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Do-It-Yourself Meals Are Here To Stay!

With families spending more time together at home, the DIY meal kits are growing increasingly popular, driving innovation in the DIY menu of restaurants

Photo Credit : The pic is - A steak DIY by Tres


DIY or Do-It-Yourself meal kits are adding to the joy of ordering in like never before. It has become such a delight with families bonding over it that restaurants are forced to now innovate with their DIY menu. According to Avantika Sinha, Founder and Managing Director Kampai, “While the concept picked up speed during the lockdown we plan to continue with it after seeing its success. From our take away menu, the DIY section is such a hit that now we are focusing on expanding the offerings.” The Japanese Restaurant has been busy meeting orders for their DIY Ramens and Donburis (Japanese rice bowl) with adults and children, equally, enjoying making their own bowl mixing the noodles with the broth and different kinds of toppings and garnishing. With the demand on the rise for DIYs, restaurants are busy tying up with designers to customize boxes and match standards.

Fine dining restaurants especially are feeling the need to get creative as their discerning patrons crave for their favourites. The upscale restaurant Tres decided to do a DIY steak kit for Father’s Day that was so well received that they made it a regular. Chef and Co owner Jatin Mallick, Tres, says, “We have a lot of people who love our steaks but the challenge was how to ensure they get the same hearty experience of having one in their homes. This pushed us to get creative, and instead of one big chunk we now do tornadoes with a choice of sauces with instructions on how to do the finishing touches by cooking it just a little bit more. We also send all the accompaniments they would get otherwise.” Steaks especially add to the informal bon homie of a gathering and a DIY kit just makes it easier to slip into the celebratory mood.

Children have always loved the DIY concept as they feel involved and enjoy the process. Tres on its part is doing a cookie dough bake DIY for kids to make their own cookies with a recipe note to guide at every step.

The DIY concept was already present before we entered covid times, but what changed were people’s habits. According to Tanuvee Aggarwal, CEO and Head Chef Atticus, a Fine Dining catering brand, “We used to do DIYs such as canapés before but now people were open to meal kits of all sorts. The inner chef in people came out and people now look forward to the excitement of putting together their special order ins.” She also feels the customer has the advantage of customizing and owners are happy that the ingredients would reach, in a fresh state and in a lot of cases it would be better than sending it readymade.

Even Indian restaurants like Punjab Grill are innovating with their DIY menu with Nadru Gahlouti kebab and Palak patta chaat kits. Chef Vineet Manocha - Vice President Culinary, Lite Bite Foods says, "Most of us are still working from home, but on most days are left with limited time and craving for restaurant-style food. DIY Kits bridge that gap. It takes away the hassle of arranging gourmet ingredients, chopping, cleaning, etc and saves a lot of time. With measured components and step-by-step instructions, one really can't go wrong so that pressure is also out. We realised many of our patrons were still reluctant to order-in pre-cooked food but are quite comfortable trying DIY Kits. Knowing what's going in the dish, the option of cleaning the raw-material again and ultimately cooking a meal yourself gives that extra confidence to the customer."

With self-reliance being the buzz word, the DIY concept has got its special place in the take away business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Shveta Bhagat

The author is a Delhi-based freelance writer

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