Not going by the severely watered down menu prepared by the Organising Committee for the officials, delegates and athletes at the stadiums, caterers are serving more items than what was required. All to "protect their reputation".
The Organising Committee, after hectic negotiations with the caterers, had decided on a stripped-down menu.
It brought down the cost of venue catering to around Rs 23 crore — around 40 per cent of the original budget. What suffered in the bargain was the variety.
Not wanting to risk their reputation, the caterers are setting that right by adding more to the menu. Seven Seas, the biggest of the lot serving at 14 venues, is expanding the menu by adding "special" items every day.
They have already added non-veg/veg kababs, shami kababs, brownie, moong dal halwa, and a few more dishes to the daily menu on their own.
"Our reputation is on the line. So instead of going by the limited menu, we are adding items on our own," said Ramesh Dang, head of Seven Seas.
Another caterer, the government-controlled Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), too, are not going by the official menu.
Sources said the OC had fixed "only two items" per day from a list of items IRCTC can serve, to keep the cost low. Instead, IRCTC is serving five every day and changing it daily.
"The OC just wanted something like sandwiches, and a very basic menu for the VIPs," said a senior official, who did not wish to be named.
Catering suffered a setback last week when Delhi-based Agarwal Food Products, which had bagged the biggest chunk of the contract for Rs 8.75 crore to serve packaged food to volunteers and officials, was kicked out following complaints of poor quality. Delhi's Bikanervala and Nirula's were given the job.
The existing caterers, too, are facing problem because, thanks to tight security, the food packages are being scanned at machines installed at places far away from the entry gates.