What Differentiates the Air Fayre Catering Model?
April 30, 2023
Cue the 'split catering model.'
What is the split catering model?
Under the split catering model, food production is outsourced or subcontracted to specialist suppliers leaving Air Fayre to focus on Logistics.
- Logistics includes flight assembly, packing, and transportation to the aircraft.
- Food is produced by experts, which might include food services companies and small local producers, restaurants and/or bakeries.
What are the benefits of outsourcing food production?
The split catering model allows Air Fayre to focus and excel in operational performance for the airline, including best-in-class:
- On-time performance.
- In-full assembly (no shortages or incorrectly packed items).
- Food specifications and food safety adherence.
- Ramp safety.
How does the model work?
There are three phases in the airline catering chain:
- Food production
- Supply chain and assembly operations to build the flight
- Transport and airfield operations to cater the flight
The split catering approach recognizes the difficulty of being highly proficient in three areas of expertise.
- Food production - is outsourced to suppliers who are fresh food experts.
- Food production is a field with many companies that can fulfill the need.
- However, few companies can become experts in airlines' specialized assembly and transportation needs. Thus this is where Air Fayre focuses.
In a split catering model, Air Fayre specializes in the second and third phases, which are logistics:
- Supply Chain and Assembly operations include packing food, beverages, and equipment—washing, recycling, and trash disposal.
- Transportation involves the dispatch, transport, and boarding of provisions to the aircraft.
How does the approach differ from traditional catering models?
Contrary to the split catering model, the standard in-flight catering model assigns assembly and transportation to the caterer responsible for producing food.
Since the emphasis is less on optimizing operational performance, traditional catering models often end up with lower performance, leading to shortages, flight delays, 'Flight Attendant Comments,' and food safety issues.
Consequently, airlines may have to compromise between suppliers with great food but need better operational performance. Or vice versa.
The split catering model delivers excellence in food and operational performance, so 'you can have cake and eat it too!'
So, how does Air Fayre manage subcontracted food production?
Air Fayre contracts and manages the food suppliers. Thus the airline has only one point of contact.
- Air Fayre vets suppliers for high capability for food safety and cuisine.
- The airline can select the supplier or contract directly with the food supplier.
- Suppliers are selected based on specialty, capacity, and quality of food and food safety practices.
Food cost is transparent to the airline.
- It is approved at the start of the cycle by the airline.
- Outsourcing food preparation allows for competitive pricing and cost control.
Air Fayre supports its suppliers so they can focus on producing fabulous food with the following:
- Supply chain demand data for meals and ingredients.
- Tools and data to make price calculations easy.
- Verify food safety and specification adherence.
The food supplier produces and plates the food and delivers it to Air Fayre.
- The food gets inspected for adherence to specifications and temperature.
- The food is under a 'total chill chain,' which includes all storage, packing/assembly areas, and vehicles.
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