There’s no doubt that there has been a major shift in the Food & Beverage industry over the last few years. Thankfully, despite the setbacks, restaurants and establishments that love making good food are still in business—especially ones who embrace change and have the flexibility to adjust their business models to accommodate current trends.
One of these trends is the rise of cloud kitchens. Because this business model doesn’t rely on foot traffic, they’ve been a lifesaver in the world of food production. It’s true that delivery and drive-through hasn’t traditionally made up a large portion of the restaurant industry’s revenue in India—compared to the 15-20% in Europe—but that’s been changing. By 2025, India’s online food delivery market is predicted to reach almost $13 billion, triple what it was in 2020.
While now is an opportune time to start a cloud kitchen, we understand that it’s also a scary venture. And, as a cloud kitchen operator, we can attest to what it takes to be a success in this business. So we’ve put together this guide of tips that will help you start off right when opening your own cloud kitchen.
Why choose to open a cloud kitchen?
A big reason that cloud kitchens are increasing in popularity is the significant savings they provide in infrastructure costs. They are serviced by third-party delivery platforms that meet the demands of the growing online food delivery demand so that they don’t incur this extra cost themselves.
With a focus on modern food technology, faster returns, increased agility and more scalability, cloud kitchens offer a path to success for passionate restaurant owners.
Choose the right location
As the business mantra goes: location, location, location. The reason for this is that where you choose to open your business can either make or break your entire enterprise. Every location comes with a certain customer base, rent prices, competitors, etc. You must take all of this into consideration when choosing where to open your cloud kitchen.
The benefit of working with a cloud kitchen operator like KitchenPlus is that all of the business and data analysis—like delivery order volume by zone—is done for you. This makes selecting the most promising location much less risky and stressful.
Organise your admin tasks and onboarding work
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the idea of all of the prep work involved when opening a food business. Here’s the good news: the amount that needs to be done for a cloud kitchen is much less than for a traditional restaurant. Nevertheless, there are things you must sort out before you can get things going.
The first step is to determine exactly what equipment you’ll require in order to run your kitchen your way. We provide basic equipment necessities like sinks and commercial hood plus business and infrastructure services like Wi-Fi, delivery driver management, extraction and ventilation, safety system, pest control and more. If you need more specialised equipment, you can easily make arrangements for that to be set up as well.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you want to change the size or layout of your standard kitchen space. Your KitchenPlus team will be happy to work with you on any new specifications or adjustments you’ll need in order to run your kitchen at maximum efficiency.
A critical item on the checklist is making sure you’ve lined up all of your staff, suppliers, and necessary licenses. A benefit of a cloud kitchen is the ability to operate with a much smaller crew, but it still requires organisation of suppliers, licenses, insurance, etc. Again, this is where working with KitchenPlus is a bonus, as we help you handle these processes. We take care of organising insurance and licenses for our kitchen tenants so that you don’t have to. You already have enough on your plate!
Perfect your food and menu
One thing that cannot be overlooked is the bread and butter of your business: the food. You’ll have to set up your network of suppliers so that you can get everything you need at the most affordable price, whenever you need it. Also, consider customising your menu offerings depending on your location. If you’re in a higher-income neighbourhood, you may benefit from offering more premium menu items.
Remember that having the right food packaging is an important element of a reputable food delivery business. Consider the time and transportation factor when packing your food items for a customer. For example, if you serve noodle dishes, you’ll want to package the noodles and the sauce separately—otherwise, you risk having a disgruntled customer that complains about receiving a soggy, unappetizing dish.
Lastly, you need to do your research and sign up with all the third-party delivery companies you want to partner with. These companies serve as the distribution vehicle for getting your food from your kitchen straight to your customers’ doors and are therefore critical to your business. Some of the most popular options in India include Swiggy, Zomato, FoodPanda, Seamless, Eat Fit, Deliveroo and Grubhub.
Take advantage of modern technology
Technology makes running a business more efficient and streamlined, and the same is true for kitchens and any F&B venture. When KitchenPlus sets up a cloud kitchen, all locations are connected to a tablet through which all transactions run.
This ensures that you don’t lose track of any crucial information, as all orders from all delivery platforms that you use are tracked in one place. You can also access performance data and insights so that you can optimise your business accordingly. For instance, you can see which menu items are the most popular, which ones produce the highest profit margins, where your kitchen or food production bottlenecks are, and more.
Invest in marketing
A big part of having a successful, sustainable food delivery business is how well you market your restaurant. If people don’t know about you (and aren’t falling in love with your food), how are you going to get enough customers to keep it all afloat?
Remember that a cloud kitchen isn’t like a brick-and-mortar restaurant where customers may discover you—which is why you’ll have to get the word out via digital marketing. This means investing time (and money as needed) for all of your business channels, from websites to social media to online advertising.
This is another area where KitchenPlus can help. Our growth marketing services help kitchens gain more brand awareness and visibility. This is especially beneficial to newer entries into the industry that are trying to make their mark.
Get in touch with our cloud kitchen experts
If you’re interested in opening a cloud kitchen in India with KitchenPlus and would like more information, contact us today. Our team members will be happy to answer your questions or schedule a tour of our kitchen spaces.