The Era of Cloud Kitchens - Mobile Food Ordering
Can there be a restaurant with no storefront, no tables and chairs, and no diners either? Probably, yes. Term it ghost kitchen, virtual kitchen, dark kitchen or by the more famous term — cloud kitchen restaurant — it’s the phenomenon that has caught the spotlight of the food industry and changed its gesture. The expeditious growth of the online food ordering sector establish new business opportunities for existing & upcoming restaurants to grow their business, one such upcoming trend is the Cloud Kitchen business model. We live in a generation where we order food right from our phones and get it delivered right outside our doorstep. Straightaway, all the restaurants you visit collaborate with online ordering from cloud kitchen gateway like Zomato, Swiggy, etc. to ease the ordering process and extend their business as well.
Further in India, many cloud kitchens have been opened recently, such as Faasos, Holachef, Freshmenu, RedBox, etc. who run entirely depending upon the online orders but few of them
have introduced takeaways due to the increase in demand. In fact, according to a report by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, a trust set up by the commerce ministry, India’s food delivery market alone is worth $15 billion today. With a noteworthy shift of consumers to the online food ordering platforms, we see numerous new players trying to gain some hold of the Indian market. Some of the recent names accompanying the bandwagon include:
• Future Group- The giant will soon start its cloud kitchen vertical that will be first rolled out in Bangalore. Future Group is India’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer and is expecting to increase the revenue contribution of the food business to nearly 50 percent in the coming future.
• UberEats- The San-Francisco based cab aggregator Uber, launched its food delivery vertical in India in May 2017. The operations first began in Mumbai, now spread over many cities. The company aspires to deliver convenience, reliability and a wide selection.
• Ola-Foodpanda Integration– Ola cabs announced the integration of Foodpanda in its mobile app in 2018. To recall, Ola acquired Foodpanda India in December 2017 in exchange for Ola Stocks. The company, at the time, also announced that $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,439 crores) would be invested into the food delivery aggregator to boost its presence, a move that is showing substance on the ground now with Foodpanda offering hefty discounts for orders on its platform.
Several chains in India have shut their traditional restaurants and are transiting to the cloud kitchen model. Since you do not require serving customers on-premise, this model saves you big on lease in non-premium spaces and helps meet customer priority. From a technological point of view also, we will encounter delivery services in the form of personalized recommendations, robot deliveries, and voice ordering and drone deliveries in the coming years. This is just the beginning of the whole new revolution that is going to take place in the food industry. With minimal risk associated and multiple opportunities that can be extracted, cloud kitchens are one of the secure bids to invest, for sure!