13/03/2015 - 15:54

Hazife services the friendly skies

13/03/2015 - 15:54

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When your next inflight meal arrives fresh and on time, you’ve got Salim Hazife and his team to thank.

Hazife services the friendly skies
ready to help: Salim Hazife believes business success flows from giving clients a personalised service. Photo: Attila Csaszar

When your next inflight meal arrives fresh and on time, you’ve got Salim Hazife and his team to thank.

Perth Inflight Catering is an independent business based at Perth Airport that provides food and beverages to passengers on regional, domestic and international flights.

Salim Hazife has a lengthy connection with the industry, having worked with his parents since leaving school in 2000, when they sold their lunch shop and started an inflight catering business of their own.

It was through this experience that he learned two valuable lessons from his father – to never give up, and taking risks is an important part of being successful in business.

Even as a schoolboy, Mr Hazife said, he had business acumen and a keen eye for such opportunities.

“From an early age I was very entrepreneurial, often buying bulk packs of toys (like mini yo-yos) and selling them individually to people at school,” he said.

“I was quite often doubling my pocket money through these little deals.”

On joining the family business, he set about a program of expansion, winning new contracts.

At 19, Mr Hazife secured a major client in domestic airline Virgin Blue, delivering both catering and cleaning services.

The company grew to a team of 25 staff operating around the clock.

Perth Inflight Catering places great emphasis on the importance of personalised service.

“Personalised service has been the key reason why our family owned and run business has grown from a team of four people to over 150 team members in just 16 years,” the company said.

To oversee its relationships with specific clients, the business uses a single account manager who takes charge of the process from end to end including specific menu requirements, delivery requirements and post-flight trolley and tray cleaning, processing, recycling and storage.

Mr Hazife took over the company in 2009, and led it to branch out of the aviation industry in 2009 with the launch of PIC Fresh.

The subsidiary provides wholesale catering services to hospitals, schools and major venues, including Q-Catering, Crown Perth, the WACA, Perth Arena, Paterson Stadium, and Perth domestic and international airports.

It has also catered for major industry players Spotless and Delaware, delivering more than 2 million meals in 2013.

PIC Fresh brought competition to a market that had previously been dominated by one supplier.

Mr Hazife’s business has won accolades, both for its service quality and its contribution to the community.

Perth Inflight Catering was named best food service company at the 2010 food industry association awards for its PIC Fresh brand.

The following year, the company was a finalist in the same category for services to the aviation industry.

In 2010, Perth Inflight Catering was recognised in the national Diversity at Work Awards, and in 2011 in the CRS Australia WA employer awards for providing employment opportunities for people with a disability, injury or health condition.

Several years ago, Mr Hazife noticed an excess of food being returned on flights serviced by the company, all of which was going to waste. He worked on a plan to build relationships with charities and use the food.

Perth Inflight Catering developed a procedure to separate the uneaten perishable food, which was then collected by the charity.

Mr Hazife said the program had grown substantially since, and now provided 2,000-plus meals per week for programs run by Uniting Aid, Manna Industries and Airport City Church.

The business believes the cost benefits it offers as a local service have enabled players in the state’s aviation industry to better compete in the air.

“This allowed many small aviation companies to offer services that rivalled the big airlines and ultimately led to the industry’s success,” Mr Hazife said.

He said the business was still family owned and operated, and was still growing, with recent success entering the international airline catering industry.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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