By Bradley J. Fikes
Companies typically like to crow about their services. But Los Angeles-based Air Gourmet points to something even better. In recent years, they placed in the top five business aviation caterers in a survey by flight attendants in “Aviation International News.”
“Air Gourmet rocks!” said one impressed flight attendant. Working from Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Air Gourmet serves a wide variety of business clients, including entertainment industry and technology companies. Fractional jet owners are also frequent customers, said Janie Cook, Air Gourmet’s director of sales and marketing.
Clients who just want a quick meal can choose from popular items, or can customize their menu from lengthy lists.
Air Gourmet has built its reputation on repeat customers, Cook said.
“People that know us come back to us again and again. We provide a great service,” Cook said. “I think our presentation is superior to most of our competitors. That’s what makes it Air Gourmet.”
Presentation goes down to the level of garnishes, Cook said, done creatively so they’re not perceived as generic foodstuffs.
“We use a lot of fresh herbs and flowers; we carve tomatoes and oranges,” Cook said. “We do things out of the norm. If we’re doing cheese, we use imported cheeses.”
If fruit is out of season, Air Gourmet will find an alternative source but won’t raise the price, Cook said.
“If pineapple isn’t available from Hawaii, we’ll get it from Costa Rica, and the price stays exactly the same,” Cook said.
Air Gourmet gets its produce every day from a supplier who arrives at 5:00 a.m.
“If we need something different, he just calls and orders it for us,” Cook said.
Air Gourmet serves airports all over the Los Angeles area, the San Fernando Valley, east to Ontario Airport and south to San Diego.
The company now employs about 60 to 65 people, including chefs, a baker, prep service and customer service people, and sales and marketing staff.
For those who specify a menu, the cost varies with its components, Cook said. But some companies prefer to give general instructions and a budget, allowing Air Gourmet discretion to create meals within the specified cost.
Companies find it efficient to have their meals provided while they’re traveling to their destination, Cook said, as they make the best use of their time.
“They’re busy people, and when you’re in the air, the food becomes important,” she said.
For more information, please call (310) 253-7700 or visit their website at www.air-gourmet.com.