Efficient Ordering of VIP Jet Catering

Last week we again received several hand-written catering orders from flight attendants which caused some confusion to the caterers. We therefore decided to post the major mistakes that VIP flight attendants make when ordering catering.

1. Forget to order some items. Most often forgotten items: juices, bread, flowers. These items then need to be re-ordered.

Our recommendation: go mentally through your flight before you send the order and ask yourself:

  • How many passengers will there be?
  • How long will the flight be?
  • What is the cultural background of my passengers?
  • Are there special requests to be considered (if charter flight, check with the OPS of your company).
  • Did I write down really all the items that I will need?
2. Quantities not mentioned. Tell the caterer exactly how much (or how many) of each item you need (numbers, litres, grams). 
Otherwise,the caterer will have to clarify with you later. Such unnecessary conversations can easily be avoided. 

3. Missing aircraft registration. The caterer needs to know exactly to which aircraft he has to deliver the catering. In case he hands over the catering to the handling, he needs to tell the handling to which airplane the catering needs to be delivered. The caterer usually writes the aircraft registration clearly visible somewhere onto a catering box. 

4. No information about handling. Important for the caterer to know where exactly to hand over the catering (specially important if there are several handlings).

5. Hand-written orders sent via fax are often not readable! Consider that readability of fax is often bad. We have seen many orders that were almost unreadable! Lots of communication is then needed for the caterer to clarify everything. This takes also your time! Our recommendation: use the DeliSky order system. It generates a perfectly readable pdf file and sends it to the caterer.

6. No cost control and catering over budget. Flight attendants hardly ever calculate catering costs for many reasons (prices not available, not enough time, just too much of tedious work). Suggest you to have a look at the DeliSky order system. It allows you to check your catering cost easily and for free (www.delisky.com) Do know several European Chief Fligh Attendants who work for smaller and larger business aviation companies who use DELISKY and  I do receive constantyl very good feedback about this company.

7. Improper delivery time. it is very important to allow for some time buffer between delivery and departure time. Flight attendants should order the catering do be delivered at least 2 hours before departure. This gives them enough time to properly store the catering in the galley even if the passengers arrive early or if the caterer is delayed due to traffic jam.

 8. Unknown catering suppliers. Quality and prices of different catering providers can vary a lot. Very often the handling recommends a certain caterer which is not necessarily the best one. This is because some caterers cooperate with certain handling companies and sometimes the caterer pays them a commission for orders placed through the handling. So be careful and don’t rely on the recommendations of the handling! It is better to get independent information about the quality standards and prices of available caterers.

I do hope that these hints will help you in making your catering orders more successful in the future!

 Dietmar Duller- Expert for Corporate Flight Attendant Training in Customer Service Excellence-    www.trainingsolutions.ch

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