Top bosses and employees at corporate campuses will soon have more to chew on than just weighty matters of management, competition and market realities. That’s because the country’s largest outsourced food services company, Radhakrishna Hospitality Services Ltd (RKHS), is now all set to expand into the fine-dining restaurants business on campuses, to cater to the demand from companies for food that is more of a higher standard than what is dished out in food courts at their campuses.
The company has signed on gourmet food specialist and entrepreneur Karen Anand to roll out signature restaurants that will offer employees the opportunity to enjoy global cuisine without having to step out of their work places or fork out exorbitant prices for the indulgence.Karen Anand writes a column for Mint’s Saturday pullout, Lounge.
The first of its new restaurants will be launched at IT company IBM’s Bangalore campus where more than 3,000 people work. “With corporate India becoming global in a big way and its employees travelling extensively, they expect to have the same kind of food and ambience that they are used to when abroad. In addition, with foreign visitors a norm rather than an exception, it is imperative that corporates have access to a range of global cuisine, served in the right ambience with the right accompaniments, and all that is not possible in the food courts that are normally part of campuses,” said RKHS vice-president, strategy and new business, Jude D’Cruz.
The 50-seater, yet-to-be-branded restaurant on IBM’s campus on the city’s Airport Road will allow the management or the staff to entertain guests or celebrate special occasions with gourmet food and, eventually, a range of wines, with the pièce de résistance being white-gloved service by trained restaurant staff and high-street restaurant ambience, D’Cruz said.
The company is no stranger to the concept of running such eateries. It operates executive dining rooms for a line-up of corporate India’s biggest names including Tata Consultancy Services, the Aditya Birla Group and ICICI, where the top management regularly break bread and exchange notes with company directors or visiting business associates.
With corporates increasingly under pressure for time, taking time off to entertain visitors is no longer an option given the traffic snarls in most urban centres, which makes such a solution imperative for companies. Software major Infosys Technologies Ltd, for instance, already has master chef Jean Michel Jasserand, former executive chef of the Leela Palace, running La Terrace, a French brasserie on its campus.
The restaurant, run by Jasserand’s company, JMJ Kitchen Consultancy Services, has been operational for more than two years now and some 250 staff eat there every day, says Jasserand, who also manages a similar restaurant at Infosys’ Mysore campus.
RKHS’ new venture, meanwhile, is part of its plan to further broad-base its services, according to D’Cruz, who said they are in talks with several companies including some in Hyderabad to set up similar restaurants. The company manages a variety of outsourced services including facilities management, and serves some 250,000 meals every day.