Everything runs in the cloud nowadays. We store our dearest memories in the cloud, we run businesses in the cloud, and lately, entire kitchens are being run from the cloud. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably been ordering food from a cloud kitchen more often than you’d think. In this article, we’ll be giving you some tips and tricks on how to properly set up your cloud kitchen business. And find success while doing so!
What is a cloud kitchen?
Before we get into the setup, we first have to see what exactly a cloud kitchen is. A cloud kitchen (also known as a ghost kitchen or a virtual restaurant) is a food business entirely run online. Such a kitchen will not have a physical location where customers can go eat. Instead, they’re only running a kitchen where food is cooked, packaged and shipped instantly. The popularity of cloud kitchens is on the rise, as more and more providers have found a way to improve on the service while cutting costs associated with renting a land-based location.
How to set up a cloud kitchen?
Setting up and running a cloud kitchen is often easier than running a full-fledged restaurant. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easier. Starting a virtual restaurant comes with its own challenges that you’ll need to overcome.
1. Set up a website
The most important thing when it comes to a virtual restaurant is the website. To create a stunning restaurant website with Wix’s intuitive website builder click here. This website should also have an online ordering system that’s easy to use and navigate. The smoother you make this experience for the clients, the more orders you’ll get. You shouldn’t ignore the basics of a good website either – make sure you have an attractive web design (that includes appealing photos and videos of the meals), engaging content and plenty of ways for customers to get in touch.
2. Choose an appropriate location
Yes, virtual restaurants need locations too. The good thing however, is that you won’t have to spend a fortune on rent for a fancy central place. Instead, you can save up money by setting up your kitchen in a more remote area. When you choose a good location for your cloud kitchen, there are a few things you should consider:
- Working space. You need to make sure you have enough space so your day-to-day operations run smoothly.
- Parking space. You’ll be mostly working with delivery drivers. Make sure they have easy parking access to your location.
- Modifying options. As your business expands, you will probably need to make some adjustments to the physical space.
3. Find your niche and stick to it
To find a niche that works for you, you will first have to study the local market for a bit. Are there any other businesses offering the same services? If yes, how will you be able to differentiate yourself from them? Find your unique selling point and stick to it. You can introduce something new to the market or choose something that’s already being done and improve upon it.
If you have multiple concepts in mind that you’d like to monetize, don’t throw them all under the same umbrella. Instead, create different virtual restaurants for those niches so you can appeal to a wider audience.
4. Don’t forget about paperwork
Sadly, paperwork is a huge part of opening a business, no matter its type. Before you can actually fire up your kitchen, you will need a health inspection that will decide whether your food is safe to eat. Moreover, you’ll also need to prove that your kitchen has safe and up-to-standard procedures for food prepping and storing.
This is maybe one of the most important steps because if done wrong, it could come back to bite you later. Do a bit of research and check out the rules and regulations in your area to make sure everything is squeaky clean when the inspection happens.
5. Take care of delivery
You can either hire an entire fleet of delivery guys or use services such as DoorDash or Swiggy. These services are used by both virtual kitchens and customers alike because they’re fast and convenient. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options so make sure you do a bit of research before choosing your delivery method.
No matter what you go for, always make sure you have the right procedures in place. Choose good packaging for your deliveries – it shouldn’t allow for leaks, and it should maintain the right temperature until it reaches your customers. Make sure your customers get their food delivered hygienically by choosing the best packaging options.
6. Promote your virtual kitchen
If you want your ghost kitchen to be successful, people have to know about it. There are a few ways in which you can promote your services and they all depend on your niche and business model. If you write regular blog posts on your website, make sure you have the SEO basics down. If you’d rather go the social media route, make sure you target the right audience with the right content. Last but not least, you can work with local influencers to promote your food. Many businesses managed to gain traction by using a combination of these tactics so just test everything until you find the best strategy for your restaurant.
Given the current context, many industries seem to be shifting and transforming. The restaurant industry is no exception as cloud kitchens have become more and more popular. Now that you know the basics of running a virtual kitchen, we hope you’ll be able to make more informed choices that will ultimately lead to the success of your brand. If you found this article useful, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and even give it a share!