‘Cloud kitchens’ are cooking up a storm

Restaurants have tripled their delivery business during the pandemic.   | Photo Credit: DHIRAJ SINGH

Amid pandemic-induced closures, hygiene concerns and high retail costs, technology has come to the rescue of restaurant businesses in the city.

Restaurateurs and chefs are now able to move their kitchens to obscure locations and deliver food at the doorstep of their clients.

Known as ‘cloud kitchens’, these units have mushroomed across the city and have helped restaurants re-invent themselves by taking advantage of the growth of app-based food discovery platforms to reach out to their clientele and deliver quality food without having to bear the cost of skyrocketing overheads.

Some of the popular restaurants at Khan Market and other prominent markets have jumped on the bandwagon. CEO and MD of Impresario, Riyaaz Amlani, known for his chain of ‘Social’ restaurants across the city, says COVID-19 has gently nudged the restaurant industry towards digitisation and people are approaching the business from many different sides.

Food delivery

Commenting on the food delivery boom, he says; “Earlier, dining-in restaurants had 5-10% of the delivery business but in COVID era, most of the restaurants have tripled their delivery business over the past 5-6 quarters. However, delivery is not competing with the dine-in business and dine-out will always continue to be a celebration for our guests. I am happy that both businesses have their own stakes and it’s beautiful that both the businesses co-exist and are growing together.”

In the delivery business, packaging plays a crucial role as that is the only way to enhance the customer’s experience as it is a brand’s story-telling, he adds.

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) recently organised a workshop for those who want to start cloud kitchens or convert their existing businesses into cloud kitchens so that they can keep track of the fast-changing industry.

NRAI chief Kabir Suri says the biggest advantage of cloud kitchens is that it helps expansion into new markets. “We all spend years building a brand and hence, I believe that instead of launching new brands, one should always bank on existing brands and brand equity built over years.”

Technology has played an important role in helping restaurants identify their target customers and chart their online growth while optimising their sales.

It is important for businesses to have control over the data of who is ordering, he says, adding that the association has been trying to resolve this issue with various partners.

About nine years ago, the restaurant industry realised that people want the convenience of quick food delivery, but it was difficult to set up restaurants in all corporate hubs, says Anshul Gupta, co-founder of Box8, an on-demand food delivery firm, “We thought of setting up cloud kitchens very early and that gave us an edge over other players. Technology has played a pivotal role in our growth, we invested in building our delivery fleet and app which has proved to be very advantageous in reaching customers directly.” he adds.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 11:59:48 AM |

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