GHMC elections bring chefs, caterers back in business

Photo: Anand Dharmana

Hyderabad: An election is the time to celebrate democracy. But chefs and catering services in Hyderabad are celebrating the forthcoming GHMC elections for another reason.

The December 1 polls, for them, has meant a strong return to business, especially at a time when the Covid-19 imposed lockdown had deprived them of a livelihood for at least seven months. The quantum of business right now is such that there are chefs preparing over 100 kg of chicken and nearly 60 kg of mutton every day to feed around 1,000 to 1,500 people each time. And like they say, food has no politics.

There are several catering services who are serving food to the TRS, Congress and the BJP cadres at the same time. For them, the only priority is serving good food at the right time and getting paid for it. There are others too, who are on ‘contract’ with particular parties. For everyone though, it is a good time since the elections mean income.

“When the lockdown began, we had gone to our hometown in Shadnagar and were doing farming. Now, with catering orders coming in, we have come back and are now cooking food for about 1,000 to 1,500 people daily,” says Srinivas Naik, who has been in the catering business for 15 years and is now operating from Moosarambagh. His daily routine these days includes cooking at least 100 kg chicken and 60 kg of mutton for lunch and dinner.

While some parties are engaging the services of chefs for preparing food in their camp offices, others are roping in catering services to deliver food at designated locations.
As for the menu, breakfast, lunch and dinner all come with different preferences. Most parties prefer idly, upma and vada for breakfast, while there are some who insist on ‘poori’ too. For lunch and dinner, it is mostly non-veg meals, with either mutton or chicken, while the vegetarians get ‘bagara rice’, white rice, sambar, dal, mixed vegetable curry and curd.

“Even two months after the lockdown was relaxed, we were not getting much business. The story is different now. These days, we are getting orders for both non-veg and veg food for about 150-200 people every day. With the pandemic still around, we are taking care to ensure quality and hygiene,” says Rajashekhar Reddy of Akshaya Catering.

Another caterer Ravi Kumar says the wedding season too has brought double cheer since they are getting both campaign orders and wedding reception orders too.

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