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Catering is a crucial part of each flight. In order to receive the order correctly, it needs to be requested correctly. When placing an order, there are many items to consider. What first needs to be taken into consideration is what type of Aviation Caterer you are ordering from. If you are unsure of what type of caterer you are
ordering from, check out our blog post Types Of Aviation
. Depending on what type of caterer, they may not be able to accommodate all of your requests. Some of these caterers will not understand the process of preparing food on an aircraft and its difficulties. 

The galley is a challenging place to prepare a meal. The challenges include space constraints, reheating, and using the correct food-safe temperature in a limited amount of time. Regardless of what type of caterer you decide to use, 


We suggest a written request when ordering from a caterer. This way you have a written confirmation of what is being ordered and prevents miscommunication. It is especially important to make sure that your order translates as clearly as possible when there is a language barrier.

What information should you provide? We will go over the catering order form here.


The subject line: It will give the caterer an overview of when, where, and who is placing the order. DATE/ TIME/ AIRPORT/ FBO/HANDLER/TAIL # (Registration Number)



Some caterers are limited to one airport, whereas some deliver to many. Depending on the amount of time you are giving the caterer to deliver the request, they may not be able to complete an order due to many reasons. With many industries being low on staff, the longer amount of time you can provide, the better chance you have of your
order is confirmed and executed correctly. Think about it, the caterer needs to make sure they are able to source the items, prepare, and deliver them.




NOTE: If you know a trip is around a holiday, place the order as soon as possible. Many caterers have a limit on orders for days surrounding a holiday.

In the body of the email, reiterate the most important information as mentioned in the subject line. In addition, provide the billing and contact information.

After, mention the specifics of the airplane and who will be preparing or handling the food. This ensures the caterer knows if there is a flight attendant onboard and that the food can be cooled and reheated to a safe handling temperature. Most flight attendants are food safety certified or are educated about food safety. 

We recommend that anybody handling food should know about food safety. Providing the heating element to the caterer will allow them to know the style of reheating you will be using. In addition, specify the proper packaging it needs to be in, in order to reheat it properly. This also limits the waste of repackaging for cooking and saves valuable time inflight.

NOTE: You can request reheating instructions for each item.  

Refrigeration is very important when storing food. Many foods may stay at room temperature while others such as meat and dairy cannot. With improper refrigeration, an illness may occur and that may lead to an inflight emergency. When in doubt throw it out. It is easier to cure hunger than an illness. Some caterers are not familiar with airplane refrigeration practices. Including a picture for reference is a great idea. If you are familiar with the type of refrigeration on the plane and know it will not keep the proper temperature, request additional ice packs or dry ice. Always be aware of the amount of dry ice you are able to carry onboard. If you are really in a pinch and need extra ways to keep food cool, pack ice in a zip-lock bag and place it around the food.

NOTE: Keep track of the temperatures in your chillers and coolers.


The most important information you can include in your order is allergy information. A person can have an anaphylactic reaction and die. As individuals may react to being in the same room as the allergen, it is crucial to communicate this information. In this section of the catering order form, it is also important to include sensitivities and dietary restrictions. Everyone has a preference but some individuals have dietary restrictions or sensitivities that are caused by a medical condition and they have to follow a strict diet. These restrictions are also important as they can hospitalize the individual. 

Sensitivities and dietary restrictions are important but not as important as an allergy, make sure to include all possible information. If there is an allergy we recommend not having any meals onboard with that allergen. Do not forget to ask your pilots if they have an allergy or dietary restrictions.

NOTE: You can have the caterer include the list of ingredients in each item.  

When placing an order, be as clear as possible. It is a good idea to include the meal type and the course of the meal you are ordering for. Certain caterers may even suggest items, not on their catering menu to help curate the best meal.

QTY/OZ/Portions-Be aware of quantity and portions since they may
differ based on different countries. To be sure you may include the weight of each portion and the amount of liquid needed per package.

Notes – Items to include in the notes would be the temperature of meat or items to be left out of the dish.
Packaging is very important in this section as it will save time inflight.
If known, include the dimensions of the microwave and/or oven.
Extra – Make sure to include extra items needed to prepare the best meal possible. There are often forgotten items such as sauces, bread, and garnishes.

NOTE: Be aware different parts of the world have different serving portions.





Passengers are very important but the flight would not happen without the crew. Do not forget to request crew meals. You may serve the same meal to the crew as you are serving to the passengers. In that case, do not forget to order extra. In this order form, we put the crew food separately in order to not forget. 

If you remained overnight at a destination and sent out cold storage items, dishes to be cleaned, and linens to be laundered, do not forget to request them on the day of the departure. 

If needed, request coffee, newspapers, and flowers.





Want to add the template to your email and stop copying and pasting?

Check out this link to see how to add it to your Gmail.


Add the Catering Order Form to Your Gmail Here!



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