Navin Ladha, CEO, RanceLab – a leading retail software and POS hardware products provider especially meant for the retail and hospitality industry, writes on how cloud kitchens can burgeon through an efficient POS system
The concept of delivery-only or no dine-in restaurant outlets most popularly known as the ‘Cloud Kitchen’ business has gained momentum in recent times more so because of changing customer preferences who now wish to dine in the comfort of their homes with their friends and watching their favourite movies or web series than being troubled by the hassle of going out and getting stranded in traffic snarls, just to dine at their favourite restaurant after a tiring day.
The coming of the new-age concept has established itself as the fastest growing trend in the evolving market also because of its easy going approach, huge cost cutting operational methods and almost no costs involved in wait staff and real estate which otherwise are a huge investment for on-premise restaurants. Online food aggregators and delivery platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda, etc, have contributed humongously to this growth by making food available at the convenience of the consumer through effortless operations right from food ordering and tracking through constant updates on delivery to ease of payments through integration with various online payment options. In fact, the rise of these food delivery platforms in recent years is what has caused a shift in the restaurant industry from the on-premise restaurants to cloud kitchens with more restaurateurs opting for the latter enjoying the perks of low costs, broader reach, quick sales and rising market appeal for home delivery options.
Despite the low costs involved in a cloud kitchen the challenges in setting up such businesses is no less, especially when the number of new entrants venturing into this segment is increasing by the day. With limited brand presence and no direct customer interactions, cloud kitchen suffers heavily from lower customer engagement that makes customer retention a daunting task. This is why most of these brands seek to adopt mediums like heavy discounting and offers to attract these customers which hampers profitability in the long run.
So like any other business format, cloud kitchens also need integration with modern technology that would not only help in synchronising all their business operations and monitor each function of the business but give them vital insights about their customers that will help owners in channeling and strategising their marketing activities efficiently for maximum customer retention.
Cloud kitchens, dark kitchens, ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens – all are variants of a single idea focusing on an off-premise dining solution with a minimum to no difference between their operations but all operating on a delivery-only food business format, are the next big thing driving severe changes in the food industry and paving the way for an all new dining trend. Proper planning and investment in the right infrastructure, resources and technology will result in huge profits and success in this line in the long run.
An efficient POS system is thus, the way forward to run a successful cloud restaurant that would take care of the entire business operation right from accepting order and processing to the final delivery. It would also help in collecting and managing orders from various delivery channels at the call center and analysing sales from the particular mediums. Advanced POS systems would also help in managing direct orders at the outlet and gain valuable information about these customers and their preferences by controlling the entire self – home delivery channel.
RanceLab FusionResto provides restaurateurs a complete ERP software solution that helps in connecting all end-to-end business processes of their customers and helps them stay ahead of their competition from other similar and larger businesses. It not only helps in streamlining large orders from various sources ensuring faster order processing and quicker home deliveries but also helps in managing wastage, shortage and surplus food quantities while maintaining food costing thereby exercising strict control over loss of revenue because of such factors. It also enables restaurateurs to capture valuable data of their customer like their contact information, food preference, delivery address and order history which help in understanding their regular and frequent customers and make better strategies to create brand loyals among them.