Catering is a great way to provide quality food for your event. But have you tried catering in the sky?
Private jets are the ideal place to enjoy a meal, and there’s no better way to do it than with private jet catering. That means you can choose the food you want on your chartered trip. It gives you the chance to sample local cuisines and fills you up so you’re ready for business upon arrival.
But if you’ve never had food on chartered planes, you might be wondering how it all works. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about private jet food.
Why Do Private Jet Catering?
While private jets allow you to travel quickly and in style, there are a lot of myths surrounding traveling with them. One of these concerns is the food.
Like economy class airplanes, there’s limited space onboard. That means that the stewardess tends to have little more than a convection oven or microwave to heat pre-cooked food. Cooking food from scratch doesn’t work well in a plane.
To be clear, everything about a private jet trip is luxurious. But the point is, you’ll need to make arrangements in advance for any of the services you require. Unless you’re okay with the bog-standard snacks, drinks, and wines, you may benefit from catering a jet.
So why try catering a plane? There are a few reasons.
Number one, you get full control of the food. Private jet food is great to begin with, but the charter organization controls the menu. If the options aren’t to your fancy, local catering lets you get exactly what you want.
Number two, it allows you to try out the local cuisine. You can order one meal on the departure journey and a different one on the return. This adds even more excitement to getting comfortable seats and avoiding the lines.
Last of all, it lets you have better control of the budget. Private jets are all about accommodating to you, and the food is a part of that equation. You can go all out with a VIP meal, or you can order nothing at all.
Private Jet Catering Costs
Traveling on a private jet is not just for the wealthy. Many individuals and businesses are turning to private jets as they better fit their schedules and needs. Demand for private jets only grew during the pandemic despite difficult economic conditions. Group travel is also increasing as a result.
The same goes for the menu. Since you choose the catering, you choose the costs. As long as the food comes ready and re-heatable, it’s welcome onboard.
However, it’s difficult to create a price breakdown since everything is custom. Depending on what sort of options you choose, the price could vary wildly. Speak to your charter organization to get more in-depth information on what to expect cost-wise.
The advantage of an FBO like Republic Jet Center is that their customer service reps will handle catering for you. When you fly through an FBO, make sure to let them know what you’re hoping to have on the menu, even a general list, and their experienced personnel will know who to call and what to order so that your experience is seamless and catering is available on your flight.
Does Your Flight Affect What Meals Are Available?
Private jets can do it all. You can arrange for a short flight between two cities in the same state or an international flight to the other edge of the globe. Longer flights obviously have more time to serve meals and include more chances to snack.
Your charter organization will choose the aircraft depending on your journey, which will also affect the cabin amenities. Smaller aircraft tend to have only the basics, such as the food heating oven. Larger aircraft will therefore have the ability to prepare more complex meals and drinks and serve food more often.
Another thing to consider is storage capacity. If you choose food on chartered planes from a local catering service, you’ll need to check that it fits. If there’s not enough space on the plane, then that may take up space designated for another passenger.
Of course, this all depends on you. If you want to arrange for a full meal on a shorter flight, speak with your charter organization. They’ll be happy to find the best options for your case.
Does Location Affect Meal Options?
It does, although how it affects your meal depends on the area and the airport. You might be flying to a small municipal airport that’s located in a small town. Or, you might be flying to a major city.
Catering services may not deliver to a certain area. If you want to arrange your own catering, make sure to check in advance.
Further, larger, busier airports with a lot of passengers may have stricter security protocols. Security in airports has changed a lot in the past 20 years, so it’s important to know the rules and regulations.
It may take longer for food to make it through their security screenings. Depending on your situation, you’ll need to arrange food well in advance to accommodate this.
It’s important to consider that this might influence the quality of the food to a degree. Sandwiches may get soggy, for example. Private jet catering will need to keep things separate so you can do proper food preparation during a flight.
The laws might change from state to state or country to country. There may be some legal hiccup that influences what catering you arrange in a particular location.
For example, many customs officers may require you to dispose of food before the next flight. In this case, you or the charter organization can arrange for fresh food at any airport of call. Long journeys will require scheduling the food as the plane goes from airport to airport.
As with anything, it pays to prepare in advance. But know that you have 5-star customer service, ready and willing to accommodate virtually any request.
Do You Need to Arrange for a Chef?
The short answer is no. A chef would require a full kitchen, something most private jet doesn’t have. As mentioned above, there simply aren’t the facilities or the time to cook full-service meals.
Like all airplanes, space is limited. There’s enough onboard to heat food or keep it cool. All food comes pre-cooked, and the stewardess will do some minimal preparation before serving it.
