The aroma of a spicy curry, the pungent smell of Italian herbs and an effortless smattering of spices. They add the rich flavour to any type of food and is a common sight in any kitchen. However, we are not talking about this everyday activity in a restaurant or a home kitchen. In fact, such mouth-watering aromas are now created in outlets that can be termed as food factories. This innovation- Cloud Kitchen- is increasingly becoming an integral part of the restaurant model.
The industry reports believe that the Indian food delivery market will likely become $5 billion by the end of this year and cross the $15 billion mark by 2023. Higher consumer adoption for home-delivered food is fuelling this growth. The proof’s in the pudding because a customer who was placing an online order at least 3-4 times a month a few years back is now ordering food online every 3rd or 4th day in a week. For example, one is ordering for breakfast, lunch at the office, snacks at a home get-together or dinner over the weekend.
Clearly, the liking for a dine-in restaurant or food store is being altered by the emerging trend of online food orders. Then how do you, for instance, a restaurant owner, address this dynamic new sector?
The answer lies inside the cloud kitchen. Cloud kitchen provides an easy-to-use, fully-equipped kitchen venue with an option to deliver straight to the consumer. It acts as a seamless way to fuel this increasing appetite for online orders of food. Thus, helping restaurateurs, home chefs and food entrepreneurs to scale up their business rapidly. In short, the ‘cloud kitchen’ is a concept that operates from a retail space, allowing hygienic cooking, catering to online orders, eventually giving food makers an opportunity to create a meaningful meal.
Other factors that make a cloud kitchen popular:-
Huge savings on infrastructure – A cloud kitchen that is easily available for rent allows a food business to easily bypass the burgeoning retail costs of setting up a restaurant or a store. Equipment costs and other overhead costs are also borne by the cloud kitchen.
Competitive pricing – Cloud kitchens do not offer a dine-in facility and can thus keep real estate costs pretty low. People operating from these spaces can easily focus on providing good quality food, that too at a fraction of the costs.
Expansion opportunities – In contrast to a usual restaurant set-up, a cloud kitchen offers low startup costs and a high margin. Owners can focus more on experimenting with the food menu and thereby increasing their presence online. Simply put, once you build a brand and get a loyal customer base, you can expand fast.
As a result, a cloud kitchen lets the restaurant focus on maximising the number of food orders a day. Food businesses can cut down on overhead costs and be able to survive. A cloud kitchen would any day require less investment cost compared to the traditional dine-in set-up in terms of kitchen space, kitchen equipment, staff and occasionally marketing and packaging. Even though the cloud kitchen concept is still nascent in India, this viable model is keeping a pace towards higher growth.
Clearly, as the off-premise dining market or delivery market keeps on growing, this market opportunity is here to stay.