What to Know About a Career in Airline Catering
When Pan American airlines started serving in-flight meals, a new industry in the culinary field was formed. People who work in airline catering handle everything from planning menus to getting the prepackaged meals on the plane. Since airline travel isn’t slowing down anytime soon, there are plenty of opportunities to get into the field.
The Jobs Available in Airline Catering
Because getting great meals on a flight requires a lot of steps, there are many jobs in this culinary field you can choose from. Here are just a few:
Working in-flight kitchens at airports, food prep workers cut and chop fresh ingredients, put meals together, and wrap them up for delivery. They make sure that these meals meet company and safety standards as well as keep tabs on food inventory. It can be a very fast-paced job, with shifts that can run all around the clock.
Airline caterer delivery drivers are responsible for getting meal and beverage carts from the airport kitchens - and warehouses - to the designated plane. They also load and unload the packaged meals from each location, making sure they get to the aircraft on time. If there are any shortages of food on a plane, that information may be relayed to the driver who then informs their shift manager. Delivery drivers may even be called on to load and unload airline catering equipment.
Coordinators are crucial in the process of getting in-flight meals from kitchens, and onto the plane. They relay important information between the caterer and the airline, such as flight schedules and gate changes. If problems or situations arise, they make sure management knows immediately. Coordinators also assign and dispatch the delivery drivers you read about earlier.
Food Production Supervisor
While coordinators oversee the process of getting the food to and from the plane, food production supervisors keep things running smoothly in the airline kitchen. They make sure food is prepped and packaged according to government and airline guidelines. These supervisors make sure food production stays on schedule by managing airline catering employees and maintaining the production process.
The Skills You Need in Airline Catering
No matter which airline-catering job you decide to get into, there are certain skills you need to be successful in this career. One such skill is the ability to work in a fast paced environment. These companies have to run on a tight schedule so you need to able to work quickly and efficiently as well as change course at a moment’s notice. Great communication skills will help you in this field - which helps the entire food prep process go along smoothly. Being a great problem solver allows you to act quickly when issues arise on the job. Finally, you need to be in great physical health so you can handle all the standing, bending, and lifting that comes along with the job.
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