With increased disposable incomes come some rather interesting ways of spending it. Look no further than Bangalore to witness how people with enviable spending power are getting food delivered home from five-star restaurants and even getting a star chef to cook at home.
When Radha Radhakrishna, who heads an advertising firm in the city, wanted to host her would be son-in-law and his family, she was not ready to settle for anything less flamboyant than five-star treatment.
“I could not ask them to come to a hotel. Hence, I thought of asking the chefs from one of the city hotels to come home and cook for my guests. It was fun seeing one of the best chefs in the city cooking in my kitchen and tossing vegetables,” she says.
In order to reach out to a larger audience, five-star hotels in the city have taken to outdoor catering not only for large weddings but also for small get together at homes.
City hotels like Moevenpick, Taj West End, Vivanta by Taj, Bengaluru Marriott, JW Marriott, Fairfield, Zuri and Royal Orchid are some of the hotels that undertake outdoor catering.
The concept provides the hotels with an opportunity to showcase the quality of their service to a larger audience at one go.
“We started this service three years back, and see this as a growing segment mainly on account of the presence of large corporations in the city,” says Somnath Mukherjee, general manager, Taj West End.
“Both individuals and corporates are turning to the specialists in the business to look after the detailing and execute successful events-be,” says Biswajit Chakraborty, general manager, Mövenpick Hotel and Spa.
When financial consultant Ashim Sharma got a promotion, he wanted to treat his colleagues at his house. However, since he did not want to compromise on the quality of food and services, he thought of ordering from a five-start hotel in Whitefield..
“I did have the option of going to a hotel, but thought that people will be more comfortable at home. I called a five-star hotel near my place and realised they undertake catering at home even for 10 people. I thought of trying it out. It was a great hit, all my colleagues were extremely pleased with the food and service,” says Sharma .
For hotels, it is a good platform to showcase their strength in service, quality of food and develop brand connect. “A well-executed catering event is a marketing tool by itself as it opens avenues for future business and opportunities,” says Chakraborty.
In fact, some hotels, like Bengaluru Marriott Hotel in Whitefield, have a separate dedicated team of professionals to take care of outdoor caterings. “In order to undertake outdoor catering, first and foremost we would need the volume. We have undertaken outdoor catering services in residential complexes like Palm Meadows, Epsilon, Windmills of the Mind etc,” says Pratima Badhwar, director of sales and marketing, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel, Whitefield.
Experts say the trend is highest in Delhi, followed by Bangalore, which is gaining prominence because of the large presence of expats. “In Bangalore, it is approximately 20% as against hosting parties in hotels. We get an average of three orders per month,” says Pradhan Ganapathy, cluster head, Karnataka, Royal Orchid Hotels.
Last month, the CEOs of an IT company hosted a party at his home for his daughter who was to get married. One of the hotels organised everything from decorations to food in his lawn. The kitchen was set outdoor and the chefs made every arrangement by themselves.
“The basic prerequisite is to understand the clients requirement, profile of the guest, food which can be prepared and delivered at outdoors with the same quality and hygiene of the hotel kitchen.
We also have to take care of cleanliness and hygiene while preparing fresh food at the site,” says Vinod Valson, general manager, Vivanta by Taj, MG Road.