15 firms want to deliver food in trains

By MAMUNI DAS/MEENAKSHI VERMA AMBWANI  www.thehindubusinessline.com

Fifteen firms, including Jubilant Foodworks and Foodworld, are vying to be a part of the business of delivering food to train passengers by using the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s (IRCTC) e-catering process.

IRCTC plans to start supplying food to train passengers through prior online bookings. According to IRCTC, the firms that have envisaged interest include Brandavan Food Products, RK Associates and Hoteliers, Rani Kothi Banquets, Ninth Dimensions Hotels and Resorts, Kannelite Facility Management Services, PK Shefi, Hotel Pardeep, Hotel Tulsi, Deepak and Company, Rani Kothi Banquet, Hotel Rajmahal, Bhatia Hotel Pvt Ltd and Satyam Caterers.

These companies have responded to an expression of interest sought by IRCTC to be service providers for supply and delivery of meals in trains. IRCTC started working on the proposal after it got a mandate from the Railways Ministry to start such a service.

“The firms can deliver the meals directly or use the network of food plazas to deliver in trains. We are trying to work out an option where the food ordered in advance can be delivered at a food plaza near the station and kept in warmers before being delivered in trains,” RN Kalita, Director-Catering, IRCTC, toldBusiness Line.

IRCTC will work out a revenue share mechanism between payment service providers, IRCTC and the food service providers.

“The key challenge here is with regards to the liability in case of complaints, or quality issues that arise. While IRCTC is liable for complaints by train passengers, how IRCTC can pass on the liability to the suppliers needs to be seen. After all, there are many players involved in the supply chain,” said Kalita. More info

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