Cloud Kitchens suddenly seems like the only logical thing to do and manage the high rentals and poor restaurant margins. Especially, with the advent of cloud technology facilitating online ordering, cloud kitchens are finally here.
To enumerate, cloud kitchens or the digital restaurant is the latest trend that has quickly established itself. Not to mention, in the restaurant space as a formidable restaurant format. With extreme competition in the restaurant space, high rentals, and rising costs, Cloud Kitchens seem like a smarter way to run the restaurant business.
What Are Cloud Kitchens?
With the rising competition and ever-growing technology, the food space has been volatile for quite some time now. Newer innovations are kicking in every day and creating for themselves an identity and a cult. Latest on the scene is cloud kitchens.
There have been many restaurateurs raving over the concept and even more trying to figure out the intricacies of it. So much so, that cloud kitchens are being considered as the smarter way to run the restaurant business. To understand how a cloud kitchen works, its model, operations & other factors to take into consideration, read ahead.
In the first place, cloud kitchens are primarily a restaurant kitchen that accepts incoming orders. Only through online ordering systems and offers no dine-in facility. Additionally, they have a base kitchen that delivers food to the customers’ doorstep.
What Is The Cloud Kitchen Model?
First, we look at what is a cloud kitchen. A popular belief is that a cloud kitchen is any restaurant that operates just from its kitchen, has no dine-in or takeaway place physically and thrives on home deliveries.
While this is true, this image is incomplete. The business model of a cloud kitchen is very different from what we hold in popular belief. To understand this in detail, we will introduce some of the lesser-known terms of the restaurant industry.
Such as, Delivery Kitchens, Dark or Ghost Kitchens and Cloud Kitchens.
A delivery kitchen is a restaurant that has no physical space and no dine-in or takeaway facility. As it does not exist as a restaurant of any sort. It relies entirely on third-party integrations or home delivery orders placed on call or through a website.
The main difference between a cloud kitchen and a delivery kitchen is that in a Delivery Kitchen the outlet operates independently for a single brand name. The orders are received and prepared under the same brand.
If the owner runs the restaurant under one single name, then the format is that of a Delivery Kitchen.
A Cloud Kitchen, like a Delivery Kitchen, is a restaurant where there is no physical outlet and the food is prepared for all sorts of deliveries. What differentiates a Cloud Kitchen from a Delivery Kitchen, is the number of brands or restaurants operating in the same outlet.
For instance, in a cloud kitchen, the number of restaurants operating per se are more than one. Although, the owner could be the same person or different people.
As an example, if a restaurateur who owns a delivery kitchen and delivers Coastal dishes, decides that he should start delivering Mexican food as well. But, instead of adding Mexican to the menu of his current brand, starts operating a different brand that sells Mexican from the same delivery kitchen. Then he turns his delivery kitchen into a Cloud Kitchen.
In other words, customers are most likely to order pasta from a restaurant named La Italiana instead of Kentashi Delight. Even if the same chef is preparing the pasta. But the customers don’t need to know that!
Dark or Ghost Kitchens
Ghost kitchens are delivery/cloud kitchens which are virtually located in different destinations but operate on a hub and spokesmodel. This means that there is one central kitchen where the food is prepared and delivered to the subsidiary kitchen.
Generally, these subsidiary kitchens are located in different areas. When a customer orders, he is rerouted to the nearest virtual kitchen from where the food prepared in the central kitchen is delivered.
Now that you understand the difference between a delivery, cloud, and ghost kitchen, it is simple enough to understand the business model of a cloud kitchen. In the simple structure of the model, a cloud kitchen is a delivery kitchen with two or more brands belonging to different people. Or the same person operating from the same kitchen.
Running Cloud Kitchens For Beginners
As the number of delivery orders increases, restaurants are now moving towards cloud kitchen operations. According to a report, the market share of delivery restaurants in 2013 was 15%. The rise of food tech startups has made it much easier for consumers to order and pay for food online, thus increasing food delivery orders.
Earlier, the market share of delivery orders was 35%. Moreover, the size of online food delivery market reached Rs. 30 Crore by the end of 2016. This is a growth rate of 150% from the previous year.
Cloud kitchens focus on maximizing the number of orders per day. In general, by focusing on the mass production of food and decreasing the overall production and packaging time. Restaurants are now also looking to automate the preliminary aspects of food production to cut down the time.
This would be achieved by adopting the Hub and Spokes model and Central Kitchen Management. Food is prepared preliminary at the central kitchen, called the Hub, and then delivered to the spokes, or the food outlets, where the remaining cooking is done.
Let us take a look into what it takes to run a cloud kitchen restaurant.
