After much delay, the Commonwealth Games organisers have at last finalised the catering vendors for the 17 venues.
The Organising Committee informed the Executive Board on Thursday evening that the catering deals, which were hanging fire for months, have been finalised for much less than the tendering amount.
While the caterers have not been officially informed as yet, sources said Gravis and Delhi's Seven Seas (which operates banquet halls) have bagged
The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the earlier favorite in the race, has lost out, although officials said that they had been asked to wait till Friday.
"We have finalized the deal for around 40 per cent of the original amount. Everything is in place," said OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot. "All this while, we have been negotiating with the shortlisted firms to get the best rates."
The organisers needed caterers to provide packaged food for the volunteers, staff, and security personnel. There need to be foodstalls for spectators and VIP areas like lounges that need special catering arrangements.
Earlier, for the 17 venues divided into clusters for catering contracts, seven firms, including a few of Delhi's fast food outlets had submitted their bids.
"We are now ready with the contracts. Caterer for Games Village was already finalised. Now this completes our preparations as far as venue catering is concerned," Bhanot said.
Catering for the Games Village has long been awarded to Australian major Delaware North and its consortium partner Taj Group.
The venue tendering process had suffered inordinate delays in the past two months, thanks to the OC canceling all the bids that it had received earlier to reissue the tender for better rates.
"While Games Village catering has been given to experts, the venue catering is a major headache thanks to the massive scale of it. For around 25,000 volunteers, the securty personnel and also for VIPs, the requirement is huge. We wanted to make sure that those who are bidding for the job have the capability," said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
Apart from catering, the organisers have also finalised vendors for 'Image and Look' of the Games, they told the Executive Board.