British Airways has announced Tom Kerridge as its new partner for short haul economy food.
The airline had previously announced the end of its relationship with Marks and Spencer for buy on board, and there was speculation as to who the new partner would be, including Waitrose and Greggs.
The relationship with Michelin-starred Tom Kerridge will be slightly different, in that the launch sees short-haul economy food only available if pre-purchased via the British Airways inflight retail High Life shop website. In that sense, instead of ‘Buy on Board’ this is ‘Buy Before you Fly’.
Customers will not be allowed to purchase food on board.
You can download (as a pdf) the whole British Airways Speedbird Cafe menu here.
For those who have not booked food and drink, the airline will offer a bottle of water and either a breakfast bar in the morning, or a packet of crisps the rest of the day.
The full menu will be available from January 20, according to British Airways, although Covid restrictions make that date subject to change.
The menu is called the British Airways Speedbird Café, with Kerridge “designing gourmet food choices”.
Passengers must pre-purchase their meal before flying, and there will be no ‘extra’ food loaded for those who either have forgotten to order, or who change their mind once on board.
The cut-off time for pre-orders will be 12 hours before departure.
British Airways says that this “will ensure that customers receive their first choice of meal”, a problem that was encountered by the buy on board offering from Marks and Spencer when the stores on board became exhausted, and also to reduce onboard waste, and the cost of flying it around.
It is also the case that the galley area on the short-haul aircraft is very small, and there is not the room to store trolleys of food and drink with stock which is then only partially sold.
BA has previously worked with Kerridge, including on its centenary menus.
The dishes designed by Tom Kerridge and made by Do&Co “have been created with a special focus on British provenance”. They include:
|The Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar Sandwich by Tom Kerridge||£4.10|
|The Spiced Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap by Tom Kerridge||£4.20|
|The Chicken & Bacon Baguette by Tom Kerridge||£4.50|
|The Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich by Tom Kerridge||£4.20|
|Steak & Ale Pie by Tom Kerridge||£4.50|
The airline is also introducing another BrewDog IPA, exclusive to British Airways’ customers, called JetStream, following on from the limited edition Speedbird 100.
There are currently no plans for complimentary tea and coffee, or a different offering for top tier members of the British Airways Executive Club Programme.
For the business class cabin of short haul (Club Europe), British Airways says that it “… will be moving to the next phase of its on-board catering experience in Club Europe and on all long haul flights from 20 January 2021, following the temporary introduction of minimum-contact meal boxes to keep customers safe during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“The airline’s culinary teams have been working with world class caterers, Do&Co, to develop exciting new menus in its Club Europe and all other long haul cabins, as well as adapting the meal service to reintroduce china and glassware.”
Tom Kerridge, Michelin starred chef, said:
“I am truly happy to be working with British Airways again, and to have the opportunity to champion the best of British to so many people. A sandwich, made with care and great flavours, can be a perfect meal and I hope the passengers enjoy my short-haul menu.”
BA has released a video of Kerridge explaining why he selected the ingredients he did for the sandwiches and pies, which can be viewed below.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said:
“Over the last few months we know that our customers have valued the complimentary refreshments offered, so they’re here to stay. But in addition, we also wanted to offer more choice and the ability to buy something more substantial. After a successful partnership with M&S, we have teamed up with another British favourite, chef Tom Kerridge.
“Our expert teams have worked closely with Tom to create delicious British staples for our short haul menu. We know how popular the menus that Tom designed for our centenary were with our customers, so we are delighted to be working with him again and can’t wait for our customers to experience his fantastic new food at 35,000ft.”