» What is a Cloud Kitchen?
A Cloud Kitchen could well be defined as a Kitchen restaurant where only online orders can be taken and food is delivered through aggregators/Delivery Channels. It is a kitchen space with no space allocated at all for dine in or take away.
In the pandemic situations these Cloud kitchens or Dark kitchens have emerged out to be only progressive working solution for the industry.
These Cloud kitchens are emerging as one of the best feasible variation in the restaurant, especially when we proceed toward raising the grounded restaurant business and also implementing safety and social distancing for all. The culture of Cloud kitchen is not new. During past few years these Ghost kitchens have already established their presence.
These Dark Kitchens are not considered only as the need of the hour but has already proved to be a beneficial model even before pandemic crisis.
» How Does it work?
- Rent or own a Kitchen:- This kitchen is a professional food preparation facility set up for the preparation of delivery only meal. The Dark kitchen or Cloud kitchen contains the equipment and facilities needed for preparation of meals but no dining area. The Cloud kitchen may provide space to more than one restaurant models.
- Take your menu to the consumers:- Next you need a platform where your customer can view the food you offer, make an order, Do the payments and track the delivery. These online orders can be received through mainly two means – create your own Food ordering website and secondly Get registered with a delivery app.
- Create your Delivery partners:- It is essential to deliver your prepared food on time. Creating your own delivery channel is needed in case you are taking orders through your own website. On the other hand for the orders received through Food ordering aggregators like Swiggy, Zomato, Food Panda have their own Delivery channel.
- Send orders and take feedback.
» Variations of Cloud Kitchen
The Cloud Kitchen or Dark Kitchen originally started as a single kitchen restaurant that serves only online orders with no dine in and take away. But with time multiple variations of this classic model has emerged.
- Stand alone Cloud Kitchen:- It is a Ghost kitchen where only delivery restaurant with online ordering operates. This restaurant may not be an established dine in brand or it could be seen as a restaurant kitchen with no physical front of the store seating anywhere.
- Co working Kitchens:- A professional Kitchen facility could be rented by different owners or different restaurant where each restaurant may have similar as well as different cuisine. Here each brand co works and use the shared kitchen facility.
- Multi-brand Kitchen:- A variation to classic kitchen model where kitchen operates several separate brands for each cuisine that it serves. This implements establishing separate brands based on cuisine and all operating from single Cloud Kitchen facility. This model is emerging as a smart marketing as its each brand features cuisines specialization and localization.
- A Cloud Kitchen for existing restaurant brand:- This Ghost kitchen model is attracting the restaurant who are operating in dense populated areas and the one who are overloaded with dine in and as well as delivery orders. These outlets separate out their delivery kitchens for online orders hence reducing the pressure.
Rapid growth in consumer demand for online food delivery has resulted in high demand in urban locations. This was the basic need for the Cloud kitchen to handle only online Deliveries, but the model has emerged out with multiple benefits which are attracting aspiring Restaurant entrepreneurs and the existing owners.
- Save Costs:- As this Cloud kitchen model eliminate the need of front of the house so one may save a lot of real estate money. No dine in facility directly leads to the impact of saving money expensive locations, interiors, Maintenance, Resources and multiple other things that goes on for maintaining the ambience of the front end of the store.
- Better Margins:- The reduction of expenses set for the front end of the store automatically increases the profit margins. We definitely need to takeinto account the cost incurred due to the delivery channels and packaging. But this is has comparatively lesser influence on the overall cost.
- Shared Labor cost and equipments:- In a multiple brand Cloud kitchen or a co working Cloud kitchen one ends up reducing the execution cost by using shared skilled labor and equipments across different brands.
- Flexibility in menu and competitive pricing:- The Cloud kitchens are strictly modeled on online orders only. Since the customer order through E – menu and digital menu one gets the leverage of experimenting with new menus and providing competitive prices too.
» Things to Remember
While creating your own Cloud kitchen one should take the following tips as a check list
- Kitchen set up and facility to match your requirements:- One should always look for the Kitchen facility that matches your requirement of the cuisine.
- Hygiene:- Considering the situation in which we have landed due to COVID 19 , maintaining proper Hygiene and Sanitization has become our top priority. The event should be regular and availability of the means to manage continuous check is a must.
- Availability of the parking space for delivery vehicles:- This cannot be neglected as Delivery is the only mode of distributing your Food.
- Food Ordering Website:- One can maintain their own website for food ordering. This should be dynamic where in you may make multiple menu changes, upload videos or images of the food so as to attract and market your brand. Since being present online is the only way for you to reach and communicate to the customers so your Website has a huge impact.
- Food Ordering aggregators:- You may consider registering yourself for Food ordering aggregators like Swiggy, Zomato, Food Panda etc. which act as a medium between a restaurant and consumers by taking online orders and delivering of the food.
- Software that accommodate all the ordering options:- One should always rely on a POS which provide complete online integration with your website as well as is capable of maintaining orders from different Aggregators.
- Maintain your food delivery channels:- The ultimate Goal of a Dark Kitchen is to provide Good quality food and on time delivery so one should well be prepared with the delivery channels to reach your customer
- Special consideration to packaging:- The food should reach the customer fresh, appealing, without sogginess and hygienically tested.
We hope these tips and guidelines were helpful to you. If you have further more questions we would be happy to help you.