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IRCTC Ecatering Is a Success, Say a Survey

You will be pleased to know that IRCTC e-catering project has witnessed a success. This has made the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation to name the service as “Food on Track.” Isn’t it terrific to relish on a piping hot pizza or thali while you are traveling in a train?

The “Food on Track” service has roped in big fish like Café Chino, Copper Chimney, Punjab Grill, Masala Chicken, and others to bring more variety in food items for passengers. Stalwarts like KFC and Dominos Pizza were already in collaboration with this service.

Meals encompass continental cuisines, Indian cuisines, and more. In the beginning, a few hundred meals were ordered daily. Today, thousands of meals are ordered per day. Passengers are happy to get this convenient service that lets them savor fresh, hot food while traveling.

You can easily order food by dialing a toll free number 1800-1034-139 or sending an SMS that contains the word “meal” plus your PNR number and berth numbers to 139. You must place an order two hours in advance. The service timing is 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. IRCTC has also developed an App that lets you order food.

 Station-based IRCTC e-catering

Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation began its station-based e-catering service at 45 stations. Apart from IRCTC’s own “Jan Ahaar” units, which are budget food units, there are food plazas, fast food joints, and private food giants that deliver high quality food to the stations.

Station-based “Food on Track” service is available in all trains that pass through the 45 stations. This includes Delhi, New Delhi, Mumbai Central, Bangalore, Howrah, Chennai Central, and Patna.

 Digitization of food service – a way to “cope” with “notebandi”

When honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had announced demonetization of high value Indian currency notes the idea of cashless economy emerged. It seems IRCTC took the idea in its stride and decided to digitize its operations. This included e-ticketing and e-catering.

According to top management of IRCTC, this is an attempt to promote passenger-friendly measures and provide highly convenient railway services. The e-catering service gives passengers a chance to use the digital technology to place an order of food and to make payment. They also have a choice to pay cash on delivery. People who do not wish to use App, SMS service, or toll free number can order their meals by clicking on the website:

A benefit of digitization of meal service is that passengers need not carry extra cash to pay for food while traveling in train. You can use plastic money or e-wallets like Paytm and others to pay for food. Those with smart phones can download Android and iOS based Apps and make the most of the digital world.

It is not wrong to say that the Indian railways is witnessing a culinary delight thanks to the presence of reputable food chains and names joining the “Food on Track” service of IRCTC. The food giants are happy to serve passengers and the passengers are happy to get their favorite food in the train. A few years ago, this was an imaginable thing.

IRCTC’s e-catering service has drawn a lot of attention – domestic and global. People are happy with this initiative. There has been a spurt in the number of meals being ordered every day since the launch of this service.

IRCTC intends to attract more passengers towards this digital food ordering service by providing different offers and schemes. One example is an offer that allows you to get 50 per cent cash back when you order a meal exceeding bill amount of Rs. 300. This and more such offers paint a pretty picture of food in Indian railways.

Reena Rawat
Author: Reena Rawat

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