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Airline Catering History Question  
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5239 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2424 times:

Seeing the thread on LSG/Sky Chefs returning to ORD lead me to think how the current catering firms (LSG, Flying Food, and Gate Gourmet) came into being.

Back in the 1970s, I seem to recall 4 major airline caterers. Sky Chefs was owned by AA. UA had its own catering business. There was Dobbs House, which I believe was owned by Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. (Chicago department store which also had a number of restaurants at ORD). Then there was Marriott.

I seem to remember that at airports that didn't have a Sky Chefs kitchen, Marriott catered AA aircraft.

And IIRC, didn't Flying Food start out catering for the original Midway Airlines at MDW.

So, how did AA/Sky Chefs, UA, Dobbs House and Marriot become the large caterers of today?

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinegoblin211 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 1209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2411 times:

My guess is like any other business. They built up over the years by investing profit into the business to expand and cover more airlines at more airports.


From the airport with love
User currently onlinebeeweel15 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1753 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2411 times:

Quoting ckfred (Thread starter):
So, how did AA/Sky Chefs, UA, Dobbs House and Marriot become the large caterers of today?

Simple , through merger and acquisition.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5239 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2383 times:

Quoting beeweel15 (Reply 2):
Simple , through merger and acquisition.

OK, so who bought whom?


User currently offlinesunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2045 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2364 times:

Dobbs was bought by Gate which was part of Swiss Air. Marriott became Caterair, which was bought by LSG, which bought Skychef after it was cast off from AA. The name became LSG Skychef. NWA had its own kitchens closed them or sold them off. SY had 2 kitchens and IIRC has only 1 MSP. Flying Food IIRC started on its own. Host Int'l had some kitchens which I think they just closed.


Just an MSPAVGEEK
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2337 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 3):

OK, so who bought whom?

Marriott's catering division was sold to Caterair International in 1989, who sold it to Onex in 1995 (who owned Sky Chefs at the time), who sold it to LSG in 2001 (LSG had started buying a stake in Sky Chefs back in 1993, when they bought a 25% stake.).

Dobbs was bought out by Gate Gourmet in 1999. Prior to their purchase, Gate Gourmet did not have any presence in the US market.


User currently offlineLGA777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1149 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2259 times:

Also Continental had their own catering division Chelsea, are they still in existence?

I remember growing up in the 70's at TPA Marriott was a big Eastern caterer in most stations while Dobbs house did the same for Delta and National.

LGA777.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5239 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2238 times:

Quoting LGA777 (Reply 6):
I remember growing up in the 70's at TPA Marriott was a big Eastern caterer in most stations while Dobbs house did the same for Delta and National.

I remember that Dobbs used to cater DL aircraft at ORD.


User currently offlineEASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 546 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

As I remember, Marriott began catering in Washington, boarding food stuff on EASTERN. It was made in a hotel near DCA.The hot meals were in round deep green casseroles, like corning ware, and placed in large thermos like containers surrounded by hot water. Liquor was not served for many years.

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