Then you select a time of delivery and you pass by the restaurant on a taxi on your way to the airport to pick up the catering.
This is the ideal solution, because the food is very fresh and just made, but is not always possible.
Some restaurant also have a “concierge service” and they deliver to the airport.
You pay this service apart, obviously.
Definitely, the quality of a catering coming from the restaurant (assuming is a high-end restaurant) is definitely up to VIP standards.
As long as you stow it properly (fridge), you warm up and prepare (plate) it in the right way.
I flew once with a customer who wanted catering from a specific restaurant in Boston.
He expressively said he wanted their food, no matter what.
Departure was the following day around 11 am, but the restaurant wasn’t delivering in the morning.
I tired to offer a generous tip for the chef to come and cook for me, but didn’t work out : ( .
I arranged with the hotel to borrow their fridges, I took the food the night before and kept it properly refrigerated until early morning the following day.
The catering company
There are many different of course, but you can understand their level very quickly.
The good thing about the catering companies is that they deliver anytime. Yu don’t have to waste time to pick up the food because they will take it to the aircraft for you, according to food safety.
Last but not least, they pack everything jet friendly – as small as possible -, while a restaurant might give you big bags or huge containers.
As a consequence, the packaging take a lot of space in the galley and in the waste container (forget about the trash compactors!).
They can also buy for you some non-food items or drinks.
You pay the service they render and they are not cheap.
It’s when you are on a tight budget that the gastronomy or even grocery shopping at the supermarket is your only solution!
While gastronomy is a very convenient way out because all food is already processed for you, the supermarket needs more organisation.
Once, I had a 50€ budget for a lunch for two.
Even the gastronomy was going to be too expensive in this case, so my only solution was the supermarket.
I knew the customer likes salad with assorted leaves and cabbage, and I ended up chopping the cabbage in my hotel room to prepare my catering in advance!
Well, a little bit of creativity is part of the game…