As restaurants are challenging the quarantine and the curfew because of coronavirus outbreak while striving to maintain brand identity and cultivate positive guest relationships, cloud kitchens might be a solution. The cloud kitchens seem to be a smarter way to run the restaurant business under the present circumstances. Not only do cloud kitchens enable you to serve good food but also eliminate the challenges of high rentals and investments.
To know what a cloud kitchen is, its model, operations, and how to run one, read ahead.
What is a cloud kitchen?
A cloud kitchen is a restaurant that has no brick-and-mortar location, no servers, no dine-in or takeaway facility. It is designed for third-party integrations for online ordering and delivery or home delivery orders placed on call or through a website. Sometimes, it might be called ghost, dark, or virtual restaurant, or restaurant-as-a-service (RAAS for short).
A cloud kitchen includes a shared kitchen, kitchen staff, and a delivery crew distributing the food to customers at home or at work. It gives the restaurant the flexibility to share the same kitchen infrastructure for many brands, for instance, to be an Italian cuisine and an Indian one as well.
How to Run a Cloud Kitchen Restaurant:
1. Taking Orders:
Taking orders manually or over the phone could be a very overwhelming process, therefore, you should leverage the technology and have a cloud kitchen POS for your Cloud Kitchen. Lean Kitchen and POS Systems give you the opportunity to manage many kitchens and receive orders from various sites and delivery partners. Not to mention that you can keep records of these orders and generate analytic reports.
2. Processing Orders:
Processing the orders in a cloud kitchen is not different from processing standard orders. You just need to be aware that each order may belong to a different brand and so your staff should maintain the unique taste of each one. To overcome this, you can have different chefs preparing various brands’ orders or different kitchen stations for the team of various brands under the same chef.
A cloud kitchen requires no wait staff. Nevertheless, it does require a highly skilled kitchen staff and delivery team. The food of different brands may be prepared by the same chef, or each brand may be handled by different chefs.
4. Suppliers Management:
Try to deal with one supplier to order the majority of your ingredients. If you offer different brands and they have the same base ingredient but some various ingredients, consider ordering the base ingredient from the same supplier and the different ingredients from other suppliers.
Look for suppliers that have a diverse variety of ingredients so that you can order for all your brands from the same supplier. Not to mention that you should be able to dictate your terms with any supplier you choose.
Do not be tempted to order from different suppliers since ordering small units from different brands will cost you more and you cannot leverage your terms.
5. Inventory Management:
To handle a cloud kitchen properly, you only need to develop a system of checks and numbers. Consider dividing the inventory based on use, not brands by computing the shareable ingredients across all brands together and different ingredients separately.
To stay organized, assign different storage units for various brands or assign columns or shelves in one storage unit for each brand.
To market your cloud kitchen you need a powerful marketing and branding strategy. You should have an online and offline presence.
An online presence will give your restaurant a virtual address so that customers will easily find you. It is not enough to have a website and different social media pages. It is the only medium to communicate your service to your customers so make sure to update them regularly and make them as interactive as possible. Interact with their comments, and address any negative feedback.
Additionally, SMS and Email Marketing are still a choice to promote a Cloud Kitchen. Sending regular customers emails with exclusive offers and messages with the updated menu will keep your brand fresh in their minds.
You can also use flyer and pamphlet marketing to create an identity among people who do not belong to the internet generation. Distribute flyers that include your menu, your website link, and phone number.