Cloud kitchens gather steam in India

As the pandemic caught the country by a storm, many restaurant dining spaces took a severe hit. Consequently, many major brick-and-mortar chains have been expanding their cloud kitchen network ever since. Cloud kitchens refer to the facilities set up for the preparation of delivery-only meals. Myriad models such as cloud kitchens & online food delivery brands are peaking investor interest in the food and beverage segment. For example, Hygiene BigBite — a cloud kitchen backed by Serial entrepreneur K Ganesh — raised US$ 15 million from Falcon Edge. Another example is that of Rebel Foods, among the largest cloud kitchens in India. The compamny became a unicorn as it raised US$ 175 million in its latest round at a US$ 1.4-billion valuation. Wow! Momo Foods, is also planning to expand their cloud kitchen business.

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Image credit: Pexels

“When the market was uncertain, nobody knew what they were doing, what to do next, will the lockdown continue? But we took an aggressive step to expand to more kitchens. Now we are opening over 10 kitchens a month,” said Hygiene BigBite’s founder Kiran Prasad. The company was founded in 2016 s business-to-business (B2B) delivery startup BikeNinja. In the next year, it decided to be a multi-brand cloud kitchen model. Prased reckoned that the company grew from from five kitchens before the second wave of the pandemic to 50 kitchens in Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai. He also said that that the company was also planning to get into packaged food and have 100 cloud kitchens by the next year.

Rebel Foods, famous for its Faasos and Behrouz Biryani food brands, is reportedly investing in other brands like Slay Coffee and Biryani Blues. Ankur Sharma, Chief Business Officer at Rebel Foods, said the company was planning to add 25 more brands to its programme by December’21. “There have been players which have leveraged our supply chain to open in new cities. Longtail is about not only taking the established brands across India, and giving them deeper penetration, but also finding unknown brands, where the product is amazing. We are working with entrepreneurs, taking their product pan-India or a pan-city,” he said.

 

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