How To Launch A Cloud Kitchen Like Kitopi?
Cloud Kitchen is a disruptive business model for the hospitality sector that has established new limits for the food industry around the world. There is a reason why cloud kitchen stocks are in demand and risk capitalists invest in them.
A Cloud Kitchen is the kitchen for a restaurant that provides online or call-in orders only and has no dining option.
Thus, think of a vast lobby complex in which food is produced and delivered, but no customer can sit down and eat. Business Cloud Kitchen is also known as dark or satellite kitchens. The concept is also popular in ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants. if you want to know more, here’s our guide to ghost kitchen app development.
So What Is A Cloud Kitchen?
A cloud cuisine, also known as a ghost kitchen, a virtual restaurant and satellite-facing kitchen, is a restaurant-only format which has no dining facilities available. Online or by telephone, Cloud kitchens accept orders. In order to accept online orders, they are mainly reliant upon online food aggregators such as Swiggy, Zomato, Ubereats and/or mobile applications.
The cost of setting up a cloud kitchen, as compared to a traditional dining or shopping restaurant, is significantly lower, but highly in profit format.
The cloud kitchen company offers restaurants a chance to experiment with different concepts and formats that have created various business models for food delivery.
Why Are Cloud Kitchens So Popular?
According to a 2018 survey, about 67% of restaurant owners in India wish to open a new source of income in the form of a Cloud Kitchen. In recent years, the popularity of Cloud Kitchen has risen enormously, mainly due to the low cost of infrastructure and high margins. Because orders are accepted only through online mediums and in some cases through calls, there are no additional overheads in order to maintain dining, staff and pay high rentals.
The kitchen and expert cooks are all necessary for food making. In most cases, a third party handles the delivery and thus saves the owners a huge amount of money. Even if the owner of the kitchen decides to deliver orders himself, the costs are considerably lower than the cost of renting a restaurant and staff serving the food.
What is Kitopi?
With over 1000 employees in the UAE, KSA and Kuwait, Kitopi is a world-leading, state-of-the-art cloud kitchen platform. Kitopi allows restaurants to open only delivery locations by providing minimum capital and time required for infrastructure and software and by ensuring that the entire journey for good customer experience is taken care of: order receipt and processing, cooking, delivery and customer feedback management.
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How Does Kitopi Work?
According to the co-founder Saman Darkan, Kitopi enables restaurants to scale and open up a delivery presence within 14 days. If a brand joins them, Kitopi’s team also gives their recipes to the brand, they train them on how to prepare their products and then Kitopi does the final operation. The restaurants save the costs of setting up their own infrastructure very much like franchising, but through partnerships with Kitopi.
In the event that Kitopi gets a share of its earnings and pays the royalty in return for the on-board fees to be paid to join the platform.
There is a hub kitchen in every town where Kitopi operates, where the food is mostly prepared. The final touches will be added in smaller kitchens near residential areas. Cakes are cooked, for instance, and salads are cut into hubs. The items will then be transferred before shipment to satellite kitchens.
How To Start A Cloud Kitchen Like Kitopi?
Cloud cuisine is one of the most profitable business formats due to their low investment and risk along with the facility to replicate and scale the company.
Compared to traditional restaurants, it takes one third of the time and resources to open a cloud kitchen as you will not need a store in a prime location and to wait for customers.
#1 — Things To Consider Before Starting A Cloud Kitchen:
- Location & Property
The location and building differentiate between a traditional dining/dining room and a cloud kitchen. A cloud kitchen does not need a high-floor and high-end property location. Instead, it can be easily installed in a space between 250-300 sq ft. This significantly reduces the costs of opening a cloud kitchen, as the interiors and furnishings are no longer required.
The cloud kitchen has an inaccessible location but a high demand of customers. Cloud cuisine in residential zones, market backgrounds, unused parking lots. Alternatively, shared kitchen space can be used to reduce the initial investment.
For several reasons, it is necessary to acquire the correct licences and certifications to open a cloud kitchen. First, the introduction of licences would save you from legal trouble.
Secondly, the fact that customers cannot come to the outlet and check their own hygiene, food safety and preparation gives them a sense of satisfaction by having proper licences. In your website and marketing campaigns, you can promote these to ensure that the food that you have produced is of a high quality.
