hotel and catering industry

Introduction to hotel industry & growth of hotel industry in India
Hotels and the catering industry as we know it started late in the 19th century with the development of the major cities, easier sea travel and the coming of the railways.
In ancient times, travellers were a rarity, but could always rely on a meal whilst passing through. As the centuries progressed, travellers mostly pilgrims would be cared for in the temple or monasteries. During the mughal rule, the forts and surrounds would cater to the needs of the traveller often in exchange of no more than the stories of their adventure during their travels or any news from other towns and villages.
During the later part of the 18thCentury, and the formation of the East India Company by the British, it was apparent that catering requites on a more formal basis were required and with the advent of the railways in the mid-19th Century, small hotels & clubs were becoming part of everyday life of those who could afford to eat out.
For the ordinary man in the street kerb side catering was a way of life and for many hundreds of years the scene of cooking delicacies like pakora & samosa and other spicy tit bits was a way of ensuring that anyone with a few paisa to spare need never go hungry.
Prior to the formation of hotels and hotel companies the club provided any lodging amenities that were required. These clubs were restricted unfortunately to Europeans or upper class Indians. However it did give many Indians the opportunity to work in a Hotel type environment and become skilled in kitchen & restaurants. These skills were often passed down from father to son.
The vast Indian army too, required catering on a different scale, and officer’s messes then as now resembled high class restaurant with usually a very good kitchen attached.
The princely palaces of the many royal Indian Maharajas and families were also run on hotel lines of the present day at least as far as food & drinks were concerned.
Kitchen with Indian & European chefs were considered normal and the banquets of yester years far out shown anything that is provided today even of the best 5 star hotels.
India & Indians have a long cultured heritage of catering and hospitality. The diversity of the regional dishes and the talent to produce them has long been inherent and it is because of this fruitful history that India with its numerous Hotels & Restaurants rank among the world’s leading hospitality & tourist venues.


The food service industry (catering industry in British English) encompasses those places, institutions and companies that provide meals eaten away from home. This industry includes hotels, restaurants, schools and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, and many other formats, including ‘on-premises’ and ‘off-premises’ caterings. Catering is a multifaceted segment of the food service industry. There is a niche for all types of catering businesses within the segment of catering. The food service industry is divided into two general types: commercial segment and non-commercial segment. Catering management may be defined as the task of planning, organizing, controlling and executing. Each activity influences the preparation and delivery of food, beverage, and related services at a competitive, yet profitable price. These activities work together to meet and exceed the customer’s perception of value for his money.
A) Primary or Commercial Catering
These are the establishments whose main aim is to earn profit by providing food and beverage to the guests as per their demand. Hence, they are also referred as commercial catering, establishments. Such as hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets, bars, pubs, etc.
1) Residential- These type of establishment provides food n beverage along with accommodation. Such as hotels, motels, resorts, ship or cruise lines,  etc.
2) Non-Residential- These types of establishment provides only food & beverage. Such as restaurants, pubs, night clubs etc.

B) Secondary or Non Commercial Catering
These are the establishments that provide food and beverage as a part of another business. Their aim is not to earn money. Instead, the establishments are there to provide welfare services at affordable prices, such as industrial canteens, hospital canteens, school/college canteens, railways caterings, airline caterings, etc. The quality and the quantity of the food should be equally good, through this type of menu offered in this type of catering might be different from another.
May be deemed as those operations in which making a profit from catering facility is not the outlet’s main concern. Since the operations are completely or partially subsidized by a parent body, such establishments’ primary obligation is in the well being or care of their guests/ customers/ patients. Unlike commercial catering establishment the guests/ customers/ patients do not have choice of catering facilities.
1) Institutional Catering
Institutional catering includes school, colleges, universities, hospitals, orphanages, old age homes, prisons etc. In some of these establishments no charge is made to certain group of customers to for the provision of food & beverage services as they are completely or partially subsidized by various government funds.
2) Transport Catering
The provision of food and beverages to passengers, before, during and after a journey on trains, aircraft and ships and in buses or private vehicles is termed as transport catering. These services may also be utilized by the general public, who are in the vicinity of a transport catering unit. The major forms of modern day transport catering are airline-catering, railways catering, ship catering and surface catering in coaches or buses which operate on long distance routes.

