Just a few years ago, "cloud" was used as a compliment for an airy omelette or mashed potatoes. Cooks at home were trying to whisk the eggs faster to capture more air in the mix. Now, cloud is used to describe a whole new restaurant model - and almost no one is trying to cook anything at home any more.
This new model is referred to as a ‘Micro Cloud Kitchen’. As online ordering increases and food deliveries see a boost like never before, micro cloud kitchens allow restaurants to leverage their existing resources such as equipment, supply chain and staff, to create additional delivery-only virtual brands and expand their offering.
With the ease of technology and a variety of food delivery options, online ordering had already begun to see an increase. Especially after recent events, a lot of people stopped going to restaurants because of the virus threat or the various lockdowns and curfews. The dining out tradition of centuries has almost come to a halt in the last year. However, the need to indulge oneself is still there. People still very much need to enjoy a delicious dinner and the convenience of a piping hot meal is still unparalleled.
Thus, food delivery is rapidly boosting and it’s in higher demand than ever before. This change forced many restaurants to shift their models from dine-in focused to delivery-only or at least delivery-centric, and paved the way for the establishment of micro cloud kitchens.
Micro cloud kitchens are the ideal way for restaurant owners to maximize revenue using sources they already have by adding delivery-only virtual brands to their existing brick and mortar restaurants. For example, if you are running a burger joint, you could easily leverage the same ingredients and know-how to create a sandwich brand targeting a different customer segment or different hours of the day. Taking this step adds a new revenue stream to your restaurant while allowing you to test new cuisines or ideas with minimal risk.
Your new delivery-only brands could serve similar menu items to what you are currently offering, or you could take this chance to completely reinvent yourself. The choice is yours.
There might be potential customers who love your quality and approach… just not the cuisine you offer. When you make a change and add a new brand or cuisine to your offering, you might reach a whole new audience with your existing restaurant.
Another benefit of this is that we, as people, can get bored pretty quick. Even your most loyal customers will eventually want to try something different. Adding a new brand or cuisine to your existing restaurant will allow you to save yourself in this case! Your customers will be happy, and so will you.
A new recipe might have been on your mind for a while or maybe some of your customers have been asking for certain additions to your menu. Now is the perfect time to test those ideas in a low-risk and cost effective way and see how well they do!
Maybe office staff no longer come to you for an afternoon coffee. Now you can focus this time to create a dessert or snack menu for your restaurant to ideally utilize your resources and maximize your output. For example, add cardamom buns to your offerings; and those same people who used to come to you for an afternoon pick-me-up can boost their morale from the comfort of their homes.
Converting your restaurant to a micro cloud kitchen will allow you to better utilize your existing kitchen and restaurant staff, especially during what could be considered down time. This is particularly relevant if you are running a dine-in restaurant and have seen a drop in business.
Your new food endeavor will most likely use some of the same ingredients. This will allow you to reduce food waste and make the most of your inventory.
In addition to food ingredients, you will have the advantage of using your existing storage, supply chain and kitchen space for extra income and revenue.
So you have made the decision to come out on the other side of this pandemic as a winner - congratulations!
Every restaurant is unique and every food entrepreneur is different. While there isn’t one single answer to offer a solution on how *you* should convert your brick and mortar restaurant into a micro cloud kitchen, we do have some recommendations. If you would like to discuss this further we would also be happy to jump on a discovery call to walk you through your options.
Tag(s): Featured , Virtual Brands , Online Food Delivery , Micro Cloud Kitchen
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