The food-tech-driven cloud kitchen in India has been buzzing and has become one of the fastest-growing segments in the F&B industry today. Pandemic has led to restaurants, big brands and local chefs launching virtual food brands solely for delivery purposes.
With the concept of cloud kitchen getting trendy now, hundreds of new delivery-only food brands have started to populate food delivery apps. On the surface, cloud kitchens are much more than just the delivery only restaurants; they are more like tech start-ups.
Cloud kitchen requires proper planning, investment and right technology, where the point of sale (POS) system is a key requirement that accepts orders from various channels, such as delivery aggregators and online ordering platforms.
Technology behind cloud kitchens
From preparing food to optimising resources, cloud kitchen is all about using innovative technologies. Companies like US-based Oracle and Kolkata-based RanceLab are developing advanced POS system for huge profits and success in this line for the long run of business.
Moreover, an integrated restaurant POS system can maintain records of orders from each platform and have visibility into which platform is working the best for the consumer. This smart inventory management system can ensure operational efficiency and smoothen functioning of cloud kitchen business.
Some other technologies used for cloud kitchen involve: Workflow Orchestration Engine, Resource Provisioning Manager, Brand Innovation Engine, Kitchen Display System (KDS).
Opportunities for start-ups
Cloud kitchens are becoming big business, with venture capital pouring into start-ups specifically aiming to take advantage of this new market.
Considering the fact that establishing a cloud kitchen comes with a low Capex as compared to setting up a restaurant, new entrepreneurs have become very much interested in the idea. The set-up cost for a medium-sized cloud kitchen can be about Rs 5 lakh.
Commenting on how cloud kitchen has helped start-ups grow, Sudarshan Gangrade, Founder, Lo! Foods, Bengaluru said, “Setup costs for cloud kitchens are very low. So, it's easier to set up more kitchens and it requires lower investment, therefore more people can attempt it. And because we can set up more of them, we can quickly ramp up across the city. So, you can have many more customers coming in. Thirdly, because it's online one can have access to a lot more customers than a regular offline one where only people who walk in, or were in that area can come in. This is the reason why we have also been able to scale to 20 kitchens in about 10 months, and with having no experience whatsoever before in setting up cloud kitchens.”
With brands becoming digitally active and markets turning online, F&B industry have opened up a lot of opportunities for food technologies like cloud kitchen. The concept of cloud kitchen is not only about exploring and experimenting, rather it increases a lot of chances for business expansion.