There are few innovations that truly alter the landscape of an industry. While many start-ups and confident entrepreneurs will tell you that their company/product/service is going to completely change the game, that is rarely the case. While many of these will increase productivity, efficiencies and adjust your workflow, they fall short of truly changing the game.
How do you define a Game Changer? What makes an innovation so profound that it actually changes everything? What is it about the wheel, the printing press and the internet that were so powerful that the world was never the same again? Victor Hugo famously said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has finally come”. Perhaps it takes the right idea, as well as the right time to truly be a Game Changer.
Cloud Kitchens are sweeping through the food service industry at the moment. Where other concepts fall short of redefining an industry, Cloud Kitchens may not. Is it an idea whose time has finally come?
What is a Cloud Kitchen?
Cloud kitchens are a new way of operating in the food service industry. They use centralized commercial food production facilities paired with powerful new technologies that leverage changing consumer habits.
The ease and relatively low cost of food delivery has led to an incredible increase in demand. That change was already underway but the way our lives were altered in 2020 due to the pandemic accelerated these trends. In the past five years alone, revenue has increased by 204% across the food delivery sector in the US, fueled by the introduction of apps such as UberEats, DoorDash and Postmates.
Cloud kitchens allow you to capitalize on this. You can rent commercial kitchen space from a centralized provider, typically set up in large warehouses, away from the busy town centers where restaurants normally operate. These spaces are purpose built for food production and are enabled by technologies that optimize all aspect of your restaurant around consumer demand. They provide all the necessary equipment and takes care of all the other details. This allows you to focus on developing and delivering high quality, delicious food to your customers.
Why would I use a Cloud Kitchen?
Whether you are a budding restauranteur or have been providing great experiences for diners for decades, Cloud Kitchens offer fresh opportunities to grow your business. There are many benefits you can expect from operating a Cloud Kitchen.
Low startup costs: By leasing your kitchen space from a Cloud Kitchen provider, you remove the expensive burden of property ownership and maintenance. By outsourcing the physical needs of your restaurant, you can get your business up and running within as little as a month.
Convenience: No one wants to deal with the mundane tasks of running a restaurant. By having a provider manage the kitchen space, you no longer have to organize this yourself. The janitorial service, utility bills, health inspections and equipment repairs are all taken care of.
Low operating overhead: One of the biggest challenges to operating a profitable restaurant is the high monthly overhead. By transferring these costs to the provider, you free up more capital for product and brand development.
Flexibility: What if your current business space cannot accommodate the next phase of your business growth? Using a Cloud Kitchen allows you to grow outside the confines of your current location. It also provides you the flexibility to quickly make changes and adjust approaches to accommodate your customers needs. In this day and age, being able to pivot and take advantage of emerging trends is vital.
Higher Profits: Restaurants are notorious for their high operating costs. Higher costs mean lower profits. By reducing the operating overhead and start-up costs, you increase your profit margin.
Better Delivery Experience: Cloud Kitchens are optimized for delivery. By operating in a location purpose built for food delivery, you can streamline the pick-up process. This can look like a station that is optimized for delivery personnel.
How does this change the game?
Using a Cloud Kitchen, you can create an entirely new restaurant brand that operates only in digital space. As a restauranteur, the challenge of taking your idea from dream to reality is no longer limited by your access to capital or investors. Leveraging this concept allows you to develop, test and build a restaurant brand without_having to invest the resources into a brick and mortar location. This makes the industry more accessible than it ever has. With food delivery projected to grow to $200 billion by 2025, the only limits are your ambition and vision.
So how do you define a Game Changer? It has to be the right idea. At the right time. But the true test is whether or not the game is forever chanced. The way other monumental innovations changed the way we do everything, the Cloud Kitchen will forever leave its mark on the industry. The Cloud Kitchens time has come.