A lot is being spoken about the cloud kitchen industry ever since the start of the lockdown. However, it is interesting to note that the food delivery business was poised at a much more aggressive growth in comparison to the dine-in industry even before the COVID-19 crisis struck. It’s safe to say that a sound business model was considered a safe bet prior to the pandemic but what has happened is that with most restaurants shut and delivery aggregators reporting up to a significant decline in order volume, a pivot to a cloud kitchen model has been championed by some as a panacea to the industry’s current woes. Here are top women into the cloud-kitchen business that has grown to a new heights in the 2 years.
Lakshmi Dasaka, Co-Founder, Slay Coffee
“Coffee isn’t just a beverage. It takes skill and craftsmanship to grow, to roast, to grind, to brew and to pour. Coffee is both social and personal. Coffee is a way of life,” shared a statement from Slay Coffee that was started by couple-duo Lakshmi Dasaka and Chaitanya Chitta who missed New York’s coffee culture, this Bangalore-based cloud-kitchen delivery startup has grown 3X amid the pandemic.
Before starting DropKaffe Food & Beverages, Lakshmi was the co-founder of her husband’s education learning solution enterprise, Smarton Learning Solutions. She is a Cornell University Graduate.
Donne Biryani- Shweta and Ramya Ravi
Started by sister-duo Ramya and Shweta Ravi, RNR Donne Biryani is a staple of Karnataka’s culinary culture and is not popularly known among other varieties of biryani. Started as a 200 sqft cloud-kitchen venture in November 2022 with an investment of Rs 5 lakh, a single cook and a couple of assistants.
“Covid has not vandalised the market. People still want to try new cuisines & avenues of growth with minimised risk is the could kitchen format,” shared Shweta by adding that one needs to keep up with the trend before they get outdated.
Chiquita Gulati- Call Chotu, Yours Truly Butter Chicken, Spice Market
“We started our first kitchen in early 2019, as our restaurant had gone into renovation and we had a decent sized delivery and catering vertical that we did not want to hamper while we took a break. Eventually when the restaurant was ready for operations we never went back from the cloud kitchen model due to the efficiency and ease of doing operations,” shared Gulati who has also added 2 new kitchen to their existing operations and plan to expand more in the next few months.
Chiquita Gulati is a chef by profession and is also the co-founder of Spice Market along with her husband Sumit Gulati. She started cooking alongside her mother and grandmother from a very young age. Luckily for her, she was always encouraged and supported in everything she wanted to try and experiment.
Chef Seefah Ketchaiyo, Seefah Bakery
Seefah Ketchaiyo is one of India's top emerging chefs and possibly Mumbai's very favourite Asian food wiz. Chef Seefah and her husband Karan Bane has taken the Asian cuisine to a new height with their restaurant in Mumbai. And. it was during the lockdown when restaurant business came to a halt, she also thought of entering into the delivery business with her bakery delivery brand Seefah Bakery.
She started her journey with Four Seasons as their Thai chef, and started a restaurant called The Blue with her husband that was never short of waiting queues. And, today she has made a mark among the culinary heroes.
Ishita Sudha Yashvi, Co-founder, Cross Border Kitchens
“Our kitchens are typically geared to dish out thousands of orders a day. Therefore, managing any increase in demand is never a problem. However, the rise in CBK portfolio is not due to people staying in and ordering more. The F&B industry continues to face a demand failure,” said Yashvi in one of her earlier interview with Restaurant India.
Cross Border Kitchen is a multi-brand cloud-kitchen based in Delhi that has tested the success during the pandemic.