What’s more exciting than a private jet experience? It’s certainly luxury at its finest and the menu should reflect it.
Meal planning and catering for air travel have some unique considerations.
Before you charter your next flight and spend thousands on private jet catering, keep these tips in mind.
Just because you’re not flying commercial doesn’t mean that food preparation standards no longer matter. Before choosing your private jet catering menu, make sure the proper safety precautions are taken.
Foods that will require refrigeration and/or reheating need to be held to the highest safety standards.
You don’t have to avoid the foods you like just because of temperature considerations. Just make sure you know:
- how the food will be prepared
- who will prepare the food on the flight
If a full kitchen isn’t available on your private jet…
Delivery is also an option
Since many meal selections may be prepared off-site, there is plenty of variety available. Many foods can also be “blast chilled” if it will be a while before they are served. This ensures that cooked food is brought down to a safe temperature for transport to the aircraft.
Once the food arrives, it can be reheated and served without ever entering “the danger zone” where bacteria and food-borne illness thrive.
The last thing you want is for you or one of your guests to become ill. Know the food prep processes of your restaurant and/or flight company before you sign up for catering.
Why Location and In-Flight Time Matter
The size of your actual aircraft matters when deciding on private jet catering. Many jets are only equipped with a microwave while others have more appliances.
How your jet is equipped for meal preparation is important, but so are a few other considerations, including:
- Type of food availability
- Time of day
- Duration of flight
Where you’re flying to and from will have some impact on your private jet catering choices. Many travelers like to incorporate local flavors into their menu.
Once you’ve covered safety concerns, consider taking advantage of local favorite restaurants for your in-flight meals. This can be a way to experience your freshest menu options while also saving you some cash.
Don’t be afraid to ask the flight service for suggestions if you’re not familiar with a certain destination.
Fresh is always best! Do some online research as well. Find out what the best regional selections are and find ways to include them in your menu if possible.
Time of day
Obviously, the time of day that you’ll be traveling will be a determining factor in whether or not you’ll need full meals or light snacks.
Due to the high cost of private jet catering, experts suggest not ordering more than you need. If you’ll be in the air for several hours, light hors d’oeuvres plus one meal should suffice.
Don’t feel pressured to go heavy on the appetizers. Planning for each passenger to have a small serving will ensure that they still have room to enjoy the meal.
Duration of flight
Keeping food safety in mind, longer flights will require a little more menu planning. This is where you might incorporate items that don’t require cooling or reheating such as:
- assorted nuts
- dried fruits
These types of appetizer selections are also great because of…
Mile High Flavor
Did you know that your taste buds change at higher altitudes? The cabin pressure can cause salt sensitivity to lessen. Lower humidity levels also make the sense of taste and smell to become less easily stimulated.
These are important factors to consider when planning private jet catering. No one likes a bland meal while on the ground, much less on a plane!
Since it will require more seasoning to satisfy the palate at 40,000 feet, consider some spicier options for food and drink.
Bloody Mary’s are a great cocktail choice because of the high acidity of the tomatoes. Bruschetta with heavy Parmesan, smoked salmon, or even sushi can be great menu selections for appetizers or as part of a meal.
Do be careful with the spices, though! Certain spices such as curry can have a more enhanced flavor when travelers attempt to enjoy them at higher altitudes.
Not only do the taste buds change where food is concerned, but beverages as well. Even a sweet wine at ground level can become thin and dry at high altitudes.
Most experts recommend serving wine at the beginning of a flight if possible. As the travel time becomes more extended, passengers become more dehydrated. This results in a skewed taste of most wines and champagnes.
Overall, the rule of thumb when deciding on your private jet catering menu is simply this:
Just because it’s good on the ground, doesn’t mean it will be good in the air.
Planning your Private Jet Catering Menu
Researching the restaurants available for delivery. Estimating portion sizes for appetizers and cocktails. These are no small tasks when prepping for your private jet dining experience.
When planning for these meals, cost is usually no small matter either.
Here are some ways to make sure your private jet catering choices meet your expectations:
Order in advance
One simple way to cut down stress and cost is by having your passengers pre-order their meal selections.
Once you’ve decided on your menu or delivery options, send out choices to your passengers for them to select from. Having your guests’ preferences ordered ahead of time will help you cut out unnecessary costs.
Ask an expert
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Talk to you charter company and get their professional advice.
Seek out professionals in the culinary field as well. Most of them will be more than happy to help you prevent a disastrous menu!
Once you’ve gotten your flight chartered and your in-flight meals planned, the only thing left to do is enjoy yourself! Sit back and savor every delicious mile!