As traditional eateries scramble to reopen, the number of cloud kitchens has reportedly gone up. Seeing the demand for dark kitchens, Gautam Kumar, co-founder, Keystone Solutions shares how they are providing consultancy services to cloud kitchen projects while ensuring high standards of hygiene quality with physical contact to a minimal, and following the guidelines issued by the government
As unfavorable sentiments have decelerated investments pertaining to the hospitality industry, what challenges as a solutions provider are you faced with during these testing times?
The business has been impacted but we are hearing positive things to at least restart the projects that have been on hold. Luckily for us, none of our projects have been cancelled as most of them are in high footfall areas. The slowdown is temporary and the hospitality industry has innovative leaders who are already paving the way to come out of the crisis. The slowdown has given us time to work on our process and efficiency. It has also opened opportunities for team members to invest in learning new skills. With no new projects and old ones on hold for the moment, fund flow has surely been impacted the most. We work with a few hundred skilled and unskilled labourers that help us build the beautiful projects; keeping them engaged is going to be surely a challenge but that’s only when they come back from their villages. However, the crisis has given us an opportunity to focus on other market segments such as Cloud Kitchens, Hospitals, warehouses, etc.
How are you at Keystone Solutions helping entrepreneurs in building dark kitchens assuring high productivity and low costs?
The best way to make sure restaurateurs benefit from their investments is to assist clients to choose and use material which is locally available and work with a supplier wherein you can manage your funds efficiently. Active participation in material selection and value engineering is the key. Also, the project should be completed in the estimated time frame, guess that’s the biggest saving we can provide to our clients. Scheduling and material specification within the turnaround time is the most effective way to have high productivity and control the costs. Most of the value addition happens in the design stage and we feel an ergonomically designed hygienic kitchen is most important. We help reduce the Capex while not increasing the future repair. Maintenance is the key.
In the new normal, as consumers need assurance while ordering from cloud kitchens, what additions have you made to make the kitchens compliant and fool-proof in operations?
We suggest our clients to follow some key basics while building and operating their kitchen. It should use high-grade material which is easily cleanable and microorganism resistance, we suggest the client to use the same while building the kitchen; HVAC and other services should be top-quality to provide good working conditions for team members; Discourage usage of door handles and have sanitisers dispensers at numerous places; Hourly cleaning of all work platforms; Setting up the stores and other areas as clean as the main kitchen.
Future roadmap for Keystone Solutions?
The brand debuted in the market with the intent to provide and implement ingenious solutions via turnkey execution for hospitality projects. We have been blessed with some benchmark projects across the country and hospitality projects have been our key talking point over the last 5 years.
While currently sustaining is the prime goal for all Small business, but we don’t want to lose focus of our 100 crore original target for 2025. We are trying to engage with multiple other categories like Hospitals, Warehouses and Malls etc. and have been lucky enough to get some positive responses for eg: During Lockdown we have successfully got in a business contract to build a brand New lobby for Select city walk and project is reaching towards completion.
With our dedicated team and partners the basics are surely in place and hence it’s a matter of time we shall hit our goal. It’s time to compete with your own self and take one day at a time. You can’t drive in top gear while driving uphill. Corona has affected one and all, hence has to stay positive and keep the momentum going