Your mileage may vary. Your chartering company will determine your aircraft type and size based on need and availability. Some aircraft may have a standard convection oven for heating or a bit more.
What Do You Do in the Case of Dietary Restrictions?
There’s no need that a private jet can’t accommodate. The same goes for dietary restrictions. Whether you’re in need of vegan, kosher, or halal options, your charter organization will provide them.
As mentioned earlier, it’s essential that you take care of this beforehand. Catering a plane requires having the food delivered to the tarmac without delaying the rest of the flight. You don’t want to delay your flight or incur additional costs by waiting because the catering showed up too late.
If you have a specific dietary need, such as gluten-free meals, feel free to talk to your handler or stewardess. They’ll be more than happy to ensure the food meets your standards.
What About Special Requests?
Chances are this private jet trip is for a special occasion. You may be celebrating a birthday, taking a honeymoon, or commemorating a successful business endeavor. Food on a private plane works around you, so special requests are limited only by your imagination.
The stewardesses will be more than happy to bring out slices of birthday cake on the plane–minus an open flame, such as with a candle. They can open a special bottle of wine for two. Again, assuming it’s ready to go and doesn’t require from-scratch preparation, you can bring it.
What About Special Drink Options?
If you’re going to travel in style, you might as well consume the best liquors and coffees there are. Like with the food, you can choose only the best for your flight.
Want to get premium coffee beans and enjoy a dark roast? The cabin staff will be more than happy to grind you a cup of Joe.
You can include premium wines or have the staff prepare you cocktails. The sky’s the limit on what options are available to you onboard.
What About Security?
The oft-asked question about chartered flights tends to be the same: what’s the security like? Unlike economy traveling, which treats you like cattle, a private jet flight treats you like a king.
Security in private jets tends to be limited to pre-screening. There will be no need to take off your shoes and belt. Restrictions on liquids and other prohibited items are much laxer.
The same goes for your food. Other than standard airport security measures, your food will make it to you without bothersome screening procedures. You don’t have to worry about TSA agents picking apart your meal.
What Foods Are Ideal for a Chartered Flight?
Remember, the only hard and fast rule is that private jet staff usually cannot prepare a full meal. They lack the many varied tools necessary for a kitchen. Plus, fire hazard risks limit the possibilities.
Your caterer may only provide certain types of containers. For example, they may provide self-warming containers, insulated containers, or containers that you can microwave-heat. Whatever the case, make sure your private jet has the requisite facilities.
As a general rule, a larger jet allows for a wider breadth of options. It never hurts to check just to be sure. Generally speaking, the following food items work great on a flight:
- Oatmeals and soups
- Pastries and croissants
- Pre-made omelets
- Salad and dressings
- Chicken and/or fish
This is only an example list. As long as the option doesn’t require a chef to prepare it, you can order it.
Drinks offer a lot more flexibility than food since you can prepare most drinks in an airplane cabin. Here are just a few options:
- Distilled, mineral, or sparkling water
- Refreshments, including beer and wine
- Coffee and tea
- Milk and juice
If you want a cocktail, the staff can prepare almost certain drink combinations you can imagine. Planes are often stocked with a variety of spirits. The more you can anticipate and ask for in advance, the more the catering will, well, cater to your individual needs.
Most planes don’t have freezers onboard, so the staff will pack any ice cream or dessert with ice. If you want it extra cool, you can have catering freeze it and pack it in an insulated container in advance.
What Foods Are Not Typically Ideal for a Private Chartered Flight?
Food that requires preparation–whether that’s dicing, cooking, or anything else–won’t work on smaller private airplanes. There simply is not enough space, and the movement of the plane is not conducive to a kitchen environment.
Keep in mind that warm food is reheated. Catering will prepare it in such a way that it can be kept warm or reheated without being overdone. Some food types, like fried foods, are not ideal for this.
Further, food seems to taste better on the ground than in the sky. This has to do with the human senses and how our taste buds work at high altitudes. Caterers understand this and will often suggest or prepare and anticipate those changing flavors in advance. This is a great reason why you want to use a caterer that caters to aviation. And another reason to order through your FBO.
Talk to your FBO before your flight to make sure you know about any restrictions. Not only that, but ask for their advice on the ideal private jet catering experience. They’ll be sure to have some recommendations based on years of experience.
Book Your Private Jet Flight Today
Flying on a private jet is the pinnacle of comfort and luxury. To make it the best, you can order private jet catering.
Despite limited cabin space and food preparation options, there are a wide variety of choices available. Food on a private plane adapts to you and complements any occasion that you may be celebrating.
Looking for a full-service FBO? You’ve come to the right place. Make a reservation today and plan your upcoming journey.