Customising biryani serving size to suit all

Chhota plate: Diners prefer having a mini biryani to avoid wasting the food, that is generally served in large portions in the city.

Chhota plate: Diners prefer having a mini biryani to avoid wasting the food, that is generally served in large portions in the city.  

Large portion that was served at restaurants earlier has now shrunk to mini, much to the relief of diners

It’s no longer one size fits all. Restaurants in the city are tweaking the serving size of biryani to boost their business and cater to the needs of diners. Called mini, single or small, the smaller serving portion has triggered a price war among the small group of restaurateurs with prices hovering around ₹100.

First off the mark was the Bawarchi restaurant near RTC Crossroads that introduced mini biryani for a little over half the price. “Earlier, many customers complained that they are unable to finish the portion served to them and also the cost. They suggested smaller portions for lesser amount of money. Hence we introduced the mini biryani for ₹ 90 about a year ago. Now almost all the restaurants have introduced the smaller-sized portions,” says Ali, who takes care of the day-to-day functioning of the restaurant. In a sense, the commercial biryani has come a full circle in the city of its birth. Pioneering the concept has been the Bawarchi restaurant and its owner Nasir, who started the restaurant in 1994 from a single-floor establishment. “A very few restaurants in Hyderabad used to serve biryani as people didn’t want to be seen eating outside food. The servings were small in a saucer-shaped dish. It was Bawarchi that changed the rules of the game by introducing the 3/4 kilo rice portion with meat. Other restaurants were forced to increase the serving size,” says Jaleel Farokh Rooz of Grand Hotel at Abids. The Grand Hotel is one of the oldest ones in the city that began operations in 1935. Mr. Rooz credits Bawarchi for pioneering other biryani portions like family pack and jumbo pack. So, it is no surprise that the restaurant that introduced large portions has shrunk it now.

Diners are not complaining about the small portion as lower price is easier on the pocket. “I prefer this. I usually end up eating biryani at least twice a week. If I am alone, I order a mini and it’s sufficient. When I come with a friend, we order a full biryani. Earlier, I used to find it difficult to leave so much unserved food in the bowl. Now I can clean it up and walk out with a clear conscience,” says Ganesh Nayakpati, a businessman tucking into his food.

The smaller serving size has increased the choice for diners while at the same time boosting the revenue of the restaurants. Along with the portion sizes, the restaurants have also changed their cash-only concept. Forced by demonetisation and the massive push to business given by food delivery apps, most restaurants are now accepting online transactions as well as card payments.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 8:47:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/customising-biryani-serving-size-to-suit-all/article24782226.ece

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