1. Order Taking In Cloud Kitchens
Since the primary source of order-taking is online, a cloud POS is a must for Cloud Kitchens and Delivery Kitchens. This is so because there are multiple restaurants and multiple channels being dealt with when it comes to collecting orders.
Especially in a cloud kitchen and it is virtually impossible to keep up with different orders pouring in from different sites. Without a POS that will not only handle this task but also give you an analytic report regarding it.
Another means of taking orders is through telephonic calls. For this, you need a Call-Center Panel that will route the orders to the right brand and outlet. When you have multiple brands operating at the same outlet, you need a robust POS system that can give you detailed insights about the number of orders received for each brand.
2. Order Processing In A Cloud Kitchen
Orders collected in a cloud kitchen are processed like normal orders. The only difference lies in the fact that each order can belong to a different brand and so the unique taste of each one needs to be maintained.
To solve this, you can have different chefs catering to different brands or different kitchen areas designated to the team of different brands under the same chef. Investing in a POS with a Kitchen Display System will be helpful as it will display orders directly in the kitchen on a screen and enable your staff to keep track of all the orders that have been prepared and need to be prepared.
3. Staffing A Cloud Kitchen
A cloud kitchen because of the lack of a dine-in or take away facility does not require any wait staff but it does require a highly skilled kitchen staff. Your food is the only thing that the customer is in contact with so it has to be flawless.
In cloud kitchens, the same chef may prepare the food of different brands or there may be different chefs designated for each brand. Either way, the full kitchen staff is the apex staff requirement in a Cloud Kitchen. Apart from that, you will only need delivery boys, if you plan on having an in-house delivery system and kitchen helpers.
4. Managing Suppliers
Suppliers in a cloud kitchen can vary from a single establishment supplying for all the brands in the cloud kitchen to different suppliers for each brand. In some cases, you can even have a combination of both.
While finalizing suppliers for a cloud kitchen is not too different from a regular commercial restaurant kitchen, you must still look for a combination that is the best for you. If your brands have the same base ingredient but some different ingredients, you can order the base ingredient from the same supplier. And the different ingredients from different suppliers.
If your supplier has a different variety of ingredients, you can order for all your brands from the same supplier. Just like in the case of a restaurant supplier, you need to ensure that the supplier for your cloud kitchen is just as punctual and particular with the orders.
5. Managing Inventory
Managing the inventory in a Cloud Kitchen is thought to be the most complicated task of running a cloud kitchen. That is not entirely true. Yes, having multiple brands under the same roof can make managing inventory a little tedious but by developing a system of checks and numbers, you can handle it without much problem.
Now compute the ingredients that are the same across all brands together, and different ingredients separately. Here is a detailed guide on how to partner with online ordering platforms.
Cloud Kitchens Online Food Ordering Solution
Surprisingly, Online ordering websites have created a revolution in the field of shopping. Online shopping whether it is of clothes; shoes or food it has become easier for each to access various websites. Who offers online service.
It had given comfort to people by which they can order by their home. And can have their orders in a couple of minutes or days depending on what they have ordered at their door. In other words, Online food ordering solution Platform is designed to simplify ordering food online.
Now people can order fresh food online, according to their choice. Ordering food online solution has made people’s life easy and comfortable. They can now order from anywhere fresh food anytime.
Finally, Online food delivering companies also offer their customers seasonal food and food of their choice.
Getting food delivered right at your doorstep anytime anywhere is easier than ever. Thanks to all the incredible on-demand delivery apps available nowadays. All you need to do is download one of the best food delivery apps, make a selection, place an order, and make payment via your smartphone, or pay on delivery.
With the massive development of technology, people rely on mobile apps for every big or small work. From paying electricity bills to buying grocery–everything can be ordered with the help of mobile apps.
For one thing, eCommerce has enabled merchants to profit substantially, and the trade, that has seen a noteworthy development, is the food industry. Currently, a large urban population, given the pace of life, doesn’t find the time to prepare meals at home.
Consequently, they look for options in the best possible way. That’s where food delivery apps jump in to make life easier for customers.
While cloud kitchen formats are indeed one of the most profitable restaurant formats, with minimum risks involved, you still need to stay on your toes to make it a success. Employ these tips to increase the sales of your online restaurant, and let us know how they worked out for you. Below are additionally useful and related links.
- The jmexclusives Consultants: Food Recipes and Drinks Guide for Beginners
- Posist: How To Start A Cloud Kitchen Restaurant In India – A Complete Guide
- Scientific Webs: Benefits of Online Food Ordering Solution
- Net Solutions: Top 10 Successful Online Food Delivery Apps in the World