Catering services being overhauled

A major overhaul of Railway catering services is on the anvil with an action plan being put into operation, geared at improving quality of food, overcharging and measures to improve food safety and hygiene.

Such an action plan was put into operation on the basis of a study done by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), relating to various dimensions entailing onboard provision of food services.

The study is based on an onboard customer satisfaction survey with a sample size large enough to cater to the cultural and geographical distribution of a continental size country that is India.

The survey highlighted that the major problem areas identified included food quality (50.88 per cent), Bedroll (15.09 per cent) and overcharging (13.73 per cent).

IRCTC adopted a strategy to counter problems that included introduction of hamper system in base kitchen, conducting food and hygiene audit, centralised rate contract for reputed branded quality product, MoA with HPCL for smooth supply of LPG gas over catering units and adoption of fuel efficient practices in base kitchen.

”The overall quality approach benefited IRCTC with cost saving of Rs 8.91 crore,” a statement said. Incidentally, the study got the ‘QCI-DL Shah National Awards on Economics of Quality’ which was received by IRCTC Managing Director Rakesh Kumar Tandon at a function here today.

IRCTC took up the ”challenge” of improving quality of catering services and ”started measuring and re-building its capabilities”. In order to further improve quality of services of the mammoth public sector undertaking, a plan of action has been put into practice.

These included coordination with railways for improvement in pantry car equipment, spreading awareness among passengers to curb overcharging, improvement in cleanliness of compartments as well as panty cars in coordination with railway authorities.

— (UNI) — 19DC3.xml

IRCTC to introduce common recipe book

PATNA: Stung by repeated complaints about poor quality of food, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to introduce
common recipe book for private caterers providing services on running long distance passenger trains.

This decision has been taken to standardise food and meals being served to passengers on running trains across the country.

Talking to TOI, an IRCTC official said that a recipe book has been prepared in consultation with the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM). This approved recipe book is being issued to all base kitchens of the railways to maintain quality of food. The railways have about 100 base kitchens across the country. Each such base kitchen is being instructed to follow the recipe book to supply quality meals to passengers on running trains, he said.

The IRCTC has also instructed its staff to paste menu cards on each mail and express train so that passengers could know the exact price of meal being served to them aboard trains. IRCTC has been asked to put on display call numbers in each coach of mail and express train for making any complaints or suggestions by the passengers, sources said.

An IRCTC official said that though this facility was introduced in November last year on experiment basis, good response received by the IRCTC has encouraged its staff to ensure better service to passengers and to provide quality meals to them on running trains, he said and added that IRCTC has proposed to increase marginally quantity of meals, too.