The food industry in India underwent a rapid change in the business model with the closure of regular walk-in restaurants and introduction of “Cloud Kitchens”. A model where cloud technology solutions helped the food producers sell their end products to customers directly. This business model was not only affordable to sellers with low infrastructure cost but also helped millions of Indians meet healthy food requirements during the pandemic. Cloud Kitchen or Ghost Kitchen as they are popularly called as, is a unique alternative to traditional brick and mortar restaurant model where the customers enjoy their delicacies at the comfort of their home. In the cloud kitchen business, spends are more on IT infrastructure and digital solutions rather than real estate investments in traditional restaurant businesses. Hence, choosing a right fit cloud SaaS solution is a key determinant to realize high profit margins.

By 2030, the global market for ghost kitchens is predicted to reach US $1 trillion and getting attention from different technology players to provide the latest and most robust Cloud Kitchen Management Solution. Delivery based applications such as Uber Eats predicts that ghost kitchen-based business model can boost sales by 50% even for reputed brands such as Burger King, Subway etc.

Below table represents the existing challenges faced by the D2C cloud kitchen brands in India today mapped to their top digital automation objectives for sustaining the customer base whilst realizing profit margins.

Existing Challenges

-Key digital automation Objectives
-New partners and collaborators have emerged in the online food delivery business
-One stop solution to manage business partner relationships
-Challenge to retain the customer base with N number of digital apps options available in their mobile phone for placing food orders
-Ability to engage with customers frequently through personalized experiences                                                        -Customer shopping journey is fragmented with purchase of food made from different aggregator platforms such as Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats etc. based on the discounts offered for the purchases made
-Need for cohesive integrated view of customer shopping journey with capabilities to balance between competitive rates to be offered vs profit margins to be realized
-Service does not meet customer experience
-Ability to track customer service satisfactions on regular basis with connected and consistent service
-Change of delivery personnel
-Optimize supply chain investments and streamline delivery & logistics through in built navigation and delivery team performance tracking capabilities
-Inventory & Kitchen Stock management
-Optimize inventory & kitchen supplies through in-built inventory management capabilities

How can Industry Cloud solution help Direct to Consumer based Cloud Kitchen brands to realize their technology goals?

An industry cloud application can help you achieve your business goals by bridging the gap between emerging market trends and your top business priorities with readily available OOTB features. Some of the must have features through a cloud-based CRM solution such as Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud include:

Simplified Order taking and Check Out Mechanisms

Managing third party orders on different screens while managing the food in kitchen is a tough deal. Features such as integrated environment aggregating and maintaining orders from all channels, ability to modify menu items and ability to reconcile third party payments centrally will ensure faster check out and make things easy. Also, through this single window system you should have an option of handling orders from all channels such as online food aggregators, website, social channels and so on.

Easy to track Online Inventory system

The operational cost rationalization by bringing in seasonal changes in the menu is a common phenomenon for restaurant business. Inventory metrics will play an important role in managing the supply chain in such scenarios. Below are some of the important inventory metrics that must be dynamically calculated and tracked for managing the supply chain better:

·         Cost of Goods Sold

·         Food cost percentage

·         Inventory turnover ratio

·         Contribution Margin

·         Menu performance and profitability

·         Customized Offers and Incentivization to Consumers

Any web based or mobile application for running your cloud kitchen business must be capable of providing Ad-hoc offers based on the customer data available in your CRM system. Metrics such as most ordered cuisines, preferred restaurants, mode of payment etc., businesses will be able to incentivize customers with attractive offers and best in class loyalty programs. Curating customized promotions will also enable to cross-sell and up-sell products based on customer tastes & preferences retain them for repeat business and generate more volume.

On demand surveys to support market research and promote product innovation

While marketing & operations are important for cloud kitchens, taking regular surveys and collecting customer feedback is equally important to understand the market needs better and keep innovating. Cloud CRM tools with integrated online survey capabilities just does that and helps in tracking the customer feedback for making product improvisation

Role of Generative CRM and Generative AI in Cloud Kitchen Business

Instant Menu Creation and more personalized eating experience

Integrated generative AI engine can play crucial role in the cloud kitchen business by assisting the business owners with personalized menu creation based on the available customer data. Example, it can play a crucial role in addressing food allergies and dietary restrictions of customers by providing instant recommendations on the unique preferences of the customer. This can help in improving the overall food consumption experience in customers and enable them to enjoy your brand more.

Creating Compelling Marketing Content is a click away

With the power of generative AI cloud kitchen players can readily create content for your email, SMS and Social media marketing requirements. Features such as instant avatars, filters and video effects, one can enhance marketing promotions and help business owners create compelling content that resonates the customer preferences.

Predictive analytics for accurate Sales forecasting

Use of generative AI vs not adapting to the trend will change the Sales game for the players in the cloud kitchen sector. With the power of generative AI, one can analyze complex data and identify patterns that go missed with normal cloud solution. This will increase the accuracy of the Sales forecasts and revolutionize Sales data synthesis.

To conclude, Cloud – Food Ecosystem are here to stay for years to come and choosing a best fit solution and must have features for your enterprise will be a key to win the share of pie in the market. The bottom line here is “Using data driven KPIs to drive sales volume” through cloud-based software solution will indeed be a game changer for Cloud kitchen business. Investing in the right fit solution will help the business innovate and stay upgraded for growing customer requirements.

Author Details

Akila Priyadarshini

Akila is a Salesforce Solution Sales Lead at Infosys and has worked with several Enterprise customers in their digital transformation journey on solution selection at best prices available in the market. She also spearheads Consumer Goods cloud and Financialforce competency at Salesforce CoE and helping delivery teams in ramping up niche emerging skills. She is an active member of Women in Management Club at Infosys and has been part of several D&I activities within Enterprise Application Services vertical at Infosys. She is a part time blogger, marketer and face of the brand for Infosys Salesforce Practice. You can find her blogs on Cloud offerings and solutions to get insights on latest technology trends in the market.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.