To cook or not to cook… that is the question
As a corporate flight attendant, meal service is the most important part of my job. My passengers expect 5 star meals on their flights, even if the flight is 30 min in length! In order to produce this; careful planning, creativity, and resourcefulness on the road is very important. As providers of this service, flight attendants/ cabin servers, have some options. One, they can order from a VIP catering company, Two, they can order meals from a restaurant, and three, they can COOK.
Reasons to COOK-
The obvious: Fresh food
Now each flight is different so depending on your circumstances, you may have no choice than to order something from catering and have it delivered or do a quick pick up from a restaurant, However, if time permits, I believe that cooking fresh, “ made to order” meals is really your best bet. Not only are catering companies SO over priced, but they also may have made your meal the night before- which means the re-heating process is done in a microwave or oven on-board, and usually a day or so after it has already been made! Would you want steamed veggies re-heated or a day old salad? Personally, I want to serve my passengers the best quality and freshest food that is possible! This applies to all meals! For instance, for breakfast I will use a skillet on-board to cook fresh omelets or a bring a toaster – for bagels with cream crease. For lunch, who would want a soggy sandwich when it is so easy to make them up on-board? Even a steak comes out better cooked on a plane so it is prepared exactly the way a client may want it.
The cost factor
It saves your company or client money if you can provide this type of service. And lets face it, money saving is important to everyone, even those flying on private jets! Personally, I think its ridiculous to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a fruit tray or sandwich platter! Trust me, over the years I have done the price comparison between buying my ingredients at “Whole Foods” and preparing my own meals, to ordering from some jet catering company.
Mistakes can happen
Another reason I prefer cooking is to control or limit the human mistake factor of others. There have been MANY times that I have ordered meals and upon their arrival to the plane I realize they forgot some important items or completely messed up the order. At that point, you may not have time enough to reorder or even shop yourself. If I bought my own ingredients, I know I have everything I need!
Reasons some may not cook
Many flight attendants may not be up for this- Maybe they are new on the job or are just so use to calling a caterer, they don’t feel confident cooking.
They may have been trained from the get go to just simply order something and have never built up cooking skills.
I have also heard that some companies are fearful or making their clients sick by having the flight attendant cook, and instill this fear into them. Is it possible that you bought produce or meat that is not so fresh?? Absolutely. But you run that risk from a caterer or restaurant as well. They may not have even cooked it thoroughly either!
I feel that the trend is now going towards more flight attendants cooking meals on-board themselves.. So, my suggestion to all of you that may not feel comfortable cooking- start taking some cooking classes! Ask your Boss/ supervisor etc. if you can expense these classes! If not, its great investment for you because it will give you that extra edge when job hunting to say that you have culinary skills!
As always, if you have an opinion, or question about this- Please feel free to comment! I welcome the discussion!