Surface Catering
Catering to passengers traveling by surface transport such as buses and private vehicles is called surface catering. These eating establishments are normally located around a bus terminus or on highways. They may be either government run restaurants, or privately owned establishments. Of late there has been a growing popularity of Punjabi style eateries called dhabas on the highways.

3) Industrial Catering
The provision of food and beverages to ‘people at work,’ in industries and factories at highly subsidized rates is called industrial catering. It is based on the assumption that better fed employees at concessional rates are happy and more productive. Catering for a large workforce may be undertaken by the management itself, or may be contracted out to professional caterers. Depending on the choice of the menu suggested by the management, catering contractors undertake to feed the workforce for a fixed period of time at a predetermined price.

Oberoi Hotels- the story of M.S. Oberoi
Mohan Singh Oberoi, Chairman and founder of Oberoi Hotels was born in august 1900 in Bhaun, a small village now in Pakistan.
Soon after his marriage in 1922, he arrived penniless in Shimla and found a job as a Front Office Clerk in the Cecil Hotel at a salary of Rs.40 per month. Some years later moved to Clarkes Hotel (also in Shimla) and gained experience in all aspects of hotel operations. In 1934, he bought Clarkes hotel by mortgaging all his assets and selling of his wife’s jewellery.In the early 1930’s a cholera epidemic struck Kolkata. Grand hotel was forced to close. In 1938 Mr. Oberoi acquired the Grand and converted it into a profitable venture. The Oberoi Grand remains to this day Kolkata’s one of the leading hotels.
In 1943, Mr. Oberoi took over the Associated Hotels of India (AHI) with 8 hotels in Northern India including the Cecil, Ceorstorphans in Shimla, Maidens & Imeprial in Delhi and 4 hotels now in Pakistan. The Oberoi group of hotels grew rapidly with hotels in Gopalpur, Darjeeling, Chandigarh and Srinagar.
The Oberoi Intercontinental in Delhi which opened in 1965 was the first modern luxury hotel in the capital. 35 Storied Oberoi Towers in Mumbai in 1973 was the tallest building in India then.
Mr. Oberoi’s dedication to the industry is evident in the Oberoi School of Hotel management based in Delhi.
Oberoi are now the parts of international chain of hotels with properties not only in India but also in Australia, Indonesia, Egypt, Iraq, Srilanka, Zanzibar, Nepal, Singapore etc.Mr. Oberoi was named as Man of the World in 1983 at the Annual Convention of the International Hotel Association in New York and selected as the outstanding hotelier of the year by the Hotels and Restaurants international.
Nine Oberoi Hotels are members of the leading small hotels of the world, a select association of international luxury hotels chosen for their extraordinary level of guest comfort and service. Additionally, 7 Oberoi hotels are also members of small luxury hotels of the world, a collection of exclusive hotels carefully selected for their style, sophistication and the highest standards of service.
Trident hotels are superior 1st class international hotels with contemporary facilities offering quality  and value. Friendly and efficient service in a warm and relaxed atmosphere makes them the ideal choice for both business and leisure travellers. The group opened its first Trident Hotel in Chennai in 1988. Trident hotels have since opened in India in Agra, Udaipur, Cochin, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Gurgaon etc. The group also operates Trident Hotels in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah and khamis Mashayt.
The group recently announced a strategic alliance for Trident Hotels with Hilton International Company. This alliance covers nine hotels with approximately 1900 rooms across Indian under the” TRIDENT HILTON” brand.

