Cloud Kitchens: The New Future Post COVID-19?
May 4, 2020
For many, dining out has always been an enjoyable social experience, wherein you hang out with family and friends and socialize over delicious food. However, the recent pandemic is bound to change this dynamic globally, as post the COVID-19 era, many customers would be hesitant to dine in a crowded restaurant.
While safety, service, quality of food, and hygiene have always been of utmost importance in the food industry, the new social distancing guidelines have made it all the more important for restaurants to adapt to the growing changes quickly if they want their businesses to thrive.
Here, a phenomenon that has been around for a while now, but has slowly started gaining traction in recent times is the Cloud Kitchen or Dark Kitchen model. Thus, for this read, we’ll look at why restaurants are turning into Cloud Kitchens; the future of the Cloud Kitchen, and precautionary measures taken by these delivery-only restaurants, and how Cloudtap Internet Water can play a vital role in the growth of these businesses.
A] Why Are Restaurants Turning into Cloud Kitchens?
Like mentioned above, hygiene and safety have always been a topmost concern in the food industry. With the recent pandemic, restaurants are looking for new avenues through which they can generate business and stay afloat. Thus, here, the Cloud Kitchen model is an ideal solution, as food outlets, eateries, and food brands can share kitchen space and deliver food at home.
In a Cloud Kitchen, there is no option of dining-in. Customers only have options for takeaways or delivery at-home through food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy that will deliver your favourite food from your favourite restaurant/food outlet right at your doorstep.
In the wake of COVID-19, restaurants are also taking proper precautions by keeping a skeletal staff in the kitchen, ensuring that employees are wearing gloves/masks/headgears while preparing food and are following the required social distancing even at work. Regular body temperature checks are also conducted for the chef as well as the delivery agent. Thus, all these precautionary measures make running a Cloud Kitchen an efficient alternative, which is the reason why many restaurants are turning into Cloud Kitchens.
B] What is The Future of Cloud Kitchen?
All industries, especially the food industry, are aware that moving forward change is inevitable in all walks of life. The Virtual/ Cloud or the Dark Kitchen model - which was a small market segment before, is now the ‘new normal or reality’ that businesses need to adapt to quickly once the lockdown is lifted.
- As social distancing would be a requirement and restaurants would have to adhere to it, having fewer diners would mean higher expenses vs. revenues, affecting profitability.
- Gaining the trust and confidence of customers post COVID-19 would be another task, as most customers would be sceptical whether or not it is safe to eat outside.
- Educating their staff and training them on precautionary measures would be another challenge that restaurants would need to undertake.
- Frequent disinfection of tables, cutleries, glasses, menus, among others would be highly important for the safety of all - customers and employees alike.
By switching to Cloud Kitchen, restaurants wouldn’t have to worry about these several minor/major details which have become extremely critical for running of a restaurant. Also, they would be able to eliminate any form of contact that could unintentionally spread the disease.
C] Precautionary Measures That Would Need To Be Taken
Cloud Kitchens, rest assured, under no circumstances can skimp over hygiene and safety requirements. To operate a Cloud Kitchen, businesses need to have a valid Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) licence. The other major precautionary measure that needs to be strictly regulated in Cloud Kitchen is disinfection of water and consistent water quality.
Disinfecting water before use is important as the water used in Cloud Kitchen come from different sources; tap water, tank water, etc. Also, depending on the location, different sources of water would ultimately alter the taste of food. Thus, inconsistency in water quality is one of the biggest challenges that Cloud Kitchens face.
- Pure water devoid of all contaminants is important not only for processing food but also for preparing various dishes.
- Washing hands frequently before and after preparing and handling food for at least 20 seconds is essential.
- It is also important to clean/wash/sanitise all touch-points and surfaces including serving/cooking utensils, cutting boards, dispensers, prep areas, storage areas, equipment, trash cans, etc.
This entire disinfection process ensures residual food and invisible germs are killed instantly before it causes any harm and prevents cross-contamination. And, for this reason, the availability of 24/7 clean and pure water is extremely essential.
Also, while most establishments have a traditional RO system on the premise, the ambiguity over the quality and purity of water with a traditional RO system has always been an issue. As such, here, Cloudtap can be an ideal solution as it is India’s 1st Internet Water that provides 24/7 pathogen-free water, assuring purity in every single drop.
D] How Does Cloudtap Play a Role in Hygiene and Water Disinfection?
As a commercial RO+UV water purification service, Cloudtap harnesses the combined power of AI and IoT to help Cloud Kitchens with smart water management. Cloudtap Internet Water offers a continuous flow of pure water along with real-time performance and purity report. With Cloudtap, Cloud Kitchens can be assured of 24/7 uninterrupted supply of pure and consistent water, which will ensure optimum hygiene and clean water across all outlets. What’s more, Cloudtap offers triple-zero assurance;
- Zero Pathogens: It uses PRISM technology to remove harmful pathogens, thereby fulfilling its promise of ‘purity in every drop.’
- Zero Downtime: With the help of AI, which is based deep learning algorithms, you not only get real-time data on purity & performance but they even predict potential breakdowns before they occur. Thus, ensuring zero downtime for all Cloudtap installation.
- Zero CAPEX and maintenance: Since it is a subscription-based model, there is also no CAPEX and maintenance involved with Cloudtap installation, which is a win-win for all.
Cloud Kitchens, which were touted to be the future of the food industry, are almost a reality in most parts of the world today. Changing with times is important to stay in the business and establish yourself. Thus, by switching to Cloud Kitchen, restaurants would be able to create a profitable business post the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Cloudtap Internet Water can be a trusted partner in maintaining hygiene in your establishment by offering 24/7 clean and pure water, which can be used for varied purposes.