From productivity to customer satisfaction, a cloud kitchen solves for everything.
Imagine: not having to pay high rent for better locations or not worrying about more parking space and better ambience.
With cloud kitchens, you have the power to focus on just two things: making great food and delivering it quickly.
People now prefer the comfort of eating food at home rather than venturing into long hours in traffic. Combine this with the advent of technology, and you realise how cloud kitchens are a major game changer in the restaurant industry.
Not just new entities but even age-old restaurants and QSRs are now venturing into having cloud kitchens. So is it beneficial for you to open a cloud kitchen as well? Let’s find out!
Business Viability of the Cloud Kitchen
Savings on infrastructure
We all understand that the costs of maintaining a full-fledged restaurant are sky high. To add to it are the real estate prices for these locations. Kitchen-only units come as a far more viable option when it comes to infrastructure. They can be optimised for making food in the most hassle-free manner and also ensure better quality control.
Reduction in service time
The best thing about a cloud-kitchen is that it lets you enjoy the power of distributed cooking. If you’ve kitchens in multiple locations, the food can be served hot and fast with a much lower delivery time.
More contextual customer data
Cloud kitchens work the best when combined with technology. Having your own order online system or a mobile app lets you collect crucial customer data that helps in further engagement with your customers as well as newer menu planning.
Higher margins and competitive pricing
The cost of delivery has to be accounted for when running a cloud kitchen but it still is much more affordable than running a brick-and-mortar restaurant place, where infrastructure and operational costs suck away most of your margin.
Ultimately, with higher margins, you’ve the ability to offer competitive prices and test them to see the market’s response.
Now that we know all the wonders cloud kitchen can do for a food business let’s understand all that you’ll need to start your own cloud kitchen.
Deciding on the Model
Cloud kitchens bring with themselves category innovation and newer menu choices. Some popular options for today’s cloud kitchens include:
Consumers today are conscious of their food choices. They don’t just want to eat good, they want to eat smart. More and more cloud kitchens these days opt for a healthier menu and are even transparent about the calories added.
Regional menus like Rajasthani or Punjabi cuisine are also a popular choice for cloud kitchens. At times focusing on a particular dish like Biryani also works great for the business.
How can we not mention some indulgent food like waffles or crepes, these work great too in a cloud kitchen model and can be optimised for quicker delivery.
Getting Resource-Ready for Your Cloud Kitchen
Online Ordering Website
Your online ordering website is like your silent server. It will be the first thing people notice about your brand. It becomes even more important for cloud kitchens as instead of a physical entity, your website becomes your main connection with the customers. It should always be updated with enticing images and descriptions. Having a website helps in maximising your sales opportunities and increasing the customer base. When you invest in your restaurant’s website, it’s like investing in a long-term promotional and business tool which should not be neglected in any case.
POS & Order Management System
When running a cloud-kitchen, speed, automation and optimisation are three main things you need to excel at. Having a POS that helps you integrate with different tools and runs on cloud-tech will make your life much easier. Another thing you must-have is an order management system that can bring orders from different third-parties into one place for faster processing.
Engagement and Feedback Tools
When running a cloud-kitchen with no or very less direct contact with your customers, it’s important to engage with them through different mediums like SMS or email. Using a feedback tool to ensure you’ve a correct picture of how your service is being liked by the customers and what you can improve on also helps in the longer run.
Kitchen Location & Licensing
For your cloud kitchen’s location, you can opt for any place that’s nearby to your target delivery areas. Now that you don’t have to think about accessibility, parking, stunning interiors etc it’s much easier to find a location and at a much cheaper price. Getting an FSSAI license is also mandatory for any food business. You’ll have to make sure your kitchen fulfils all the requirements for the same.
Cooks, Raw Material and Menu
Crafting the right menu and using quality equipment and raw materials is something that’s important for any kind of restaurant. This should be the first step in your planning process.
Whether you plan to deliver by yourself or use third-party services, it’s really important to ensure quick delivery of your food. Partners like Zomato, Swiggy or Uber Eats are popular choices for a fast delivery experience. Having your own set of delivery boys is another popular model that cloud kitchens experiment with.
When all your orders are delivery focused, packaging can either make or break the game. It can also act as an addition to your brand value if designed with great interest. Overall, it should be strong enough to avoid any spilling in transit and also keep your food warm.
Marketing Your Cloud Kitchen Right
Since your online presence is all the contact you’ve with your customers, it needs to reflect your brand, menu and marketing offerings well. Using your social media platforms to communicate new offers, messages, and driving sales is what a lot of cloud kitchen owners give the first preference.
Building an offline presence in your target delivery areas either through distributing pamphlets, participating in community events or partnering with local influencers – all this will help in spreading a word about your brand out and ultimately increasing sales.
Over to you:
We hope with all this information in place, you’re armed to get started with your own cloud kitchen or improve on an existing one. What do you think about the future of cloud kitchen in the restaurant industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.