The F&B industry in India has been growing exponentially over the years until the recent outbreak of coronavirus, which not only disrupted the sector but halted its progress for a long time due to safety constraints.
The pandemic has changed the approach of various sectors and is influencing them to re-imagine the definition of new normal. Contributing to these times and deriving an opportunity amidst a crisis is the concept of cloud kitchens. It has existed in the industry from quite a while and is now widening its horizons while contributing to the growth of the F&B sector.
Cloud-kitchen taking the lead
Being a restauranteur might not be a cakewalk but it certainly is taking an innovative turn with cloud kitchens taking the lead. In a usual F&B business scenario, day-to-day investments are often high and the return of investment might not balance it right.
However, with cloud kitchens, the business is transforming into an affordable venture with a good ROI, reaching more and more people by the day. The major operational cost in setting up cloud kitchen is on marketing and discoverability as delivery is being taken care of by the platforms like Zomato and Swiggy.
Cloud kitchens, also known as ghost (virtual) kitchens, are upending the graph of success for the food sector of India and surging the profit numbers by multifold. With COVID-19 and precautionary measures creating a paranoia amongst the customers, more people are opting for home-delivery than heading out for a dine-in experience. Catching pace and getting their due traction now, cloud-kitchens are acting as a future-forward tool to establish a stable F&B venture which caters to consumers at the comfort of their homes.
Owing to the latest developments and technological integrations, especially cloud kitchens, the F&B industry's revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 14.4% in the term of 2020-2024, resulting in a projected market volume of US$10,058m by 2024 end. With over 60% millennials ordering food from cloud kitchens at least once a month, the concept is creating its space in Indian society by every passing day.
The food and beverage sector of the nation has been severely impacted and the experts of the industry are expecting the dine-in segment to nose dive further in the next few months as the health factor is playing an essential role and people will prefer to stay at home rather than crowding market places and cafes/ restaurants. In such unfavourable circumstances, cloud kitchens are not only serving as a sail that's keeping the boat afloat amidst a storm but also putting India on a map while making it globally competitive. Minimising human interaction and maximising serving the customers' food craving to the best of abilities, ghost-kitchens are creating a buzz in the market.
Furthermore, they are also helping in digitalising the sector along with making the restaurant services tech-enabled and customer friendly. Maintaining high levels of hygiene and quality while taking care of social distancing and other safety guidelines, cloud kitchens are surpassing the dine-in business and creating a new normal for people along with a secure future for the Indian F&B industry.