Cloud kitchen is the new approach to the food delivery business as it requires low investment to start cooking with basic resources and equipment.
The global cloud kitchen market size, as per the report, was valued at USD 51.96 Billion in 2020 and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 12.4% from 2021 to 2027.
Businesses like Kitopi, C3, Kitchen United, and many others emerged to be profitable as you do not need to welcome the customer, hire staff, and have proper restaurant infrastructure. The things required to set up your business are tablets for taking orders and pick-up windows for delivery drivers.
If you plan to have your own kitchen business, you need to develop a cloud kitchen mobile app and guide you on this. We have a proper cloud kitchen mobile app development guide for 2022.
What is a Cloud Kitchen App?
Cloud kitchen is a mobile app that allows various cloud kitchen business models to manage the operation, from receiving orders to tracking the delivery status to customers.
Cloud kitchen/Delivery-only Kitchen Business Model
A cloud kitchen is a delivery-only restaurant with no space for dining customers. The business model relies on delivering food to customers’ places ordered through the mobile app or online food aggregators. Also, the cloud kitchen format lets a business launch multiple brands using the same infrastructure. For instance, if a restaurateur delivers South Indian food can also deliver Chinese or Mexican cuisines using a different brand name. Starting a new brand, let customers order from you because they prefer to order food from different restaurants if they think they specialize in that cuisine.
How to run a Cloud Kitchen Business?
A Cloud kitchen is a cooking space that permits other food brands to make their foods and deliver them to nearby kitchen sites. If a brand is in the USA and rents a cloud kitchen in Canada, it can deliver its cuisine to its customers in Canada. And to effectively work on it, a dedicated cloud kitchen app is required.
What is the difference between a cloud kitchen and a regular kitchen?
Location: The dine-in restaurant requires a proper place in a popular location with great customer footfall. If you fight for space, then it will slow your growth. Other factors like parking space, layout planning, and much more are crucial for a dine-in restaurant. In contrast, a cloud kitchen needs optimized space and fewer facilities.
Cost of Property: The rent of a restaurant will be huge and almost double because of the prime location. Thus, cloud kitchens are rented spaces or shared spaces equivalent to a fully-furnished flat where you have to take your clothes, and you’re all set.
Staffing Cost: The staff required for restaurants and cloud kitchens varies due to the business model. Cloud kitchens benefit in terms of staffing. Whereas in the dine-in business, you need to pay for housekeeping staff and waiting staff, the head chef, and associate chefs.
Other Operational Cost: The operational cost for a cloud kitchen includes grocery, gas, packaging, dairy, the number of cuisines that a restaurant serves, etc. At the same time, the operational cost for a dine-in restaurant includes grocery, dairy, cold storage, website costs, etc.
How has the Cloud Kitchen Mobile App become a trend?
The Cloud kitchen concept is quite old, but rising rents in prime locations and high-quality food demand in less time gave birth to cloud mobile apps. The very first company to open a cloud kitchen was the Green Summit Group in 2013. Since then, many startups have been working in this business category. And this trend will pass on to other generations because people are prone to use smartphones to buy everything.
Step by step guide to developing a Cloud Kitchen Mobile App
Step #1: Target Location
Cloud kitchen mobile apps deliver food online, just like a restaurant, but the part of cloud kitchen is that it can work from any location. An Indian-based restaurant can rent a cloud kitchen in any country and use it for cooking food and delivering it to customers. So, the first step is to select a location per demand and target audience.
Step #2: Select Cloud Kitchen Business Model
There are various cloud kitchen models with particular business requirements and operational methods. Hence, it would help if you specify what will be your cloud kitchen’s business model.
Standalone Kitchen: This is a favored cloud kitchen model, as it has a single concept and one or two food choices for customers. For example, a pizza restaurant where the menu is has ten to fifteen items.
Co-working Cloud Kitchen: Each brand has separate kitchen units in this model, and all run from one kitchen space. These kitchens are large, with plenty of space for numerous restaurants to lease out and grow their business.
Cloud Restaurants: A cloud restaurant is a brand that functions inside a restaurant. The infrastructure of a current restaurant is used for delivering different types of food menus. Under different brand names, these kitchens are listed on third-party food aggregators like UberEats, Zomato, Swiggy, etc.
Aggregator Cloud Kitchen: The main objective is to give infrastructure to restaurants that only require cooking food for delivery. But for that, a business needs to rely upon food aggregators to manage the delivery operations.
Step #3: List of Features for Cloud Kitchen App
The Cloud kitchen app consists of various features for the kitchen owner and its staff to receive orders and execute the delivery and for customers to order food.
Restaurant or kitchen features
Tracking and updating order status
Multiple payment gateways
Food ordering & tracking
Live Tracking system
Other features are
1. POS System: POS enables kitchen owners to automatically integrate third-party orders in one place and store all the details.
2. Inventory Management System: For any business, handling inventory is critical. An app’s inventory management system allows owners to monitor and track the usage and operation of resources.
