By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Nov 5 (IANS) There is not much of a change in the star hotel guests’ style of eating in terms of portion size during the post Covid-19 lockdown period, but they are looking for healthier dishes that boost immunity, said star hotel chefs.
The chefs also said the bento boxes have gained popularity with their guests.
“We are slowly witnessing growth in the number of guests that are visiting our restaurants now. Initially, post the lockdown, the response was comparatively low as the guests were reluctant to step outside. However, this is now changing and we definitely can look at having our full strength in a couple of months,” Gopi Thangaraj, Sous Chef, Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road here told IANS.
He said the hotel remained open throughout the lockdown phase, as it had few guests and patrons who continued their stay at the hotel. During this time, we noticed that many of our guests were moving towards healthy options for their food preferences.
“There is no change in the guests’ eating habits as well in terms of portion size. The portion size still remains the same and we have not changed the size of our helping,” Thangaraj added.
“Health food, comfort food, immunity boosters are popular, and these are created from sustainable, regional produce,” Suju George John, Executive Chef, WelcomHotel Chennai told IANS.
According to him, guests expect to dine in a safe ambience, hence the property has re-engineered the guest experiences with zero/minimal associate engagement (including digital ordering and e-payment solutions) and remodelling hotel layout to support safe distancing.
“Our restaurants with remodelled layout ensures safe distancing, contactless billing, and sanitised dining (crockery, cutlery, tableware). The Grab and Go breakfast menu and the Knock n Drop in-room dining service, both employ contactless service,” John said.
“The other concept of bento box meals is picking up and has proved useful to cater to certain groups keeping in view the protocols that are required to be maintained. These are wholesome meals served in smaller portion sizes, backed by our Responsible Dining philosophy,” Amruth Chakravarthy, Executive Chef, WelcomHotel Kences Inn, Mamallapuram told IANS.
Regional and sustainable produce transformed into healthy dishes on the menu are a big focus. As is cooking with available ingredients and produce, Chakravarthy added.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])