Introduction of Food Service Industry in India
Foodservice operations in India are continuing to improve and develop, together with advances in quality. The demand for food and beverages away from the home has increased and, with a broader spectrum of the population eating out, customer needs are continuing to diversify.
Food and Restaurant styles are also adapting to meet the demands being made by increasingly knowledgeable and value-conscious.
Menu and beverage list contents are constantly being influenced by trends, fads, and fashions, the relationship between health and eating, dietary requirements, cultural and religious influences, the advance of vegetarianism, and customer acceptance, or otherwise, of irradiation and genetically modified foods.
The growing range of foodservice operations has necessitated developments in the approaches to food and beverage service. The traditional view of food and beverage service was as a delivery process, with the customer being considered a passive recipient of the service.
History of the Indian Food Service Industry
The food service industry in India traces its roots to the traditional community feasts and the movement of people on pilgrimage thousands of years ago.
Most people were on the move primarily for preaching religion and hunting. Their lives were endangered by wild animals and wayside robbers, which forced them to look for a place that assured them safety, accommodation, and food.
“Dharamshala” and “Chatrams” came up to protect the lives of travelers from wild animals and robbers. The travelers were also provided stables and sheds for horses and bullock carts, respectively, free of charge. They were given food and accommodation at no cost during the rule of kings.
Any successful food service operation requires all elements to work as a whole, service personnel working together with chefs, and the wine and drink lists being in harmony with the food.
Good food and beverage service, in any sector, is achieved where customers’ needs are met and where management consistently reinforces and supports service staff in the maintenance of clearly identified technical standards and service goals.
India has been subject to influxes of people throughout its history, some coming with arms to loot and conquer, others moving in to trade, or to settle down. The country was able to absorb the impact of these instructions because it was able to assimilate and tolerate foreign ideas and people.
The outsiders who came to India during the course of its history include the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the Kushanas from central Asia, and finally the British and other Europeans.
It was during the Mughal rule. In South India, people used to buy packed food such as lime rice, tamarind rice, and curd rice from food vendors. In the North, Bhojanalayas served local dishes, especially roti, sabzi, and salad.
The foodservice sectors continually change their style of operation to meet the changing needs of the customers. Today we have top-quality restaurants in India that are comparable to international standards.
- Also read: Overview of Food and Beverage Industry