FSSAI, GST Registration, NOC from the fire department are the main licences required for starting a cloud kitchen business. Before you start a food supply business, make sure you have them in place.
- Kitchen Equipments & Packaging
The equipment depends entirely on the type of kitchen you serve. The basic gear for starting a cloud kitchen are – oven and stove, fridge, counters, knives, etc.
Packaging is an essential part of the operation of the food supply company. Regardless of how good your food is, it will end up ruining your entire customer experience and bring your brand a bad name if it is not handled well. The food type you serve also depends on the packaging. To ensure proper packaging of your food, you need plastic containers, boxes, spoons etc.
- Your Kitchen Staff
You don’t need a lot of people in your cloud kitchen because there’s no front of the house. A cloud kitchen of four to five people can be easily opened, with food being prepared and delivered. The same chef can produce food for different brands if you have multiple brands operating within the same kitchen. Starting with a small team is advisable, and when the order volumes increase, you may recruit more staff.
#2 — What Are The Tech Requirements For A Cloud Kitchen To Work Perfectly?
Because a cloud kitchen generates orders, technology is a key factor for such a business and they use online food aggregators, websites and mobile apps. An integrated online restaurant ordering system is required to accept online orders and support operations for a cloud kitchen.
The technological demands from a cloud kitchen company are outlined here in detail.
- Centralized System To Accept Orders From Multiple Online Aggregators.
A POS system that receives orders from various online food aggregators, such as Swiggy and Zomato are the biggest technological requirement for a cloud kitchen. Since your cloud kitchen is best listed on multiple online food purchase platforms, it is big trouble to enter the orders manually at the end of the day.
An integrated POS system takes all orders from different sources and keeps orders received via each platform recorded. Then you can analyse the reports and find out which platform works best for you and thus develop a sales strategy.
- Online Ordering Method Like An App or Website
You still need your own restaurant website or mobile app to accept orders while linking up with the aggregators. Online third-party food aggregators charge a large margin per order, typically between 12% and 18% for online orders and 18-25% for online shipping*. This number can make a significant contribution to your profits and is, therefore, it is essential to have a source of organic online orders.
You should have a restaurant-enabled, user-friendly website and SEO-optimized online ordering platform so that your customers can easily purchase food online.
You should also design your food ordering landing page intelligently to gain more orders.
- A Call-Center Like System To Receive Telephonic Orders
If you receive a large volume of telephone food orders it is necessary for your cloud kitchen business to have an integrated call centre panel. A POS integrated call centre panel would help to streamline all your telephone orders, if you have several brands and outlets, because orders are directly placed within POS.
You could also view customer details and order history to prevent repeated requests for customer address and other details.
- An Integrated Kitchen Display System
The preparation of orders is usually 10-12 minutes for a cloud kitchen, if you want to order in less than 30 minutes. The built-in kitchen display system works in the highly advanced cloud kitchen to optimise the processing time.
The order is automatically updated in KDS when the order is received. The staff in the kitchen can view the order details and order collection time and arrange the order accordingly.
This makes it not only smooth to operate but also allows you to identify any delays and improve preparedness further.
- A Food Delivery System
With an in-house food delivery system, your life will be much easier. One thing is that you do not have to pay extra commissions for third-party logistics and the other is to control your delivery services significantly better.
You can assign your orders to the delivery manager on the basis of their location and availability with a food delivery system. The order status can also be monitored and automatically updated with SMS to your customers.
- An Inventory Management System
For any food company, inventory controls are essential, and the same applies to the cloud kitchen. An intelligent inventory management system would allow you to track your daily inventory use and also invite you to order more inventory if needed. It also helps you to reduce waste and control your food costs.
Technology plays an important role and also assures operational efficiency in the smooth functioning of a cloud kitchen business.
Technology Stack For A Cloud Kitchen App Like Kitopi
- Delivery Integration Platform
- Kitchen Display System
- Analytics dashboard
- A white label delivery integration
- POS system
- React Native
- Atlassian Confluence
- G suite
- Microsoft Project
- Google Marketing Platform
The cloud kitchen format offers a wide range of opportunities for both restaurateurs and aggregators and has led to a number of spin-off companies in the FnB industry flourishing.
Cloud kitchens have become the favourite restaurant format for restaurant brands, both new and established, to open a new business, or to scale the existing one.