CS Shweta Jain

Amidst Covid 19, Globally all the restaurants are shut, hotels are making home delivery of their patented and benchmark recipes. Food & Beverage Industry is forced to shift itself to another mode for survival and keeping pace in the current scenario. The pioneer hotels like The Taj Group of Hotels, Oberoi and The Park are constraint to deliver their famous dishes at the footsteps of customers, in the present moment due to Covid 19.

The food ordering market of India is projected to reach $17 billion by 2023 and $1.05 billion by 2023. Keeping in view the economic crisis in the wake of Covid-19, opening a new restaurant or food joint seems to be the difficult task where the annual average setup cost for opening a restaurant in India is approximately 3.05 times than that of a cloud kitchen. And thus it seems even more feasible and profitable to the existing front face Eating Joints to shift to food supply mode i.e. home delivery of the same tongue-licking food at the footsteps instead of serving them at their place and premises. In this way, Cloud Kitches are becoming the need of this hour.

Cloud Kitchen- Cloud Kitchens are basically delivery-only kitchen, hence it is not required to spend big on infrastructure cost rather can be focussed on food quality and faster delivery to the customers. There is no-dine in facility available.

The following steps shall help understanding the whole idea of Cloud Kitchen;

Step 1: Orders are received from the customers

Step 2: Kitchen in-charge note down the order details

Step 3: Food is prepared as per the instructions and order

Step 4: Effective and accurate packing is done of the prepared food

Step 5: Finally, the delivery boy, delivers the packed food parcel to the customer

Advantages vs Disadvantages of Cloud kitchens-

Since Cloud Kitchen is the virtual restaurant the orders are accepted online or through telephone. Hence an integrated food ordering system has to be adopted.

The major points in support to the concept of Cloud Kitchen are-

1. Low Infrastructure Cost- Since dining facility is not provided thus furniture, ambience, cutlery, adequate staff are all taken away in this It saves a huge cost which could very well be utilised in quality of food and faster/no waiting delivery of the mouth- watering food to the customer.

2. Growth Oriented- Cloud Kitchen concept is full of growth prospects. Once the base is set, branches under the same brand can be opened in another States. Anytime if it becomes necessitated and to encash an opportunity Front Face restaurant may be opened with the same brand because customer base is ready.

3. Less Overhead Cost- As briefed above, no ambience, decoration, fancy premises, staff- to- serve-customers are required in cloud kitchen concept, the overhead cost is saved many times.

4. Innovative approach may work- In case, one wants to expand its chain of cloud kitchen may have one main -big kitchen supplying semi cooked food to the small kitchens who may directly deliver the food to the customers.

With every plus the minus is always there, the disadvantages or struggle in this concept may be summed up as follow-

1. Tough competition because entry and exit is easy.

2. Personal App or website to obtain orders

3. Dependency on food aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy, Ubereats, Food Panda etc.

4. No direct interaction with the customers, to receive adequate feedback on services and food.

How to start a Cloud kitchen?

1. To have a Kitchen Space– a space with measurement of 200-500 sq ft shall go very well during initial stages.

2. Kitchen Equipment– Utensils to cook food, stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, water filter is the must.

3. Chef or the cooking person– The taste of food shall be the ultimate promoter in the long term. Hence the best person should be behind the course of cooking meals.

4. Preparation of Menu(dishes), this part is a first speak up and more than enough to allure the customer

5. Multi-cuisine/ seasonal dishes concept is early- marketing concepted because when someone orders outside food, seeks for the variety and diversity apart from taste.

Thus if sitting at Mumbai, one is able to order Delhi styled Chole Bhature, nothing can be more admirable and flattering than this.

6. Licenses and Registration -In order to be saved from legal troubles and having more authentication, license and registration are required with various authorities-

(a) Registration with FSSAI(Food Safety & Standards Authority of India) is mandatory in India if one wants to be into Food business. It may be from the period of 1 years to 5 years. It adds to the authenticity of food and vendor.

(b) Fire & Safety License– The business where usage of fire shall take place, it is advisable to have fire and human health agreements. Cooking food is all about fire and fireplace. This eliminate the chance of future exertion.

(c) GST registration is mandatory for any business in India to pay taxes timely.

(d) Trademark Registration – any successful venture attracts the rivals and their malpractices as well to disturb and Getting the brand name, logo, word mark registered under trademark authorities is a wise decision to run smoothly.

7. Packaging and Presentation– Since dine-in facility is away in cloud kitchen idea, only food quality and the way & mode, it reaches to the customers is of utmost Packing the food on adequate temperature, using spill proof packing boxes, eco- friendly reusable packing is all the convincing factors to be taken care of.

How to generate Orders ?

Once the kitchen is all set, the chef, the menu, the system is streamlined, the focus has to be on getting food orders. The following methods and measures may be opted out for promotion and introduction of the brand-

(a) Tying knot with existing Food Aggregators like Zomato, Food Panda, Swiggy since they are well acquainted by the mass.

(b) Full- on Digital marketing of the brand and venture while entitling the main features.

(c). Mass SMS and membership launching with fascinating schemes

(d) Search Engine Optimization

(e) Preservation of Data base of customers ordered food in past for future purpose

(f) Synchronisation between Getting order/preparing food/Packaging Properly & Delivery at the right time within no-waiting zone. This ensure repetition of order and reputation of the brand.

(g) Integrated online ordering system is a real must to ensure smoothing of operation without any failure.

Finally, it may be said that cloud kitchen is a commendable food channel alternative, and if one wants to flaunt into with limited resources and investment, has no better option than this. For sure, it’s the future theme of food industry and it is safe and wise to opt for with all the necessary compliances. At present only 13% of the total market size has been tapped by the cloud kitchens which lays down the huge potential for budding entrepreneurs to step into this segment of F&B Industry with flying colours. Since Food and the tasty Food shall

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March 2021