In the business world, one needs to keep reinventing themselves in order to remain relevant and maintain their position in the market. A similar thing is happening currently in the India’s online food delivery space. Two of the most famous names in the Indian Online Delivery space, Zomato and Swiggy have now taken the “cloud kitchen” route to capture interest of the foodie population of the country. Since the concept takes the risk out of trying new places, the concept has a potential of gaining huge success in India’s self-confessed foodie population.
What is Cloud Kitchen?
In simple words, a Cloud Kitchen is a delivery-only kitchen, which can be easily set up without too much infrastructure or operational costs. The concept allows for a greater variety of food being available to the customers for delivery.
The reason that the concept of Cloud Kitchen is gaining such popularity is because they do not have any facility other than providing food, hence their entire focus remains on their food preparation and its quality. They just function as a production unit with a space for the preparation of food. Since the food can be ordered online, hence, the considered got its name cloud kitchen.
Why Cloud Kitchen?
The cutthroat competition prevalent in the restaurant industry, along with the decreasing margins has resulted in shutting down of a number of restaurants as they are unable to cover their costs and sustain. Over the last couple of years, it has also been observed that the fast-paced lives that human being live nowadays has resulted in a drastic decrease in the number of dine-in customers. At the same time, the numbers
of home delivery orders have increased significantly.
The swelling of the number of delivery orders has led to various offline restaurants ditching their traditional setup and moving towards cloud kitchen operations.
Cloud kitchen restaurants work towards maximising their number of orders per day, by focusing solely on mass production of food and decreasing the overall production and packaging time. Many of the restaurants are now seriously considering to automate some of the preliminary aspects of food production in order to save them some precious time.
The Bowl Company By Swiggy
It was in late 2015 that Bengaluru-based food delivery startup Swiggy announced that it will be opening kitchens in areas where its partner restaurants lack a physical presence but are most likely to have a high numbers of customers.
It was finally in January, 2017 that the Online food aggregator launched its cloud kitchen called ‘The Bowl Company’ in select areas in Bengaluru.
As of now, it is offering a limited menu in Bengaluru’s Koramangala from its cloud kitchen model. For this, it has joined hands with some of the popular restaurants in a joint venture to offer a selection where the restaurant does not have a physical presence.
According to Swiggy, with cloud kitchens they aim to extend the food tech and delivery continuum by creating a platform where multiple brands can work from a single kitchen (external or Swiggy) to meet consumer demands in certain pockets of the city. The company is looking forward to scaling up the pilot programme in due course.
Zomato Infrastructure Services (ZIS)
ZIS is basically a kitchen infrastructure service where the Gurugram-based online restaurant discovery and food ordering company will be working with its current restaurant business owners to expand their business to more locations without incurring any fixed cost.
The infrastructure services are basically delivery only food courts in locations slightly off the premium locations. These locations are selected based on Zomato data. According to Zomato, a majority of these locations are densely populated mid-income areas in large cities, and second tier cities in India.
ZIS will allow users to select dishes from multiple brands to build a single food order. For example, how about a samosa with burger? Sounds delicious interesting, right?
The pilot kitchen is in Dwarka will start cooking in the first/second week of March. After this, Zomato doesn’t plan to have another location for another 2-3 months. But once it has learnt the business model’s nuances, and reasonably knows how to bypass Murphy’s law, they will expand to 5 locations very soon.
Swiggy v/s Zomato
Zomato has made it clear that it will not be cooking food by itself in these kitchens unlike Swiggy because they want to help their customers (restaurateurs) and not compete with them. Zomato will be providing the necessary infrastructure to restaurants to make it easy for its customers to set up a delivery business.
While ZIS will provide the real estate, build the kitchen and supply all the equipment for its customers to just ‘walk in’ and start their business in matter of a few hours. The Bowl Company, on the other hand, is a joint venture by Swiggy with popular restaurants to offer a selection where the restaurant does not have a physical presence. The Swiggy platform facilitates lead generation, payment and delivery of orders for its partner restaurants.
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