Behind Airline Catering – Q&A
Australia’s largest inflight catering company, dnata catering is chosen by many of the world’s airlines for their fresh, award-winning meals and outstanding service. A wholly owned subsidiary of dnata, a branch of the Emirates Group, dnata catering is highly regarded within the aviation catering industry.
With a diverse culinary team of highly experienced chefs from around the world, this evidently translates into the creation of authentic flavoured meals that satisfy their customers native palates. Supplying dnata catering with the highest quality fresh fruits and vegetables, we feel privileged to be able to support them in their quest to consistent deliver the same quality of food at 30,000 feet, as what you would find on the high street.
We were lucky enough to spend time with Robert Smithson, General Manager Culinary, to discuss the relationship between dnata catering and Morco Fresh.
Can you please tell us a little history behind dnata catering?
Australia’s largest in-flight catering company, dnata catering is chosen by many of the world’s airlines for our fresh, award-winning meals and outstanding service. A wholly owned subsidiary of dnata, a branch of the Emirates Group, dnata catering is highly regarded within the aviation catering industry.
Founded in 1982 with humble beginnings selling sandwiches to one customer in Tasmania, dnata catering has experienced exponential growth – operating a network of 14 purpose built commercial kitchens across Australia. Experts at catering to a wide range of dietary and ethnic requirements, our award-winning chefs create authentic meals designed to suit our customers’ needs.
Committed to delivering innovative catering solutions, our development team does much more than develop great recipes – we spend time talking to our customers about what they want. With our culinary expertise, passion for creative and logistical distinction, coupled with our dedication to providing extraordinary customer service, it is no wonder that we have won a string of awards from our customers.
Tell us a little more about yourself, what is your role at dnata catering?
With an expansive career working with and being mentored by industry leading Chefs, I have a lot of years working in the kitchen behind me. Having been a member of the dnata catering family for over thirteen years, I head up the culinary division as General Manager Culinary. Leading a team of ten, I oversee menu design and training, whilst also working with suppliers to drive the culinary innovation of the Australian based business.
When looking for a supplier, what are the key qualities that you look for?
There are quite a few key qualities that we look for when selecting suppliers. These are quality, consistency, integrity and innovation. In addition, we strongly value service excellence, environmental sustainability and ethically sourced products.
How does the service Morco provides, benefit the day to day processes within the company?
The airline catering industry is fast paced and ever changing, and the Morco teams ability to be agile and adaptive to our operational needs is of a huge benefit. With local customer service staff based in the cities in which we operate and a national network of growers – which ensures our orders are supplied year-round with the highest quality products – we are guaranteed exceptional customer service. Providing a high level of attention to detail to our specific requirements, Morco tailors solutions to suit our needs and consistently provides quick responses to any market issues and discrepancies. The pace at which they react to any issue, investigate and report back with findings, is second to none.
How important is it working with fresh, quality produce?
Fresh, quality produce is key to ensuring we deliver the best quality product possible, to our customers. In today’s market, consumers are more educated in all aspects of food than ever before – and not just around quality, but where it comes from. We want to stay ahead of the competition and knowing that our products are made from the highest quality produce available, is one of the ways we do this.
If you had to describe Morco’s service in three words, what would it be?
The three words that I would use to describe Morco’s service are – reliable, quality and consistent.