Following COVID-19 driven decline in air travel and suspension of scheduled international flights, Tata Group’s TajSats is stepping into non-aviation catering. And as such, India’s largest flight caterer has launched a new brand – Anuka, which is a multi-cuisine virtual restaurant.
Manish Gupta, TajSats CEO, said the company has an aggressive gorwth plan to expand the portfolio and diversify into non-aviation catering. “TajSats has launched a new brand, Anuka, a multi-cuisine virtual restaurant available on the Qmin, which is Taj Hotels’ food delivery app in Mumbai and Delhi,” he said. “It will offer gourmet delights to guests in the comfort of their home.” Gupta said they have also launched new chocolates, Asa, and Indian sweets which will be available throughout the year for retail sales on e-commerce platforms as well as for institutional sales. “The company’s focus on food safety and hygiene has increased multifold along with a shift in consumer behavior and their wish to only consume food from trusted brands during the pandemic.”
In regards to business in the post-COVID world, Gupta said the numbers have dropped as meals were not being served in the airlines for the first six months of the lockdown. He pointed out that on-board meals resumed from September, but with many restrictions in place like serving cold meals on domestic flights, pre-plated meals to business class passengers and limited international flights operating. A senior airline official said people have started flying but on short flights. “They like to keep their masks on and take them off for eating. On medium to long international flights, one has to eat. Overall meal business is very low,” he added.
Overall, a number of carriers have taken measures post-COVID to keep business rolling, including reduction in meal choices and withdrawal of services such as welcome drink, hot meals, beverages.