With changing times we have seen not only food-tech players catching up the dark kitchen model but also top restaurant brands sensing the growth opportunity with such concepts. Players like Lite Bite Foods which was one of the first restaurant group to explore the dark kitchen business, Biryani players like Biryani Blues and Biryani by Kilo that has both online as well as offline presence are cashing in on dark kitchen business. In fact for the biryani segment, delivery has seen a much better growth as compared to their in-store sales. These players do 75-80 per cent business via online orders. Hence, the big question arises, are these players trying to integrate with the food that they have or completely disintegrate and go into a completely different model.
Leveraging on Existing asset: “When it comes to Lite Bite Foods what we are trying to do is we are trying to leverage, take advantage of our existing assets and we want to create more orders out of our existing brands,” shared Vineet Manocha, VP- Culinary Operations at Lite Bite Foods because the trend of eating in is catching up and with that these brands want to take more orders and grow their brands.
‘Ghar Ka Khana’ is the King: If we talk about delivery and dark kitchens and what cuisine work for it. It obviously is ghar ka khana. Indian cuisine always works and it depends which region are you in. The regional food, along with Punjabi food which is popularly known as Indian food works well with customers. Also, the south east asian, pan asian flavours work well. Also, a lot of people are gradually shifting towards sushi, dimsums because of the health reasons and they have become very popular in deliveries.
Taste can make or break the biz: There’s no denying that we go to a restaurant or order from a place because of the fact that it has tasty, scrumptious food. “If you are ordering items like Sushi it will generally take around 30-40 minutes to deliver so what you can’t achieve for presentation you can achieve with the taste. So, taste can make it or break it for you if it is an online order,” said Sumant Vikas, Corporate Chef, Cremica Food Industries Ltd.
Packaging is the key: Food packaging is an important part of the delivery business. You need to have right temperature; texture and it should go the way because some items have to get delivered in the same shape and texture. “So, when it comes to dark kitchen I think taste is first and foremost and then comes the packaging,” added Vikas.
Commenting on the same, Manocha added, “We have to put in certain efforts to see how the food reacts to time. We keep on researching on how does food reacts when it is packed. We develop packaging which is easy to carry, concise and takes care of food and that’s what we keep on developing and evolving.”
Consistency is the key: Consistency remains an integral part in all businesses. No matter whether you are delivering food at the comfort of home or presenting at the table in front of your guests. Food has to be of same quality and taste.