Food delivery is here to stay: Daniel Koshy
BW HOTELIER talks to Chef Daniel Koshy, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru about the future of the food and beverage industry, major challenges ahead and strategies to deal with them.
You have been a part of the F&B industry for quite a while now. What are the significant changes that have happened in the industry in the last decade?
In the last decade, the country as a whole, especially the economy has opened up and this has resulted in more people travelling with regard to work. The disposable income of people has increased resulting in people spending more on food and travel. The more they travelled, the more they got exposed to newer cuisines and taste profiles evolved. This led to newer hotel chains setting foot in the country to make the most of the opportunity which arose. This has led to an exponential growth in suppliers bringing in better produce both in terms of vegetables and meats into the country from across the globe. This has made the term “Glocal” a common word which shows that the global cuisines have become a reality albeit in local terms.
What are some major operational changes you made after the pandemic?
The pandemic has thrust upon us the importance of hygiene and the practices we follow daily in the kitchens. Social distancing and masks have become common parlance in the kitchen space as well. The importance of cleaning procedures has been highlighted again. The pandemic has also made us think of alternative revenue streams in the absence of regular restaurants having been shut for a long period to sustain oneself. Takeaways have become an attractive option for both guests and hotels as well. The aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato have made this possible with their delivery models. The kitchens have become leaner in hierarchy structure and have made us think like entrepreneurs, resulting in better bottom lines. The whole process of thinking out of the box to sustain and to survive this challenge has been the biggest takeaway from this pandemic.
How do you see the future of food delivery? With the ongoing pandemic, do you think it is going to affect the dine in business in the long run?
Food delivery is here to stay. It is a vertical which will generate additional revenues for the hotels. This crisis made it possible for hotels to look into this stream in a more focused manner. The people who were sitting in the comfort of their homes suddenly became the captive audience and became a great revenue churn.
How different you think would things become in the industry post this pandemic?
This crisis has been a watershed moment in a number of ways. Hotels have suddenly become leaner in manning structure and things have become more accountable and every penny earned was being appreciated, compared to pre-COVID days, where hotels were lethargic to newer business streams, as they were happy with the share of pie they commanded then.
What are some new offers that JW Marriott is coming out with, to attract the guests?
Staycation and weekend packages are the buzzword words these days. These are the new offers being rolled out by the Marriott group to tap business. Brunches on weekends especially Saturdays are the new thing, as more and more people work from home, they want to go out to de-stress during the weekends.
Tell us about some of the recent dishes that came out of this pandemic? Have you made any changes to the menu, especially in terms of adding immunity boosting dishes and nutritive ingredients?
Yes, immunity-boosting dishes were always part of our menu but it has become more popular during the pandemic. Especially salads where fresh turmeric and honey based dressings were incorporated to make it both refreshing and tasty. Fresh green peppers and lemon grass were also ingredients which have made it to the menu due to its nutritive values.
You have come a long way in your career. Can you tell us about your ‘success mantra’?
My success mantra is my team and its dependence on quality ingredients. The team with the right attitude can do wonders and has ensured us that we came out of this difficult period with flying colors not just in terms of quality of food but also in maintaining the consistency of it.
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