There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to New York City catering, and his name is Jeffrey Celik.
With a career on the vendor-side of airline catering, Celik brings a wealth of insight and knowledge to the galley. Celik, a Regional Catering Manager based in New York City, says he plans to put that insider intelligence into play to help improve Endeavor’s operation.
“Caterers can’t hide anything from me,” Celik told Endeavor Matters in a recent interview. “They can’t pull wool over my eyes. I know what needs to be done, and I know what it takes to get through an issue.”
The expertise comes from nearly three decades working in the business. Celik started out packing sodas and snacks onto galley carts before working his way up the management chain. He helped get New York-based caterer, Flying Foods, up and running. However, after several years there, he found himself part of an executive purge that afforded him the ability to take some much-needed time away to spend with his wife and daughters.
“I took a few months off, and once I started looking at getting back in, a friend of mine from Delta was complaining about the catering service at LGA,” Celik noted. “Within a few days, this job was posted at Endeavor, I was called for an interview, we sat down for a good while, and in a blink, here I am. It all happened so fast.”
Celik said he’s already jumped into action, reviewing the relationships with Endeavor’s existing catering vendors. He cites his “lifetime of experience on how to avoid delays” as a resource he’s excited to tap into. Celik definitely has his work cut out for him—71 percent of all Endeavor catering delays happen in New York, with 51 percent of those delays tallied in LGA. Catering in New York accounted for 59 percent of all delays in 2016. This past August alone, four out of every five catering delays happened in New York.
“Catering isn’t rocket science; in order to get them to do what we need them to do, we’re going to get right to work,” he stated. “I’m in this for the Flight Attendants. Catering is in me, and it always has been. This is customer service; that’s what it’s all about.”