February 9, 2009 11:53:50 pm
Don’t be surprised if you find railway attendants treat you like a VIP during the next journey you undertake in a train!
The catering staff of different trains starting with Shatabdis will now be sent to reputed professional hospitality institutes of the country to be trained in professional etiquette. Till date,over 30 frontline catering staffers have already been trained at hospitality institutes affiliated to the Indian Tourism Development Corporation in New Delhi and Dehradun.
Not only professional training has been made mandatory for the catering staff,but they will also be provided counselling for the specialised job of serving the passengers. A special 15-day training module has been designed for the purpose.
With reference to the frequency of services and the passenger interface,the waiters and the licence-based catering staff are forced to send the frontline staff to food and beverages institutes. The first batch of 33 such staff has already received training. We are identifying more such institutes, said Aneet Dulat,Chief Regional Manager,Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The most common complaint the passengers come up with against the attendants is their rude and cold behaviour. The 15-day special course focuses on teaching politeness to them,in addition to special catering etiquette found in the hospitality staff working in the airlines sector and in five-star hotels.
According to IRCTC officials,serving passengers in trains requires special training as the staff have to work in a moving vehicle. Most often passengers have complained of the waiters spilling tea or food. This is a focus of the counselling being provided to them. We are also making attempts to provide the training in simulators that give the feeling of a moving train, adds Dulat.
The focus is also on the appearance of the catering staff. According to the new norms,the attendants are asked to look neat and fresh. An extra set of uniform to change in a day,besides deodorants and perfumed handwashes,is provided to them. Senior officials will be making frequent inspections to see the attendants have properly trimmed nails.
The railways had recently brought in some other changes in the catering services. For instance,the IRCTC changed the shape of the flask in which tea or coffee is served. The new design ensures the content does not spill while being served.
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