Reply To: New Food for Club World

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The show wasn’t meant to be connected with the catering changes; they were independent of each other, although obviously the same people were involved in both.

So you shouldn’t really expect a Heston-isation of BA catering (though some elements of that might be used in F and possibly J).

It also takes several months to make what we might consider to be small changes. I was speaking the Head of Catering lady last year and she mentioned that there are lots of good ideas out there, but all rather hampered by lack of budget (and quite rightly so, given the financial risks faced by the airline last year).

Once you get a global procurement programme, menu planning and third party suppliers involved, it can take literally many months to make changes, which was something I hadnb’t really considered before.

I was utterly shocked by the numpty chef at Gate Gourment (BA’s third party longhaul catering supplier) who initially refused to concede that food tasted different at altitude, and secondly that all the tasting was of dishes prepared in regular ovens on the ground, and professionally served, which naturally bore very little resemblance to what ends up being served in the basic ovens by cabin crew at altitude.

I am pleased to see this is focus on catering, and more budget is now available. Though I personally have never had a bad meal in Club, and am frequently delighted in F, I recognise that others do not always share this view, and especially when compared with the Far Eastern/Asian carriers, BA was falling behind. They still remain ahead of most of the American carriers, even with the current offering.

The new steam ovens which feature in the new 777ERs (and I think the CWLCY A318s) and all new deliveries henceforth should alleviate some of the “burnt/crusty round the edges” issues which can impair presentation.

It was also mentioned to me that Managers and others involved in the VCC programme have appreciated some of the complexity of delivering the current service, so it is hoped that first hand experience of delivering the service will result in improvements both in terms f the crew procedures/workload and also the passenger experience.

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