Realising that home delivery will be the new normal, Momo King is planning to launch 20-25 kitchens in Delhi-NCR alone. “The cloud kitchens seem to be a rising stone for the F&B industry. The idea behind these kitchens is to eliminate the traditional dine-in experience and focus exclusively on online food deliveries as it would help us in minimising personal interaction between the staff and the customers,” shared Shyam Thakur of Momo King. Hence, they are planning to launch more cloud kitchens in more areas in Delhi NCR and expand their operations. They have hired 40 employees in total to streamline the operations. Everything is based on the foundation of the safety guidelines issued by the government, along with additional preventive measures that we are adopting. Excerpts from the interview:
How the consumers' online order trends are evolving around during and after the lockdown was implemented?
During the phase where strict lockdown was imposed, everything was shut except few deliveries and that could hardly be considered any business. People were scared of the spread to the extent that as a precautionary measure they preferred to make everything at home. Eventually, the lockdown was uplifted, steering us to Unlock 2.0. And even though we have entered a whole new phase with comparatively fewer restrictions, most of the consumers still prefer to stay indoors to maintain social distance. They are not only taking additional measures to stay safe like going out only for the essentials but also restricting their food cravings to online-ordering. Even though some of the people remain hesitant but the others are making an exception and ordering from trusted brands only. They are ordering from eating joints which are credible and who assure safety norms are being taken care of.
With people becoming extra-cautious of ordering food,they prefer brands where they can see how their food is being prepared and thus we also get calls from people asking us to show videos of the food preparation. All this has impacted our business in a way where people are still uncomfortable ordering food and even though things are changing, the impact of the pandemic still affects the majority. With a slight shift in imposed restrictions and the new wave of normal trying to sweep in, a lot of consumers who are working from home have started preferring ordering food online, with one of the reasons being their busy schedules. We, at Momo King, are making sure that we deliver their order safely and ontime so that they can enjoy hot and piping momos from the comfort of their home.
What changes have you witnessed in the consumer consumption pattern when it comes to online ordering?
COVID 19 has drastically changed consumers’ consumption pattern since they have started spending more time at their homes. People are making efforts to inculcate a healthy lifestyle while staying at home as they realise that health is their real wealth, especially now more than ever. We acknowledged the fact that our consumers are becoming health-conscious and thus making us introduce a whole new range of healthy variants such as vegan, whole-wheat and gluten-free for health-conscious momo lovers. We make sure to not to add any MSG, added colours or preservatives in any of the variety. We understand that people are craving outside food but healthy food and we want to give them a better and safe experience to build the trust and retain customer loyalty.
Who all are regular customers or age groups who are constantly placing online orders?
It is a mix age group that order online food however the majority remains millennials, especially those working from home, with less time to spend on cooking.
What is the most preferred time and cuisine of the online order placed?
Most preferred cuisine to order from outside remains as Pan Asian and peak hours of ordering is mostly in the evening between 5 to 8 pm.
Why cloud-kitchen model is a success during this time?
People are scared of stepping out and thus prefer to eat food in the comfort of their homes. As the lockdown has lifted and there has been a massive change in consumer expectations and behaviour, we have reassessed our entire business system and plan for contingent actions in order to continue business operation effectively and smoothly. We are planning to launch 20-25 cloud kitchens in Delhi NCR by the end of 2020.