3. Licensing: Every country has its policies related to food products. Thus, it becomes crucial to ensure your food quality meets all the food standards, such as licensing from FDA.
4. Staff Management: Cloud kitchen does not require huge staff members to handle the business. You only need chefs, housekeeping staff, operation handlers, and delivery partners.
5. Food delivery system: There are two options for food delivery: third-party aggregators or in-house delivery. The former completes the delivery conveniently, but with management and hiring cost complexity.
6. An integrated kitchen display system: Food preparation in cloud kitchens takes around 15-20 minutes. But a kitchen display system is a handy option to optimize the order processing time because every order gets revised in the KDS system to plan quick order delivery.
7. Online ordering software: When a third-party aggregator hosts a menu and manages deliveries, you have to pay them around 12% to 18% for online orders and 18-25% for deliveries. But having your order mobile app linked with POS and KDS provides a holistic in-restaurant experience.
8. Multiple payment options: The payment gateway must integrate all the essential and common payment options for hassle-free and secure payment.
9. Order analytics: The analytics features provide all the details of your customer’s preferences and what gives you maximum revenue to know your customers better. While restaurant analytics of where your business lacks and what you need to do to succeed.
Step #4: Selecting Technology Stack for Cloud Kitchen App Development
To create a mobile app for the cloud kitchen, you must first look for a professional mobile app development company and technology stack. You want your app to be developed like Android, iOS, and Windows.
But developing a cross-platform mobile app is useful as it runs on all mobile platforms and works on frameworks like React Native, Flutter, or Ionic.
Cloud kitchen business functionalities
1. Integrated Restaurant Management System
2. Multiple payment gateways
3. Inventory management
4. Supply Chain Management
5. Online food ordering
7. Kitchen Display System
9. Order tracking & analytics
10. POS (Point of Sale)
Step #5: Deploy and Launch
Once you select technology, location, platform, and features, you can now work on UI/UX and cloud kitchen mobile app development.
At the beginning of the development process, create an MVP model to inspect how it works with the key features you want in your app. Then the app will go through numerous testing phases to detect bugs or technical errors in the app. Once the QA team validates the app, you can launch it on the Apple store and playstore.
Benefits of Cloud Kitchen App Development
Less Labour: Cloud kitchens do not demand much labor as you don’t bother about in-house service staff, managers, and other staff members. The dine-in restaurants need to spend huge amounts of money looking for a place and paying almost double the rent of prime locations. Plus, the cost of designing an interior space is challenging.
Increase in Efficiency: Cloud kitchens are custom-built and use spaces to prioritize kitchen design to boost the speed of preparation and handing them to the delivery drivers.
Data Analytics & Real-time Application: Cloud kitchens can optimize ordering, internal processes, and staff schedules according to consumer demand. Thus, cloud kitchens are tech-dependent because every change is mapped at any time.
The best thing about cloud kitchens is to revise the menu or operating times. The convenience of cloud kitchens is overwhelming as it permits you to experiment with a brand.
Low Marketing Budget: Marketing expenses in promoting a business are very less than a new restaurant which requires alot of marketing to let customers know about your restaurant. With the help of delivery apps, you can expand your brand’s visibility, which will cost you a pocket-friendly fee.
Cost to develop Cloud kitchen app
The cost to develop a cloud kitchen app depends on the location of the mobile app development company and the number of features you want to add.
Several app panels: To develop a food delivery app, you need to focus on different interfaces as there are separate apps for admin, customers, and drivers. Because the customer places the order, the driver will deliver the order. Thus, the number of app panels you decide to develop by professional app developers will include in the total cost.
Location of development company: When shopping for something, we humans look for various options and decide on one according to our budget. And deciding on an app development company depends upon the cost they charge, so you first check their hourly rates in different countries and then ask companies to send their quotation.
Experience of mobile app development company you hire: Hiring an app development company with prior experience developing an app like yours will be a cherry on top, as they will have better insights about app development technology and features.
Functions included in food delivery app: A feature-rich mobile app is what you do not need to focus on. Try to develop an app with a simple user interface with all the required features and deliver a user experience. Thus, your main focus must be mapping mobile app features, as too many features confuse your audience.
The cloud kitchen cost varies based on the model you choose
|Cloud kitchen Model||Platform Development cost|
Co-working Cloud Kitchen
It’s time to make a decision
You may call it cloud kitchen, shadow kitchen, virtual kitchen, dark kitchen, or ghost kitchen; the concept will remain the same, with a kitchen area having no dining space.
The Cloud kitchen business has a huge scope, and it has jumped in its growth scale in the past few years. All you need is a dedicated kitchen space and a cloud kitchen mobile application to start selling food.
Therefore, if you want to benefit from the cloud kitchen business, develop a mobile app and see how it grows in the on-demand food delivery market in a few years.
Thus, as per the statistics, the cloud kitchen app business can bring profit only if you invest at the right time.