Hotels and restaurants are offering customised subscription meal plans for people under home quarantine
Subashini Reddy was at her wits’ end when a call from her parents in Chennai confirmed her fears. They had tested positive for COVID-19 and were under home quarantine. Being in the UK, Subashini could do little to support them. Till she found the quarantine meal option from Chennai-based Roo’s Food Concepts. In minutes, she booked a week-long meal package for her parents, customised to their needs.
Hotels and restaurants across the country are now delivering quarantine meals, much to the relief of those under home quarantine.
In June, G
ayathri Nandakumar and Rahul Ravi, who run the subscription-based food service Roo’s Food Concepts in Chennai, started receiving a flood of queries for quarantine meals, a majority of those were for 15-day meal packages. “We realised that there is a demand for home-cooked food. Good nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system needs to fight back. So we decided to start our quarantine meal packages,” says Gayathri.
While they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, customers also have the option of subscribing to one meal per day for a 14-day period.
Meals include Kerala rice, millets, quinoa, cauliflower rice, aviyal and zucchini roast. There are also non-vegetarian options with chicken, mutton and fish.
According to Gayathri, their quarantine breakfast option is popular with children. “Kids are known to be fussy eaters especially when they are down with an illness. Keeping that in mind, we use natural colouring elements like pudina, beetroot and turmeric to make dishes like a simple idli look attractive,” says Gayathri. Roo’s Food Concepts now delivers an average of 50 quarantine lunch and 50 dinner orders at the doorsteps of customers every day.
Keeping it simple
In Bengaluru, Divya Prabhakar and Vishal Shetty of Oota Company are on their toes every morning catering to the 80-odd quarantine meal orders pouring in from across the city.
They call it Lockdown Lunchbox. “I received a call in July from a friend, who along with her whole family tested positive and wanted to subscribe to meals for 10 days. That is when I started offering the quarantine meal options,” says Divya.
Oota Company has two kinds of subscription options — five or 10 days. One can opt for lunch or dinner or both. The meal consists of a vegetarian menu with a curry, a dry dish, homemade curd, rasam and rice, chapati or ragi mudde.
Packed and sealed in plastic boxes, the meal is home delivered through Dunzo. “We have received a lot of orders from NRI clients whose parents or relatives are in the city and under home quarantine. We also give an option to customise food according to the requirements,” says Divya.
The kitchen at Visakhapatnam’s Hotel Rockdale has been working round the clock for the past three weeks, ever since it rolled out its quarantine meal services.
“We are delivering nearly 150 meals per day,” says Satish Varanasi, the food and beverages manager of the hotel. Contact-less delivery and a nutritious menu are the highlights of these meals.
The hotel provides a combination of idli-vada, tomato rice, upma, ragi malt for breakfast, while its lunch and dinner menus consist of phulka, steamed rice, dal and curd rice along with a vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry depending on the package selected. “We have a team of four chefs who come up with a different menu daily and have a dedicated staff of four to package the food,” says Satish.
Active meals is what Hotel Minerva in Vijayawada likes to call their quarantine food package. General manager E Nagesh says, “Our food is high in protein. We have relied on native ingredients like different varieties of millets and seasonal vegetables. With each meal we provided rasam with either garlic, munakkaya (drumstick) or pepper,” he says. Nagesh adds, “We have also tied up with hospitals for food delivery for patients and it has worked well for us.”
(With inputs from Prabalika M Borah)