Sunday, May 20, 2012

A "Dinner In The Sky" Charleston Style-Imagine It, Dream It, Live It

Last year, I wrote an article about one of the world's most unique and fascinating dining experiences. By far, it has been the most popular article I have written to date with readers from all over the world, and it ranks high on numerous search engines. Forbes magazine listed it as one of the 10 most unusual restaurants in the world. One of the features that makes this dining venue unusual is its versatility. You don't have to make a reservation and then travel to a specific geographical location because it comes to you, wherever that may be. It is totally mobile and not even limited by the sky. The only limitation is your imagination.

This "birds eye view" dining experience debuted in May of 2006. It has catered to high flying patrons in places like Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Las Vegas, and Miami with backdrops like the unforgettable Grand Canyon, the skyline of Tallinn, London Bridge, Paris' famous Notre Dame cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, majestic Niagra Falls, and a host of other historical landmarks many people only dream of seeing. The concept was founded by Belgium marketing entrepreneur, David Ghysels, and has taken flight to greater heights since it began under the name "Dinner in the Sky". Now, it is operational in 32 countries around the globe with an impeccable safety record.
Notre Dame cathedral, Paris
Johannesburg, South Africa
London Bridge, London
Las Vegas
Dining where eagles fly gives a whole new name to the experience of eating out, or should I say eating up. Picture yourself and a group of your closest friends dangling 165 ft. above Patriot's Point around sunset with downtown Charleston, the Authur Ravenel Bridge, Charleston Bay, Fort Sumter, Patriot's Point Links, the USS Yorktown, and Mount Pleasant spread below your feet as a backdrop. With your sense of sight soaking in the grand panorama, your other senses will likewise indulge equally, especially your sense of taste and smell along with your sense of balance. Add to this, one of Charleston's finest chefs conjuring up his imaginative take on the famous Lowcountry cuisine and servers catering specifically to your needs and wants, and you will have experienced the total dining package with a different twist. Imagination is the idea behind the concept.

The concept of "Dinner in the Sky" allows it to be organized anywhere and in anyway. It could be a golf course, a sports venue, ocean side, in a vineyard or a historical site. It could be sky high gourmet dinners, corporate/hospitality events, and special events such as promoting your business, VIP client dinners, board dinners with a “Wow” factor, seminars or celebrating unforgettable rehearsal dinners. A surface area of approximately 5000 square feet is required to accommodate the 40 ft. truck and crane, and of course the authorization by the owner of the property. If you are unable to find an acceptable venue, "Dinner in the Sky" will be happy to help you. You can arrange your own catering, but if you need any assistance they will be able to assist you with some high quality catering companies.

The platform is 30 ft. in length and 17 ft. in width. The 22 guests are comfortably strapped into a leather seat that is secured to a dining table. The seats swivel 180 degrees for maximum viewing. The dining table and seats are connected to a crane with a telescopic boom which then performs the lift. If you have ever been to the amusement park in Ohio by Lake Erie called Cedar Point, think of the Power Tower, only not near as fast. The center of the dining table has a walking platform that can accommodate 5 additional standing guests primarily for the purpose of serving food and beverages. The additional five could be three chefs, a supervisor, and a photographer. Or, and this is where your imagination comes in, it could be 3 chefs, a photographer, and Eddie Bush for some musical entertainment. So, sit back, get comfortable, but please try to avoid kicking your shoes off for obvious reasons.
Platform with chef and servers
Example of advertising.
Now, let's talk money. It all comes with a hefty price tag, especially the insurance. "Dinner in The Sky" carries a $10 million in liability insurance of its own. An event can cost anywhere from $20k to $50k. "Dinner in the Sky" is secured in 8 hour blocks. It takes 3 hours for set up and break down leaving 5 hours for entertaining. In that time frame you could realistically serve up to 66 guests. After all, you don't need more than an hour and a half to eat. At the low end of $20k, if you were to divide the expense between the 66 guests, it would cost $303 each. Take it down to an hour a sitting and you could serve 110 guests equalling $182 per person. If you are promoting your business there are some kickbacks. The platform itself offers hundreds of square feet of advertising space. It would solicit you some serious exposure, not to leave unmentioned, you would be the talk of the town.
How about a wedding in the sky?
Aside from the money concern, there are frequently asked questions. One pressing concern: What do you do if you have to use the restroom? If you must go, the table goes down. Just think of this, if you are on a jet and you see someone get up, you know where he or she is going, but it isn't so obvious to everyone on the jet. In this situation, when the table goes down unexpectedly, everyone will know the culprit and the reason when the seat belt starts unlatching. Do you tend to get embarrassed easily? But hey, you are only human.

You only live once, so they say. Throw caution to the wind, roll the dice, convince yourself money is no object. Make the move to "Dinner in the Sky", then sit back and prepare yourself for seduction amongst the clouds. Revel in ecstasy from the finest of champagnes to gourmet food, cocktails, music, or anything in between. Live in the moment because after the booze wears off you might then second guess the expenditure, or not. If you would like detailed information or brochures, send me an email at

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