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Catering & Hospitality

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IRCTC – A Leading Hospitality and Catering Company

IRCTC is one of the largest hospitality and catering companies of the country with a vast gamut of businesses in hospitality and catering spread over passenger trains, railway stations, station premises and other ancillary business activities.

Mobile Catering Business

IRCTC manages the entire on-board catering services of Indian Railways in more than 460 passenger trains with pantry cars that includes Rajdhani trains, Shatabdi trains, Duronto Trains, Gatimaan Express and Mail/Express trains and also in newly introduced passenger trains such as Vande Bharat Express and Tejas Trains. In all the above mentioned trains, the on-board catering services is being provided from the pantry cars.

Train Side Vending (TSV)

IRCTC also manages Train side vending contracts on Mail/Express and Superfast trains which do not have pantry cars. In Train Side Vending, the on-board vendors take orders from the passengers from menu chart provided. In accordance with the specified order, the vendors collect the food at the nominated ‘meal pick up points’ and then supply it to the passengers.

Re-Designing and Development of Pantry Cars

IRCTC is in the process of re-designing the pantry cars of trains with modern equipments. The redesigned pantry cars of Rajdhani and Duronto Express will be fully air-conditioned LHB coaches equipped with all modern kitchen equipments such as Combi Ovens, Brat Pans, Deep fryers etc. and will have adequate storage facility for dry and perishable items, proper exhaust chimneys, appropriate garbage bins and will also have accommodation for kitchen staff.

Static Catering Business

Refreshment Rooms, Jan Ahaar and Cell Kitchens
IRCTC also manages various static catering units of Railways such as Refreshment rooms, Jan Ahaars and Cell Kitchens. These units are established on Railway platforms and serve sumptuous dishes at reasonable prices. The list of food items being sold at these units along with the prices are advised by Ministry of Railways/IRCTC. These units usually sell items to the passengers on platform and also supply food to the passenger trains as per demand.

Base Kitchens
In accordance to the Catering Policy-2017 issued by Ministry of Railways, with an aim to provide quality meals to the passengers on trains, IRCTC has upgraded 46 nos. of Kitchens enabled with CCTV camera and QR code facility and modern cooking, storing equipments etc. However, as per instructions of Railway Board, due to COVID-19 pandemic, service of cooked meal to the trains has been stopped. In place of cooked food, Board has advised IRCTC to provide RTE meals. Further, due to COVID-19 pandemic, Railway Board has advised IRCTC to put on hold the activities related to development/setting up/up-gradation of base kitchen units till further advice.

Other Catering Business

Executive Lounges

To cater to the demands of the mid-segment and high-end passengers for comfortable place to relax at the railway stations with facilities to dine in a clean environment, IRCTC introduced the concept of Executive Lounge. Based on the concept of airport lounges, IRCTC has already opened 6 Executive Lounges in the railway stations at New Delhi, Agra Cantt, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Madurai and Sealdah and is in process of commissioning 2 more lounges at Varanasi Jn, New Delhi (Paharganj side). Besides the spacious environment of the executive lounges, lots of other facilities is being provided to the passengers at nominal charges such as reclining sofa, meals in buffet service, wi-fi internet services, shower facilities and so on.

Retiring Rooms
IRCTC is renovating, operating and maintaining Railway Retiring Rooms at major railway stations across the country to improve the accommodation facilities for the travelling public. IRCTC has already renovated the Retiring Rooms at 17 railway stations and is also in the process of commissioning more Retiring Rooms and dedicating the same to passengers.

Budget Hotels
IRCTC is presently operating two Rail Yatri Niwas at New Delhi and Howrah railway stations and two BNR Hotels at Puri and Ranchi. The company is also in the process of opening a budget hotel at Lucknow shortly.

E-Catering Business

E-Catering is the latest addition to the catering and hospitality business of IRCTC through which the company has been able to amalgamate technology with food. This internet based service is an initiative of IRCTC that allows passengers to book food of their choice from partner restaurants and food outlets through a mobile application while travelling on train. Food is being delivered to the passengers on their respective seat/berth. Booking can be done in advance.

The salient features of E-Catering are:
  • The service is available for passengers travelling on reserved tickets only.
  • Passengers can choose from a range of delicacies which are offered in the app on line.
  • The Menu is set by the service providing restaurants and often as per choice of passengers for bulk orders.
  • At present the e-catering service of IRCTC is available at 325 stations and the company is booking approximately 20,000 meals in a day.
  • Passengers can make payment for the meals ordered by cash on delivery (COD) as well as on line.
  • Passengers can give feedback on e-catering website itself after delivery of order.
  • SMS are sent to passengers before their journey inviting them to book food.

Ensuring Quality in Hospitality And Catering

Customer Satisfaction Survey
IRCTC understands the need of providing clean and hygienic food to the traveling passengers across the length and breadth of the railways. The company conducts Customer satisfaction Surveys through third party professionals and empanelled agencies to gauge the quality of food being served to the traveling passengers. During the year 2018-19, IRCTC conducted customer satisfaction survey in 362 passenger trains and 263 Food Plazas and Fast Food Units to assess the quality of food and extent of customer satisfaction.

Food Safety Audits

Keeping in view the impact of food safety on public health, IRCTC conducts food safety audits through third party agencies accredited by National Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB).

Complaint Monitoring and Redressal

IRCTC has developed internet based module of Catering Services Information Management or (E-CSIM) with a dedicated comprehensive portal for its catering businesses called launched on 01.04.2019. The module is also being used for online redressal of catering complaints of passengers at stations and on trains. Alternatively a passenger can also give feedback or make complaints against catering services on ‘Rail Madad’ module that allows passengers to lodge complaints through mobile app/web platform and enables them to check real-time feedback on the status of redressal of their complaints.

For complaints and feedback, please log on to : -

Onboard Monitoring
IRCTC has deployed its brigade of catering supervisors in most of the passenger trains to closely monitor the on-board catering services. Apart from monitoring, these supervisors have been provided with online feedback devices for taking feedback from passengers to ensure better services.

Live Streaming of Base Kitchens

With an aim to bring uniformity in passenger experience, the Company introduced new technology to watch the live production of food in its base kitchens. The live streaming of IRCTCs several base kitchens across the country has been possible with the use of artificial intelligence. IRCTC has installed high definition CCTV cameras in its kitchens and started monitoring the operations through them. The artificial intelligence-enable system detects anomalies in the kitchen operations during the production of food so that necessary corrective steps can be taken to ensure the quality and hygiene of the food produced. 46 kitchens are linked with the CCTV Control rooms of IRCTC situated at the Internet Ticketing Centre Building at New Delhi. However, Kitchens are temporarily closed due to no-service of cooked food in trains.

For live streaming of kitchens please click the below mentioned link:-