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How The Takeaway Culture Has Changed India

A few years ago, at a family gathering, I offered to order-in food, instead of a few of us busying ourselves in the kitchen for most part of the day but that option did not seem viable to my parents.

When we mention the very word ‘takeaway’, we subconsciously associate it with fast food and all food unhealthy. But with longer working hours, exciting social lives, and growing time concerns, it is just not a quick-fix meal that everyone is looking for but a full-fledged dining experience. The online takeaway food business is the top bet for the current fast paced world. Just order and expect delivery in express time.

In United States and even most parts of India, a restaurant makes “takeouts” an option, which it fully intends to take out and deliver to someone. In England, the term is “takeaway,” a subtle difference that places the onus on the one who orders it to collect it oneself. But with the internet boom, and the consequent advent of online takeaway food business covering a whole range of casual eat-outs to specialized cuisines and experiences, ordering takeaways are the easiest option known to us all, especially if it gets delivered right to our doorsteps.

The online takeaway food business has, in a relatively short period of time, transformed not only the way we eat, but also our economy as well as the cultural landscape. The fad is a worldwide phenomenon with Indians increasingly accepting this new way of eating. From traditional Indian cuisine to pizzas, the takeout practice has seeped into billions of households and establishments in a big way.

Pros:

1. Healthy Options

The rise of takeout food has also meant that there is more emphasis on making healthier food for people. Many restaurants now advertise healthy food on their menu, low-carb and low-fat alternatives. Some mobile apps even offers takeaways for home-cooked meals by renowned chefs around your city.

2. Universal Appeal

If you are traveler but need your fix of ‘familiar food’ when on the other side of the world, don’t worry. Pizza is the most-popular takeout in the world. You can order pizza no matter where you are. Fish and chips is another ‘go-to’ option for takeaways.

3. Takeouts, a Time-Tested Practice

Almost every era has had its version of takeout foods. However, the urban industrial workers in America in the nineteenth-century further popularized takeouts. Food vendors sold various sausages and stews from carts outside factory gates, catering to workers with little time and money.

4. Convenience and Taste

Everything from doggie bags and leftovers taken home from a restaurant meal to ordering in food to help the lazy souls, takeouts speak volumes about convenience of having a good meal at the comfort of your home. Most fast food chains these days have a “drive-through” service that allows its customers to order and pick up food from their cars.

5. Offers and Deals

Add to the convenience you get a lot of deals and coupons from major merchants like Dominos, Pizzahut, Papa Johns, KFC and McDonalds. You can find all the Pizza Coupons here, grab the latest coupons before you place your next order online.

Cons:

1. Packaging Ordeal

A downside is that takeaway food arrives in paper bags, foil covers, plastic or cardboard boxes with no real way of re-use. But there are restaurants which take care of that too! These days food gets delivered in packets that can be recycled and are environment-friendly, too.

2. Obesity is on the Rise

Obesity has risen notably in several countries, including India. Particularly vulnerable to the problem is the working middle class. Fast food deliveries and food e-businesses increasingly ink contracts with corporate companies and gear advertising catered to this section of society.

Despite the very few notable cons, one thing we can be sure of is that the takeaway culture is here to stay.

Niveditha Murthy is a self-proclaimed dounts hoarder, with a penchant for reading, writing and researching about all things food.

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