Cloud Kitchen – An opportunity in the post Covid-19 phase

With the outbreak of Covid 19, the fear of getting infected in immeasurable ways have shrouded people from all sides thus restricting us from visiting any public place or any social gatherings. Celebrations are limited to homes and people are welcoming home-made delicacies with the restaurants and joints shut down. The post covid phase will not free us from the fear of getting infected and the people would not welcome the culture of visiting restaurants for fun and celebrations for long. In such a scenario, the cloud kitchens are sure to grab the market with technology again offering happiness to the people.

Although the concept of cloud kitchen is not new, yet it is not much in high trend in India, where people love social gatherings for fun, get-togethers and celebrations. Eating Joints and restaurants had always been crowded with people waiting in long queues in the popular eating points before covid19. However, the scenario has changed now thus giving technology the power to operate the brains. Cloud kitchens are internet restaurants where they do not welcome people’s presence to enjoy food, but welcomes only incoming orders through online ordering systems. Such restaurants operate through their websites and various applications from multiple sources like Swiggy and Zomato. Cloud kitchens operate from a base kitchen and the food ordered is delivered to the customers’ doorsteps. They are independent single kitchen without any storefront for customers.

Food being the king of all needs and fun, will always be sought after. With the working masses, fear of visiting public places and avoiding pain to stand in long queues for take-aways and risking life of getting infected, the concept of cloud kitchen is a great prospect of business for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Imagine the foodies receiving their choice of food at their doorsteps with just few clicks on the mobile! The world is changing and the post covid phase will be a stage of explorations and experimentations. And what can be the best than satiating the taste buds of the foodies. In fact, the working masses will be blessed with these services. The students of Hotel Managements who would be in a difficult stage to get hold of jobs in the hotels and restaurants due to less flow of business with restricted tours and travels, can try their hands in building up cost effective ghost restaurants thus bringing their learnings into experience with the aid of technology.

Is it difficult to start a Cloud kitchen? The answer would be definitely no to the hard-working calculative aspiring entrepreneurs in the food industry. It requires less effort, investment and hands than setting up a full-fledged restaurant. Let’s try to find out the advantages from the process and requirements in beginning a cloud kitchen.

  1. Implementing Online Systems: One doesn’t need to set counters with staff engaged in ordering customers’ dishes, nor take pain in entertaining a long queue of customers with manual noting of items ordered. Yes, it is an internet kitchen which demands a website and app through which people can order and the orders are reached within seconds to the kitchen. One should also Point of Sales Software that accepts orders from multiple sources like Swiggy and Zomato. The apps or software must have the facility of tracking orders by the customers too for customer satisfaction.
  1. Location of the Cloud kitchen: It is very easy and comfortable task to decide the location or space you want to set your cloud kitchen. You need not worry about the space being simple or in the posh area as you don’t have rigidities for footfalls or any parking space. It should be located in a clean and hygiene area equipped with proper sanitation system and water supply of course. Moreover, you can manage with low rental space. However, you must decide a location based on the customer demography. A demographic survey is must before deciding the location of the cloud kitchen so that within the budget you can set your kitchen in a potential customer-based area.
  1. Acquiring Licence: Every business demands a licence before its start. Tt is the most important step in setting up a cloud kitchen. It is always advisable to hire an agency to apply for all permits like trade licence, GST registration etc to avoid confusions and make things easy.
  1. Kitchen Equipment: The basic yet the most needed step in setting up your cloud kitchen is to arrange and manage kitchen equipment and packaging. The best part is that you need not spend on luxuries to give it the best look to the eyes of the customers. Spending wisely with a calculative brain will benefit you the most. For instance, the electronic items for cooking and other purposes must be brand new whereas the furniture required may be the old stock. The tables, chairs and the shelves must be bought from the old stocks, may be through apps like OLX, thus getting the bare necessities, but spending less. Packaging must be taken care of as it will be a source of branding and promoting too.
  1. Staff Recruitment: Selecting the best team is indeed the most challenging game of the owner. The advantage here is that you need not recruit many people to operate the kitchen. A team of five to six people can run the business in the best possible way. The most important member of the team is the Chef on whom lies the future of your kitchen. It is indeed the most challenging task. Under the main Chef, an assistant chef is always advisable for quick delivery. One or two helpers and a boy at the counter to check orders and take notes, two delivery boys in the beginning and a housekeeper can be outsourced. As the cloud kitchen operates in a minimal space, the employees can be engaged in multi-tasking too.
  1. Mobile Phones and Miscellaneous: The aids without which the kitchen can never reach the masses. It requires a board line, mobile phones, high-speed internet service, stationery, small counters, and chairs. Besides, getting a Cloud Telephony subscription will ensure that no call gets missed. The calls can be recorded too.
  1. Marketing: The most important tool to pull the customers is of course Marketing. Cloud kitchens will reach the masses with online marketing strategies. Social Media platforms are the best medium to market your business today. Flyers and pamphlets can be used to advertise and with time, video adds may be added to the marketing strategy.

With the streamlined order process and low operational cost, the aspiring youth can focus on easy and quick expansion of such internet restaurants thus taking the best advantage of technology. Although, there will be the limitations of reach as it will attract only the techno savvy foodies, the smart phones with smart apps will gradually make people accustomed to cloud kitchens.

The outbreak of covid19 indeed has brought in a tremendous change in the food and dine habits of the people. In a country like India, where people’s taste buds relish street foods and junks, the deadly virus has killed all their desires to eat out. However, the services of cloud kitchens can reach their favourite tastes at the doorsteps and without welcoming crowd, the internet kitchens can make every foodie family enjoy their tastes. The post covid phase will certainly see technology on top reigning in the country thus taking hold of almost all the domains, and food being the dominant demanding item, the cloud kitchens will have challenging days ahead to lead the food industry in a competitive market.

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