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Catering Companies

May 29, 2014 BE_Post, Blog No Comments

TOPIC: AIRLINE CATERING SERVICES

LEVEL: EASY

Read the following introductory text about airline catering companies following links for additional information.

Airline service experience can never be full without an in-flight meal, or at least that is what travelers used to think. Before the airline industry was struck with the economic downturn and long before air travel was de-romanticized and demoted to a mundane commute, flights and in-flight meals were in fact a symbol of luxury. However, with the advent of no-frills airlines and their “peanuts-only” catering policies, many experts rushed to announce the death of the airline meal (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/TravelForLess/TheDeathOfTheAirlineMeal.aspx ). Resurrection, industry watchers say, is nowhere in sight.

Catering services that serve some major airlines beg to differ. Emirates Flight Catering, which employs 6400 staff and is known to have produced 32 mln meals in 2009, runs its own luxury chocolate factory called “Le Chocolat”, and Gate Gourmet (world’s largest independent airline catering company based in Zurich) and LSG SkyChefs (Lufthansa’s caterer) are still going strong despite the economic slump, serving passengers a variety of options, from muslim and kosher to gluton-free and vegan dishes.

 

However, some catering industry experts are saying that serving luxury gourmet and economy class in-flight food alike is no longer cost-effective due to very short shelf-life. So along comes a catering service that is about to reinvent airline food as we know it.

We also recommend the following videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alh_2xg5GWo

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8d8gg_in-flight-meals_travel

Watch the interview with Julia Stamberger and and Pam Jelaca  – founders of GoPicnic. Complete the exercises that follow: http://www.businesspov.com/article/129

 

 

1.   Determine whether the following statements are true or false:

1.   Julia Stamberger started GoPicnic on her own (answer: F)

2.   Pam Jelaca and Julia Stamberger founded their business on a concept of trans fat-free customizable meals (answer: T)

3.   United and Alaska Airlines are their chief customers (answer: T)

4.   Julia discovered that shelf-stable meals could be a way around the tough health regulations imposed on airlines (answer: T)

5.   The founders of GoPicnic are not exploring any other business opportunities apart from airline business (answer: F)

 

2.   Understanding vocabulary in context:

a.

1)   According to the video, shelf-stable meals are: a) the kinds of meals that stay on the shelf, b) the kinds of meals that are not usually purchased and therefore stay on the shelf, c) the kinds of meals that do not expire very fast (Answer: c)

2)   Would you define “on-board retail programs” as: a) in-flight duty free shopping, b) in-flight meals, c) selling in-flight meals to passengers on board (Answer: c)

3)   When an opinion is voiced “across the board” it means: a) everybody is unanimous about this opinion, b) everybody is bored, c) the opinion is crossed out (Answer: a)

4)   Would you say “to source” means: a) to deliver, b) to obtain, c) to manufacture (Answer: b)

5)   “Franchise” means: a) French meals, b) in-flight meals sold to customers, c) authorization to use trade name and provide services (Answer: c)

b.

1) If you start a new program or business, you…………………… it (answer: launch)

2) If you are launching a program for the first time it’s called a………………… (answer: pilot program)

3) If something grows or progresses in a fast way, you can say it does so……………………. (answer: rapidly)

4) Events where food manufacturers meet and display their offers are called……………………….(answer: food shows)

5) If ingredients in a meal do not have preservatives in them, you can call these components………………………………(answer: all-natural)

4. Review this partial script of the interview and fill in the gaps where necessary:

a)   I started going to a lot of different…………………………. (1.food shows) and it turned out that there are actually a lot of really interesting ………………….(2. innovative) food products available. And a lot of them are made with …………………………….. (3. all-natural components). Rather than relying on preservatives to retain ……………..(4.shelf stability) they actually look for high-quality packaging, and it turns out the higher the quality of the ingredients, the longer food shelf life.

 

b)  We went to an airline food conference and presented to about 10 different airlines, and they all said –  ………………………………(1. across the board)  – that we were showing them products that they had never seen before. That’s really one of our strengths that we do…………………(2. source) worldwide for these products and then work directly with the manufacturers to get a lot of them customized – either in single-serving packages or sometimes they will change ……………..(3.recipes) for us to meet our standards: none of our food has trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, or monosodium glutamate (MSG).

c)

We actually …………………………(1.consciously) focused on the airline market to build a ………………..(2. revenue) base of sales, get some revenue coming in, so now it really is the majority of our business – United and Alaska… Clearly we don’t want that to be the case, going forward. We’re getting a lot of attention from various hotels, we’re …………………(3. launching) a Regus office space (http://www.regus.com/ ). They have got 26 locations: 23 in Chicago and 3 in Milwakee – they’re growing very …………….(4.rapidly). That’s an office leasing space. We’re doing a …………………………(5. pilot program) with them. We’re also going to be launching at iMax Navy Pier (http://www.imax.com/chicago/ ) with our kids’ box when they’ve available – probably in mid-March as well.

5.   Answer the following questions based on the info from the video:

1.   According to Pam Jelaca, how much would a light snack meal cost? How much would they charge for a Picnic Line meal? What about the Gourmet meals? (Answer: USD 6-7 for light snacks, 8-9 for Picnic – maybe 10 in the hotel market, Gourmet – 12-15. )

2.   What does their Go-Deli meal contain? (Answer: 6 slices of hard salami, cheese spread, organic whole-wheat crackers, tortilla chips, salsa, organic apple sauce)

3.   What kind of companies are GoPicnic aiming at primarily? (Answer: small to mid-sized aggressively growing companies)

4.   What gives their company a perfect sampling channel? (Answer: people who have tried their products and contacted the manufacturer directly)

5.   How many custom programs are they currently doing for airlines? (Answer: 2)

6.   Build sentences using some of the active vocabulary from the lesson:

a.   Sampling channels

b.   To launch

c.   Preservatives

d.   On-board retail programs

e.   Shelf-stable meals

f.     Across the board

g.   High-quality packaging

h.   Pilot program

 

 

1)   Our idea was to ………………… a product line that would not contain trans fats or……………………………(Answer: b, c)

2)   The meeting ended with positive response………………………………(Answer: f)

3)   ……………………………… – is what makes products last, food experts say. (Answer: g)

4)   The ………………………………… failed due to our inability to source all-natural components. (Answer: h)

5)   …………………………………….. can be stored until their expiry date, so it gives us a wider scope and geography to our………………………….(Answer: e, a)

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