The Taj Group of Hotels is the largest chain in India with several hotels abroad also. The parent hotel “The Taj mahal” hotel in Mumbai is rated among the 10 best hotels in the world.
The story of the Taj
The founder of the house of Tatas, Mr. Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata in 1897 formed the Indian Hotels Company and built the exquisitely beautiful “Taj mahal Hotel” in Mumbai. The door opened in 1903 and has been a landmark by the Gateway of India ever since.
In 1971, 225 roomed Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai was converted to a 565 room hotel and a multi-storeyed building adjoining the original property.
In 1972, the Lake palace, Udiapur and the Rambagh palace in jaipur were also linked to the Taj and a chain was born.
In 1974, a new company was floated, which created the Taj Coromondal in Chennai. In the same year the chain broadened with the acquisition of the Fort Aguada beach resort in Goa.
In 1976, the Fisherman’s cove was built 13 minutes’ drive from Chennai to the Bay of Bengal with a private beach.
In the same year the Taj group opened the Taj flight kitchen in Mumbai catering to both domestic & International Flight.
In 1978, the glittering Taj Mahal Hotel was opened in Delhi and this was followed two years later in Varanasi-“The Taj Ganges”
The 1980’s was to see the rapid expansion of the group of gigantic Taj Palace in New Delhi, the Shiv Niwas Palace at Udaipur and another flight kitchen in New delhi airport, The Taj Residency in Bangalore, the Connemara Hotel in Chennai, the Westend in Bangalore, the Savoy hotel in Ooty , The Taj Mahal palace at Jaipur and the Taj view in Agra.
In 1980, the Taj Group took its first step internationally by opening its first hotel outside India, the Taj Sheba Hotel in Sana'a, Yemen and in the late 1980s, acquired interests in the Crown Plaza, London, St. James Court, London and 51 Buckingham Gate Luxury Suites and Apartments in London
 Taj Kerala Hotels & Resorts Limited was set up in the early 1990s along with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. In 1998 the Taj Group opened the Taj Exotica Bentota which strengthened the Taj Group's market position in Sri Lanka. In 2000, the launch of the 56 acre Taj Exotica, Goa and the Taj Hari Mahal in Jodhpur were completed.
In 2000, the Taj Group entered into a partnership with the GVK Reddy Group to set up Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Limited and thereby obtained a prominent position in the market in the southern business city of Hyderabad, holding three hotels and a major share of the market.
In 2004 the Taj Group opened Wellington Mews, its first luxury serviced apartment in Mumbai. In the same year, the Taj Group also launched the first of its "value-for-money" hotels in Bangalore branded 'Ginger', which division has 11 hotels in various locations in India and is owned through its wholly owned subsidiary.
The Company enhanced its position as an operator of converted palaces by entering into a management contract for Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur in the princely state of Rajasthan in India. The Company, through a subsidiary, acquired the erstwhile ‘W’ hotel in Sydney, Australia in February 2006 and renamed it as ‘Blue Bay’. To expand its presence in the US market, the Company acquired in early 2007 Ritz Carlton in Boston (Taj Boston) and Taj Campton Place in San Francisco.

Hotels operated by the Taj Group internationally are located in US, Australia, Dubai, Maldives, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Yemen and Zambia.


The structure of catering industry includes both commercial and non commercial catering establishments. Some of the more popular and common ones are as under.
Five Star Hotels: These usually have several restaurants, grill rooms, ethnic (Indian, Chinese, Italian etc. among the most popular), European and coffee shops are included. Service in these hotels is usually attentive and entertainment is nearly always available. Prices in these establishments tend to be high.
Medium Class Hotels: Similar to the 5 star, though surroundings are less luxurious and prices are reflected in this.
Free Standing Restaurants: Often quite high class, offering good Ala Carte menus- service is usually of high standard.
Snacks bar: popular with the working public offering everyday fare, at very reasonable prices.
Fast Food Centres: The “eating out” of 80’s growing in popularity in India especially with the young, these restaurants offer fast, clean service at popular prices. Service is minimal and turnover is high.
busually situated only in the larger cities and offering high class entertainment with food.
Industrial canteens: Operated as a facility to staff in large factories or similar. Food of a high standard but managements working to tight budgets. Food cost is usually subsidized consequently staff pay minimal prices.
Institutional catering: usually hospitals are serving high nutritional standard of food.
Outdoor catering: Is a growing industry within the industry. Many Service staff involved in these sometimes complicated operations.


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