Business Aviation Caterers

Buyers' Guide » 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 5:00am

The culinary bar has been raised substantially, and dining in a business jet today is often a memorable experience. Caterers are well aware that growing numbers of their customers are "foodies" who are more than just mouths to feed. And so they have stepped up every aspect of their business, from quality to presentation, and now offer a wide range of organic, ethnic and exotic dishes.

Here is a directory of caterers that primarily or exclusively serve the private aviation market. Some are veritable chains, with kitchens all over the U.S. Others are small, single-kitchen operations. Still others have their own operations but are also affiliated with nationwide catering consolidators; as such, they offer their own dishes as well as menu items shared with their affiliates. Air Chef, with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, is the largest of these, with more than 23 of its own kitchens, plus affiliates nationwide, and in London and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Aviation Services Network, launched in 2004 by Rudy's Inflight Catering, has 61 affiliates nationwide. Even caterers with a single kitchen, however, will typically deliver to airports as far as 100 miles away.

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“"I've got a list of corporations that have gotten out of their airplanes [because of criticism from politicians]. It is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. When you look at the time and cost savings; it does not make sense not to fly [privately]. You can't let public perception interfere with your business decision to fly. It either is a good business decision or it isn't."”

-business aviation entrepreneur Nick Popovich