As the world continues to recover from the effects caused by COVID-19, the damage it caused to the country’s economy is widespread. All industries experienced a huge hit. Particularly, the Food and Beverage Industry encountered great depletion. One of the key reasons is that most of the restaurants remained shut and food delivery companies were not able to operate at their fullest potential during the lockdown.
With restaurants and food courts being shut, food entrepreneurs had to come up with new business models and strategies to revive the industry and let the customers experience the pleasure of restaurant-like meals right from the comfort of their home. That’s where Cloud Kitchens helped both the businesses and the customers strive in the pandemic. There is no denying the fact that the cloud kitchens also were impacted negatively but despite being in these trying times, they proved to be an eminent player in the fight against Covid.
But first things first, what are cloud kitchens? How do they operate? How are they different from regular restaurants? Well, with several names in speculation, often termed as ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens, or dark kitchens, these are the spaces devised to produce food for delivery through online ordering or phone calls. They do not provide dine-in or takeaway facilities.
As discussed earlier, many challenges had to be tackled to keep businesses running. According to reports, millions of restaurant workers had lost their jobs after the start of this pandemic. Nearly 4 out of 10 restaurants have closed and 2 of every three employees were laid off. Keeping in mind the whole scenario, cloud kitchens were essential in ensuring that customers enjoy their favorite meals without worrying about cooking themselves or worrying about going to restaurants which was not an option for the longest time. To run a cloud kitchen, there were many challenges too. Customers became sensitive to hygiene and safety, so it was of utmost priority that these ends are taken well care of. This includes the regular health and temperature check-ups of all the staff and delivery executives, cleaning and sanitization of the kitchen, integration of contact-less delivery which also included the removal of the COD system for all the orders. Another challenge that has to be tackled is building trust with the customers. Building trust in these trying times is a crucial effort to keep the venture running. Another challenge spins around the type of food that is to be served. With the offices being shut, employees are working more from home and the families are spending more time together. In these situations, regular tiffin services provided from these cloud kitchens offer great relaxation for employees who need to cook their meal while working and for family members who love spending time with their closed ones. It is also noted that people are more concerned about their health and immunity and the need for meals that match their requirements has also increased.
These cloud kitchens possess a strict advantage compared to other food-related services. With most of the customers opting for home-delivered food, the restaurants struggled to start their operations just for takeaways and deliveries but the way cloud kitchens are designed, they already had experience in the field that was more in demand. With low maintenance charge, lower demand for staffs and management, they became the most prominent model to conduct food-related operations during the pandemic
Taking new challenges and overcoming them requires a great amount of time, money and effort. From maintaining good hygiene throughout the kitchen, producing quality meals and tiffins at the same time, opting for contact-less deliveries and more. As the pandemic hit the world, cloud kitchens had to change or evolve themselves as per the new regulations. They will strive to stay in the business for a long time and will be a safer option for those who take their safety seriously. And the more they continue to adapt to the customer demands, the more likely will they taste victory in this new world.