NEW DELHI :
Travel Food Services (TFS), which has established its presence across all major airports with 300 outlets, has started food retailing at railway stations with its brand Raildhaba. The company opened outlets in five stations in the last two years and is eyeing more stations, besides catering on trains. Gaurav Dewan, chief operating officer and business head of the company spoke about its plans. Edited excerpts of an interview:
What brought you to railways?
We started this business with a small outlet at Mumbai airport 10 years ago when airports were being privatised. Today, we have 300 outlets across major airports, including Delhi, Chennai, Goa, and Mumbai, along with smaller airports such as Nagpur and Mangalore. As we are a travel food company with focus on the food at travel destinations, we saw Indian Railways as a big opportunity, especially as travel infrastructure is going through a development phase. Train journeys are long-duration and the food you get at platforms is very limited in range. Sometimes it is not even available. We saw this gap as an opportunity.
How did Raildhaba come up?
For the railways, we came up with a different concept and named it Raildhaba when we won our first bid for Vizag railway station. Raildhaba is a food court concept, where one can find international branded restaurants, local favourites, and some in-house food. The idea is to give quality food at competitive price. Today, we have a presence across five locations including Vizag, Vijaywada, Pune, Madurai, and Agra Cantt.
Travellers at airports and stations are very different? How do you cater to all of them?
When we started our operations, our prices were high to maintain quality and quantity. Then, we realised price is a very strong barrier for railway consumers. We worked with Dominos and created a single topping pizza. Pizza base with cheese and one topping like capsicum, paneer, and onion.
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