Lazy afternoon on a Sunday, beautiful sunny weather of Bengaluru, a glass of wine or juice by the pool or a garden and a never-ending brunch spread – This is what nostalgia is all about for the foodies.
Brunch at Your Doorstep
While enjoying an extended lazy brunch at your favourite hotel without any apprehension may be a distant dream, the Bengaluru based hotels have decided to bring it right at your door step.
Most of the luxury properties in the city like DouleTree Suites by Hilton, ITC Gardenia, Courtyard by Marriott, Sheraton Grand, Renaissance, Aloft CBP and JW Marriott, among others have started delivering ‘Brunch at Home’.
Who would have thought that a day would come when people will order brunch at home instead of stepping out? This concept is as unique as it gets.
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“The concept of home delivery in terms of either the brunch or specialty dishes is a wonderful idea in which the hotels are doing exceptionally well,” says Gaurav Anand, Executive Chef at Sheraton Grand.
The hotel keeps changing the theme of their weekend brunch menu to cater to everyone.
For Courtyard by Marriott, the decision to introduce brunch offerings through delivery was part of their regular brainstorming sessions.
“Innovation is key for the hospitality industry, now more than ever, for business sustenance,” says Harshad Nalawade, Director of Operations at the hotel.
“When we spoke about the experiences that the guests may currently be missing but aren’t able to head out because of the current situation, we decided to take our brunch offering at the doorstep of our customers,” added Nalawade.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton who used to do themed brunches at their hotel before lockdown has now launched Brunch in a Box.
“As part of this new concept, we customize the offerings towards a specific theme, such as American Independence Day meal, Tricolor meal and most recent was the Onam special meal,” says Aditya George, F&B Manager at the hotel.
Brunch Menu at Hotel vs Home Delivery
While the spread at the hotels used to be very elaborate, the number of food items as part of the home delivery menu has to be short for various reasons.
“Our brunch menu is quite elaborate although not as big as the spread at the hotel,” confirms Uchit Vohra, Executive Chef at ITC Gardenia.
However, he says, “We try to incorporate most of our signature dishes in our menus. We have curated non-veg, veg and mixed menus to cater to all kinds of requirement.”
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ITC Gardenia changes its delivery menus every 45 days to ensure their guests get more variety. With their WeAssure initiative in place, the hotel aims to provide the safest food in the city.
Marissa D’Rozario, F&B Manager at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park, says “Brunch has always been an elaborate affair and while curating our menus we strive to maintain the authenticity of the concept.”
A customer while ordering home delivery from the hotel, can pick about 21 items from their package.
“Food quality remains exactly the same as you would get when dining at the hotel. The only difference would be the style of presentation which itself becomes an art with the safety protocols in place,” adds D’Rozario.
Pratheek Ponnappa, a city-based food and lifestyle blogger has experienced brunch at home from different hotels.
Talking about his experience, Ponnappa says, “This concept makes a lot of sense, even without considering the current situation.”
He further adds, “Though we do not get to enjoy the elaborate arrangements and aesthetics of the brunch set up at the hotel, I would prefer to enjoy my weekend without entering the kitchen at the comfort of my home.”
While delivering one portion of the food is easy, delivery of such an elaborate menu from a star hotel can be logistically very challenging and daunting.
“It was a little challenging initially as we were not aware of this concept,” agrees Nitish Singh, Executive Chef at Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel.
However, after few orders they understood the challenges and their F&B team came with some great ideas to make sure the delivery happens smoothly.
“We are delivering luxury to the doorstep, hence the quality of food and the packaging has been our prime focus. Also time of the delivery and temperature the food cannot be ignored,” points out Singh.
JW Marriott has planned the delivery menu within a radius of 6 km and anything beyond is chargeable.
“We been tackling bigger orders for home deliveries and outdoor caterings for a long time, hence it wasn’t logistically challenging for us,” says Ashish Bisht, Director of Events at the hotel.
Cost is Surprisingly Lesser
Coming to the cost factor for the home delivery of brunch menu, surprisingly it is much lesser across the hotels than it was expected.
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ITC Gardenia, Aloft and Courtyard by Marriott have similar price points, which is between INR 1900-2000 + taxes for two people, while food for 4 would cost around INR 3000 + taxes.
Ordering from Sheraton would cost you INR 1750 for two, which includes 5 meal courses.
Cost for two at JW Marriott and Renaissance is a bit on the higher side. While the former charges INR 2500 + taxes for vegetarian menu and INR 3000 + taxes for non-vegetarian menu, the latter charges INR 2200 + taxes for two people.
DoubleTree which has a different concept of ‘Brunch in a Box’ is currently serving their vegetarian meals at INR 895 + taxes and non-veg meals at INR 995 + taxes. The meal box is sufficient for one person.
“Though brunch delivery options might look easy on the pocket, I feel it is almost on par with the food-only option of brunch at the hotel,” says Ponnappa.
“It is the alcohol packages that used to be a deciding factor earlier, now it isn’t,” he further adds.
The concept has been very successful for all the hotels so far.
“We have received excellent response to our brunch menus. It is one of the highest selling offers right now as ITC Gardenia is offering the best value for money,” says Vohra.
Average weekly orders for Courtyard by Marriott range between 40-50 orders, a mix of brunch for 2 and 4 people, which is equivalent to about 100 guests every week.
“Guests were definitely missing the brunch experience. The phenomenal response that we have received is a testament to this fact,” says Nalawade.
Future of this concept
While everyone is excited about the concept currently and the customers have responded positively, the biggest question is what happens once the situation is back to normal and the diners start stepping out to the restaurants for the actual experience.
D’Rozario believes that the concept will remain relevant even after the situation is back to normal, as the world has become more digital than what it was earlier.
Anand too has similar views. He concludes, “Food delivery is something, which has only seen an increase in the past years. The rate of orders might slow down but getting the whole brunch menu at the comfort of your home will always be in demand.”