Indians have a lot to rejoice, especially the intrepid travellers who frequent the Indian Railways for long journeys. Now the passengers have the choice of ordering a KFC meal on their journey. They no longer have to depend only on the food served by the pantry of the IRCTC.
On July 20, 2015, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) got into collaboration with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). From now onwards, KFC will provide e-catering services to passengers travelling on trains. Passengers can avail the option of pre-booking a KFC meal during their journey at the time of booking their railway tickets under the e-catering service initiatives.
KFC India Chief Marketing Officer Dhruv Kaul said, “As a much-loved restaurant brand, we think that this initiative gives us a great opportunity to bring the craveable taste and quality of KFC to our fans, even when they are travelling. We intend to expand the service to other stations over the next few days.”
• Passengers interested in booking a KFC meal can visit the IRCTC website or call on Toll Free No. 18001034139 to place their order.
• A password will be generated by KFC and forwarded to the registered mobile number.
• At the time of delivery, the passenger needs to produce the password.
• Orders can be placed up to 48 hours prior to the date of the journey.
• At present, the e-catering website does not feature KFC and the procedure is independent through vendors at assigned stations.
• Indian Railways’ Food Plaza networks across stations are proposed to be used as the delivery network.
The facility will be available on 12 trains passing through the Delhi Railway Station. It will be further expanded to include the Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad (Kacheguda) and Bengaluru (Yesvantpur) stations over the next 10 days. The service will initially be limited to trains that do not have pantry cars and subsequently will also be expanded to trains like Rajdhani and Duronto Express.
Factors to be Considered
There are certain issues that may crop up while going in for the pre-booked meals:
• Navigating the country’s immensely crowded and chaotic train stations to deliver to passengers inside trains may be difficult, though not impossible.
• Most people may decide for a KFC meal at the time of journey. However, there should be an option of ordering while on journey.
• The additives used in the food may need to be evaluated.
• Cost factors need to be taken into consideration keeping in mind the different leagues of travellers.
• Disposal mechanism needs attention to avoid salvage issues.
The Domino’s Pizza Tie-up
In the month of February, just ahead of the railway budget, IRCTC made the travel time of its passengers more pleasurable by getting into partnership with Jubilant Food Works Ltd., the parent company of Domino’s Pizza, allowing passengers to order pizzas online, to be delivered at the time of journey. The ordering procedure is simple and requires only a two-hour notice period. The service is picking up momentum and extends to 200 different train lines.
The Future Proposals
There is a proposal under consideration for IRCTC to take over all the catering activities in the Railways. In this light, IRCTC is also expecting Subway, Bikano and Haldiram to join the e-catering services.
Pizza Hut has also entered into a contract with IRCTC to deliver piping hot pizzas to travellers at their berths.
There is no doubt in the fact that in India, train journeys and meals are inextricably linked. And now passengers need not bother packing their own food, which becomes cumbersome, or having to limit themselves to food served by the pantry. Now they have a choice at hand to order burgers and pizzas. The way matters are progressing, the day when all trains in India will serve full meals in the manner of a full-service, sit-down restaurant, like in a dining car abroad, is not far away it seems.