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6 Different Types of Cloud Kitchen Model and How it Works!

Cloud kitchen, ghost kitchen, shadow kitchen or even dark kitchen are a hot topic in the Food & Beverage industry due to their low-cost model plan and high-profit return. Many businesses are in fact looking into the cloud kitchen concept, especially during the Covid-19 period where more and more restaurant owners and food operators are looking for alternatives to sustain their business.

Although cloud kitchen may seem like the best idea during this time, it is also crucial to know which type of cloud kitchen that best suits your product and business model before you start adapting to the concept.

Let’s find out the 6 different types of cloud kitchen business models that exist!

Cloud Kitchen Model #1 – Brand-Owned Cloud Kitchen

The OG, most pure-blooded concept of cloud kitchen that exists. This concept involves only one location, one brand and one kitchen. It focuses on a brand owned single cuisine and menu that operate for delivery only. Both Dine-in or takeaway are not available for customers.

Cloud Kitchen Model #2 – Dine-in With a Separate In-Location Delivery Production Line

This second concept is usually applied by an existing dine-in restaurant to create a side-hustle that is specifically dedicated to delivery and takeout. In this concept, the restaurant will take their hero dishes and curate them specifically for delivery in a separate cloud kitchen.

Ghost Kitchen Model #3 – A Dine-In Brand Operating from One (or More) Shared Kitchen Locations

This model is used by businesses that already have a dine-in operation running but also have a separate cloud kitchen aspect that runs from a shared kitchen space. While the restaurant attends to dine-in customers, the cloud kitchen will focus on all delivery orders from one (or more) shared kitchen spaces. The objective? To separate operations and expand reach!

Cloud Kitchen Model #4 – Hub & Spoke

This model concept revolves around having a centralised production unit where most of the items are premade and then distributed to pop-up locations. At these pop-up locations, the items are finalised and ready to be sent over to customers upon order. Usually, these pop-up locations are strategically located to cover more grounds for online food delivery services.

This model concept consists of several variants that business owners can apply to best suit their products. It might be a single brand, multi-brand or even a shared kitchen.

Cloud Kitchen Model #5 – Shell Kitchen /w Outsourced Food Prep/Delivery/Support

The most complicated out of the bunch, this concept is where a cloud kitchen only does final touches on the food item before being delivered to customers. The business will outsource semi-prepared food and partner up with third-party, such as online food delivery platforms for ordering and delivery services.

Cloud Kitchen Model #6 – Multiple Virtual Brands In a Shared or Business-Owned Kitchen

And last but not least is a cloud kitchen concept that kEATchen is providing with pinches of additional support! This concept model has a slightly more elaborated setup but one that we believe works best for Malaysian F&B business operators.

In this concept, the cloud kitchen business runs several different brands in an owned or shared kitchen space that focuses exclusively on delivery operation, where ordering and delivery are handled by third-party online food delivery platforms.

As an example, kEATchen as the operator brings in multiple brands of street food legends from all around Malaysia and gathers them under one roof. The meals are freshly cooked upon receiving order in our kitchen where each vendor and brands have their own space for food preparation.

In kEATchen, we include different types of cuisine from Mee Kari, Chicken Rice, Briyani and even desserts for our customers to enjoy in a single order via various online food delivering platforms such as GrabFood, Foodpanda, EASI and more. Despite the online food ordering trends, we also acknowledge that some of our customers do enjoy the traditional way of ‘tapau’ food, hence the reason that we provide takeaway and pick-up at our premises.

To conclude, as a Food & Beverage industry player, we believe that cloud kitchen is a great solution for business operators to optimise their business in terms of operation costs and ensuring that they could reach a bigger pool of customers. However, as foodies ourselves, we see cloud kitchen as a way to help preserve our national treasure, Malaysian street food cuisine! Thus, the reason why we are helping local vendors and operators revolutionise their business by going online.

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