After the lockdown demand for e-catering services increased on the trains. In April 2022 total of 3,49,591 meals were booked by passengers in the west zone, which is almost 50 percent more than the April 2019 booking. In April 2019, only 2,30,609 meals were booked by the passengers in the west zone.
Confirming the development officials of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said, "A lot of customers are now booking online for a meal with the number of meals, maximum numbers on line booking for meals registered at Nagpur with the delivery of 26,883 meals in the months of April 2022, followed by Bhopal 24,904 meals and Itarasi 23,048 meals ( Thali). In April 18,619 meals were delivered at Surat station through an e-catering system of IRCTC west zone. Maharastra, Gujrat and some parts of MP and Goa fall under the west zone of IRCTC.
The e-catering is an internet based 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 a train. Under this initiative, food is delivered to the passengers in their respective seats/berths. Depending on the train, passengers can select the food from a list of cafes, outlets and restaurants. A list of cafes and restaurants is available on the mobile app developed by IRCTC as well as from the e-catering of IRCTC.
According to sources, hundreds of restaurants, including top chains of food suppliers across the country added to the list. Speaking about the e-catering system senior official said, "Under this system, travellers can order food on track as per their preferences. They are bestowed with multiple food choices to choose from and the stations at which they want the food to be delivered on the seat."
"Ordering food through e-catering services also helps the customers to avail customized offers from major services providers. Apart from that, under this system, travellers can order customized food menus for diabetic people. It ensures a healthy eating schedule for such people while ordering food in train," further added officials.