Disruptive technologies have become an important part of the world with digital adoption and eCommerce leading the way. Online food ordering became popular as the customers got familiar with shopping over the internet, especially during the COVID-19 period.
Clients who grew familiar to e-shopping wanted the same ease when it came to ordering meals. Subsequently, the online food delivery section became viral among the people. This paved the way for the evolution of backend technologies.
Cloud kitchens which are commercial facilities that produce and distribute food, funded by third-party service providers, are frontrunners among these technologies. Based on their versatility and scalability, cloud kitchens have rapidly paved the way for a new field of online restaurants and brands.
They are focused on a delivery-only business model and food brands operating within them are widely referred to as virtual restaurants. Restaurants can extend an actual concept or curate a new virtual brand at a lower cost.
According to India-based Global Market Research Firm, Allied Market Research, the global cloud kitchen market, valued at $43.1 billion in 2019, is projected to reach $71.4 billion by 2027.
The GCC area has also cottoned onto the trend, with the UAE prevailing as the startup hotspot for the market. Many people have started to rely on online delivery services to get readymade food items. The rising number of online food delivery services in the region signals the vast usage of online food services.
“The growth prospects of the cloud restaurant and cloud kitchen industry and ecosystem are huge in the UAE and globally. Cloud restaurants, along with cloud kitchens and delivery apps will continue innovating the customer experience through to 2021 and beyond. The delivery-only food tech industry is the fastest growing and the most exciting space in food and beverages globally today.”
Rowan Kamel, Chief brand officer of Cloud Restaurants stated, “Our restaurants are 100 percent online restaurants, so we don’t have dine-in service. Currently, we operate our 10 brands in seven cloud kitchens across Dubai and we’re growing rapidly with more brands.”
Gaining speed in the food delivery sector
The online food distribution sector experienced an upsurge in the days and weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic due to isolation protocols and operational constraints at restaurants. However, this trend assures to gather momentum in the post-COVID world as well, given the growing demand for foreign cuisines, widespread internet access, social media interaction as well as the progression of the food preparation and ordering system.
Mr. Kamel stated, “As logistics capabilities and cloud kitchen infrastructure develop, we should be prepared to see delivery apps, cloud kitchens and virtual restaurants extending their geographic reach by operating in new countries, cities, and towns – and not just in the major capitals. We will see brands hyper-targeting customers per delivery radius, addressing very specific demands for the demographics of each delivery zone.”
“Even within the same city, a delivery radius in a university town has very different food delivery needs than a delivery radius in a family-only gated community. We will also see international chain restaurants develop their virtual restaurant delivery capabilities to adapt to the online restaurant world or risk becoming irrelevant,” he further added.
Cloud Restaurants is a Dubai-based delivery-only, online restaurant company. It intends to create meaningful online restaurants using the most noble ingredients, innovative sustainable packaging, and enjoyable customer experiences.