Tuesday, February 2, 2010

At last Vegetarians can eat out

Separate kitchen and plates for vegetarians in hotels
New Delhi, Feb. 1: Are you a vegetarian who loves dining out? Then the day may be drawing near when you can’t say “I smell something fishy”.

The Federation of Hotels and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) has decided to make sure that “pure vegetarian food is essentially pure”.

And before you say it’s just another marketing gimmick, there’s more meat — er, food — for thought.

The federation, which had earlier announced a plan to give discounts to clients who come with their grandparents or senior citizens, says it will insist that vegetarian food be prepared in a separate kitchen by separate chefs.

The FHRAI also plans to direct hotels and restaurants to make sure that vegetarian food is cooked in separate utensils. Even the plates and the cutlery should not be mixed with those served with non-vegetarian dishes, it says.

“Most pure vegetarians cringe at the thought that meat and fish were served on the same plate barely minutes before they were served. If a hotel claims it serves ‘pure vegetarian’ food, it has to be really pure. Hence we have thought about these directives,” FHRAI secretary-general Deepak Sharma said.

The federation, Sharma added, was also planning to insist on a separate enclosure for serving vegetarian food in a restaurant that serves both veg and non-veg dishes.

“Vegans are huge in number and restaurants cannot afford to lose them. Our estimate is that at least 40 per cent of people who frequently dine out are pure vegetarians. Moreover, a good chunk of tourists coming to the country are vegetarians,” he said.

Sources in the hotel and restaurant industry said the number of vegetarians dining out increased during religious festivals like Navratri, sometimes even going up to 70 per cent of the total crowd.

Sharma said the FHRAI was planning a separate grade for hotels that meet the new directives but added that the guidelines would not be made mandatory. However, business compulsions will force restaurants to go really green, he insisted. “According to inputs we get from our state units, the number of those who ask for organic food is increasing all over the country.”

There is a plan to give hotels that prepare food without onion and garlic a separate grading. “It makes good business sense that there is a separate rating for those who offer organic food,” Sharma said.

The FHRAI is planning to initially introduce the new system in select cities. About the earlier decision to give discounts to clients who come with senior citizens, sources said the results from Ludhiana and Pondichery, where the plan has been implemented as a first step, were “encouraging”.

This is further to the last post sent in by Sir, Mr. Lobo with reference to my remark of my problem in eating out.
I am pleased to note that at last the hotleliers are taking into consideration the feelings of vegetarians.
We Veggies are being short-changed throughout our lives.
Right from school.
While the charges for non-veg boys was Rs 100/ per month, we veggies had to pay Rs 140/- per month. The only extras we got was two Indian sweets, twice a week besides vegetarian curry while they got eggs and meat daily.
I suppose, the extra charge was for the botheration of having to cook separately for us. I don't remember now whether they used separate utensils for our cooking. I suppose we were too young and hungry to bother. But the crockery and plates were the same.
I did not think much of it right through school and college and it did not bother me if I sat at the same table with boys eating eggs, meat and fish.
However, all that changed after I took diksha from my Guru.
Now, I don't like to go to any restaurant where Non-veg food is prepared although they may offer veg food to me for I know that the same utensils and crockery are used.
I hardly ever eat out, just for this reason and if I have to eat something because I am hungry, I take one or two sweets with a glass of water.
I get especially bothered if I am invited to Bengali weddings as the smell of fish puts me off completely. I usually take some sweets, mishti doi, ice cream and leave as soon as possible.
During the last office picnic, I put my foot down.
I suggested to them that since I would not be taking their non-veg food, they should charge me only for the transport and I would arrange my own food.
They very kindly agreed to my proposal.
During our own GMS parties, I had subtly hinted to the organisers that I was having difficulty in going to these parties because of the non-veg food. They told me that veg food would be there also but we can never eat in that atmosphere well and normally come back home and eat something.My wife doesn't like to attend as she can't get herself to eat anything.
The above article has given me new ammunition.
I would suggest that complete separate arrangements be made for vegies and non-veggies as is being suggested by the hoteliers.But htat may make everything expensive and we have to keep our costs down.
Otherwise, I would make a suggestion for the non-veg boys.
You are eating non-veg food for 365 days at your homes.
Why don't you have completely veg food for onw or two days.
There are plenty of veg dishes which you will never forget, once you take them.
You boys can eat both veg and non-veg but we can eat only veg.
So why don't we have only veg food at our parties?
This is my suggestion.
I wait for response from all our boys.

1 comment:

Kalyan said...

That indeed must have been a pain - finding vegetarian food in Kolkata. But, haven't things improved recently?