Luxury in India - Customisation
A highlight of Indian service is the 'tweaking' of individual preferences and requests.
I travelled through a country in Asia several years ago where I read that it was not customary to ask for changes to the menu.
No problem, it's their system. Perhaps it stops food wastage?
Every country has their culture, rules and expectations.
I mention this not to denigrate that particular country but to highlight the situation I have become accustomed to in India.
The friendliness and willingness of restaurants, cafes, hotels and other service sectors to try and accommodate requests from their guests is a noticeable everyday 'luxury' of living in India.
My Menu Moments
I need to explain something. Some menus in some establishments in India are HUGE! (by my standards anyway).
The selection of dishes is so expansive that I frequently become overwhelmed by choice.
(I can never decide and order my usual fresh lime soda and dosa!).
I have often wondered why the selection in restaurants is so large.
Maybe because many people prepare most meals from home in India and are used to their own preferences while eating out?
(This could also explain the very high-quality food at most venues in India - the home cooking advantage and pressure for the restaurants!).
People expect meals made to their exact requirements hence a massive selection to try and make everybody happy!
This article comes not so much from my own experience - I rarely ask for any modifications to my order.
It is from my observations, not as a tourist, but living as a resident in India and observing others as they interact in venues.
I have observed this attentive service in many cities and across varying establishments.
I am regularly surprised at the level and type of requests people ask waiters and staff.
Sometimes very complicated and specific instructions are given to hospitality staff.
And from my observation, requests are almost always attended to politely (or at the very least, staff try to find a solution).
Requests for changes to ingredients, food temperature, the texture of food, timing, plating, seating, room temperature and ambience are frequently met with a happy "yes."
Despite having access to an enormous menu and selection, further tweaking to meet requests occurs regularly.
The "luxury" of customisation and individual service extends to many domains in India, not just hospitality.
The customer assumes their requests will be addressed in a country this size with a service population to match.
Home delivery and home services from almost every domain (including banking) add to the sense that individual needs in the service sector are serious business.
All this is in contrast to my experience outside of India.
Again, this is not to call out other cultures or countries. It's just to notice that the everyday consumer in India demands a lot and can receive it.
I have not found anywhere else that customises to the degree in India.
High competition in such a large country also probably drives the level of service.
There is always someone willing to step up and work for the next potential loyal customer.
Customisation is just one of the parts of everyday life that I consider a daily "luxury" compared to the Western country I originally hail.
Where have you had quality service in India?