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Chalet Company Rethinks Catering Options

Patrick Thorne

26 Jun 20

Great food is a big attraction on many ski holidays and fuelling up for the day is important before we hit the slopes, so one of the many issues tour operators and resorts are facing as they begin preparing for next season is how to provide meals safely to the new guests.

In ski resorts that have already re-opened for summer operations we are already seeing a switch to more of a take-away focus for on-mountain dining with some smaller centres encouraging visitors to consider bringing a packed lunch if they can.

But for the traditional British chalet holiday companies that bring groups of skiers to live and eat together during their holiday, there’s currently something of a conundrum as to what to offer next winter. On the one hand we are still six months away from the start of the main ski season, and who knows where we’ll be then (hopefully back to something closer to normal), on the other they need to be selling holidays now and people booking need to know what to expect.

Many travel companies are still finalising their plans, but one, Ski Peak, have outlined how they’re planning to do things.  The company has operated for more than 30 years from the village of Vaujany, in the huge Alpe d’Huez ski region.

Ski Peak have built up a loyal following over the years, and whilst they’ve offered self-catering accommodation, a big draw has been the gourmet-quality cuisine they serve catered guests, especially in their flagship Chalet Saskia (above).

The company’s Sales & Marketing manager Jamie Purkhardt says they’ve decided on a flexible hybrid operation for next winter, with less chalet-style catering, offering options to buy in pre-arranged shops and dinner delivery.

“We will be in a position to provide everyone with the fantastic holiday they envisage,” said Jamie, who explained, “With emerging alternatives to the classic chef on sight services, the difficulty with staff employment (Brexit uncertainty and EU laws), all being compounded by COVID, we have decided to mitigate risk and have opted for a hybrid self-catering model on all of our properties, including Chalet Saskia. This means you can still enjoy the benefits of having amazing food ready for you, without the cost of a chef and a full hospitality service.”

“We are however still planning on catering Saskia, i.e offering the full classic service with chef on sight when there are large groups who want the entire of Saskia.  This will need to be decided on a case by case basis though.” Jamie added.

Ski Peak will work with meal delivery service HuSki who will provide drop off catering services, so if your party wants to enjoy a couple of evenings, or a full week of three course meals during your stay, you can do this in a cost-effective manner. There will also be the option of food provision services (in additional to HuSki), which include a daily morning bakery drop off, the option of a pre-arranged Carrefour shop on the day of arrival and the offer of firewood.

In addition each chalet receives a welcome hamper and fruit basket with an additional case of hand selected world wines and a bottle of champagne for Saskia bookings.