How Traditional Restaurants Are Diversifying Revenue By Adding On-Premise Micro Cloud Kitchens

Converting to micro cloud kitchens

With the advancement of technology and COVID-19 restricting dine-in sales, the online delivery segment has seen an immense surge, which has, in turn, opened up more opportunities for cloud kitchens. The home delivery services provided by cloud kitchens are so impressive that many restaurants are now looking forward to opening their own cloud kitchens from their existing premises – a concept that has come to be known as ‘micro cloud kitchens’. This new restaurant model is being seen as ideal to help traditional restaurants adapt to the post-pandemic world.

What Are Micro Cloud Kitchens?

Micro cloud kitchens are in-house cloud kitchens operated by the already established brick-and-mortar restaurants using existing restaurant resources to facilitate delivery-only services. The rapid increase in online ordering has paved the way for more and more micro cloud kitchens as restaurant operations become increasingly delivery-centric. 

It is somewhat similar to a hybrid model providing both dine-in and delivery services. The added revenue stream makes up for declining footfall and is likely to create more business opportunities for your brand. 

Why Should You Switch To Micro Cloud Kitchens? 

There are ample reasons why you should consider converting your business to a micro cloud kitchen. The benefits contribute to the revenue of your business. Here are some of the key benefits of adding micro cloud kitchens to your restaurant business.

1. Serve A Wider Range Of Customers

While dine-in services rely on customers being physically present, micro cloud kitchen services can reach out to those located miles away. This way, you will be catering to a wider range of customers than ever before. With this concept, you can focus on different cuisines, thereby making your services versatile. A restaurant brand serving different cuisines catering to a larger pool of customers of various age groups, having different tastes is inherently more sustainable.

2. Ease Of Experimentation

Cloud kitchens are a low-risk and low-capital business. Since your micro cloud kitchen is mainly a side hustle, you have the freedom to use it as a platform for experimenting with different ideas. If you’ve been thinking of adding a new item to your menu, but have been apprehensive whether or not it will be well received by customers, now is the time to try it out.

You can first introduce your new addition on the cloud kitchen menu and see how it performs. Later, it can be added to your restaurant’s regular menu if you find that the product is generating good revenue. 

3. Better Utilization Of Existing Resources

Not every restaurant is busy all the time. There are times like the mornings and late afternoons when most places are empty. This ‘slow’ time can be used to carry out delivery services. Everything that is set idle during those hours – the staff, the kitchen, the inventory – can be put to use. While your staff will get busy preparing and delivering orders, the extra inventory can be cross-utilized to prepare the cloud kitchen orders in the same kitchen. The concept of micro cloud kitchens thus ensures the utilization of a restaurant’s resources to their full potential. 

How To Convert Your Restaurant To Micro Cloud Kitchens?

While converting to micro cloud kitchens, simplicity and uniqueness must be your thumb rule. Here are some tips that can help you convert your restaurant business to micro cloud kitchens successfully. 

1. Use What You Already Have

The first step does not require you to do anything. All it requires is a deeper dive into your existing resources. Look at your kitchen and its apparatus, know the hours in which your delivery staff and chefs are free, and analyze your inventory. With proper assessment, you will be able to put all of it to full use without spending a single extra penny.

Micro cloud kitchens
Source: Esseplore

2. Build Specialized Brands 

While shifting to micro cloud kitchens, you need to decide on your brands i.e. which brand will serve what type of food to what type of customers in which area. Customers at home tend to look online when they search for food delivery. If one wants to order a pizza, one will search for an outlet that specialises in making pizza instead of one that serves everything.

For example, Rebel Foods, an Indian online restaurant company, operates 11 cloud kitchen brands, most of which are specific to one cuisine or type of food. Behrouz Biryani specializes in biryani while Oven Story specializes in pizzas. The recently acquired Slay Coffee specializes in making coffee. Each sub-brand having its own niche makes the parent brand stronger and more versatile. 

3. Build Delivery-centric Menu

The concept of micro cloud kitchens focuses on delivery-only services. Incorporating it demands a menu that is delivery-centric as not all menu items on your restaurant’s menu will be suitable for delivery. You need to ensure that your products maintain the quality and taste that the customer demands. Therefore, optimize your menu and keep only those items that can be delivered easily without the quality being depreciated.

4. Integrate With Food Aggregators 

Cloud kitchens operate remotely, which is why customers are oblivious to their existence. As for micro cloud kitchens, customers may be aware of the parent restaurant brand but might be unaware of the fact that it also operates a cloud kitchen.

To make people discover you, you need to build a presence. The best way to establish a strong online presence is by integrating with food aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy, which make your brand visible to customers in their respective areas. Not just this, these aggregators can be paid to market your brand by putting it in their sponsored section. 

5. Prepare Yourself Technologically

Handling orders from the restaurant as well as the cloud kitchen can be quite cumbersome as there exists a possibility of order discrepancies. You must be technologically prepared to take care of everything and provide a seamless and hassle-free experience to your customers. Even if you have deployed a Point of Sale software for your restaurant, you might lack a few features needed to manage different cloud kitchen brands simultaneously. Make sure you are equipped with every feature (billing, inventory management, reports and analytics, CRM, etc) and are able to simplify every operation with your POS.

Switching to micro cloud kitchens from brick and mortar restaurants is quite a good decision when you are low on footfall and need to utilize your resources to full potential. Follow these tips to initiate delivery-only services from your restaurant kitchen and maximize your sales.

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Nikunj is the Communications Lead at Restroworks, a global leader in cloud-based technology platforms. In his role, he oversees global marketing and branding initiatives for Restroworks across APAC, the Middle East, and the US.


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