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‘A high-quality food service is one that is done with a genuine smile'

Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

Ritesh Sen, Corporate GM-Food & Beverage with Fern Hotels & Resorts, started his career as a Commis in 1997 and has worked in almost all segments of the Food Industry, right from restaurants, and cruises, to airline catering and hotels including both national and international brands. With his long and varied experience, Sen has witnessed the changes in customer preferences over the last 25 years. Asmita Mukherjee spoke with Sen to know about his thoughts on the recent shifts in the global and local food industries.


According to a report, the deadly pandemic has changed 85% of consumers' food habits. According to a report, four out of five consumers say that the coronavirus pandemic has changed their food habits, driving them to dine–in, cook, eat, and think only about good clean food. Sharing his insights, Sen said, “Definitely there has been a change in consumer preferences all over. Dining at the hotel restaurant has taken a major setback. However, parcel orders have boomed. In-room guest now wants to dine more in the room than at the restaurant. One-time usage of cutlery, crockery, and glassware are more in demand including table condiments like salt, pepper & pickle.”


Amidst the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it has indeed become a necessity for businesses to cut costs. Commenting on the steps taken by Fern Hotels & Resorts to keep the lights on, Sen informed, “We have tied up with various food companies and have got a price advantage pan India due to our huge number of units. It’s a win-win situation for both of us. We get a better price, whereas, the food company gets an assured business in whole. We have designed our menus in such a way that we are less dependent on imported/hard to procure materials, and more on local and seasonal products, as they are much fresher and less costly. A smaller menu means lesser mise en, which in turn reduces wastage. A smart menu, in which, a single raw material is used in multiple ways, can give several choices to guests without increasing your inventory.”


Speaking about the stringent measures taken by the Fern Group’s F&B department to ensure that their restaurant’s food-service segment remains at the top of the list in customer’s preferences, Sen said, “One of the biggest challenges of working in a group is to ensure that each and every client of ours has the same experience in each and every hotel that they visit. To ensure that, standardization of buffet offerings, recipes, and presentations is very critical. I have been consistently working on the same to ensure that each hotel of ours in a particular category gives the same satisfaction, wherever the client goes to.”


While mentioning the trademarks of high-quality food service, Sen said, “A high-quality food service is one that is done with a genuine smile. Although intangible, the look and feel of the food that is served, as well as, the way that it is served makes the road to high-quality service.”

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