2020 has been the year of surprises and the era of new trends being born. One of them is the introduction of cloud kitchens which is definitely here to stay. Another form of it that already existed was home deliveries from restaurants considered as a substitute and not a necessity for the restaurant business. But 2020 became the year of delivery with big and small restaurant brands either being bullish on delivery or opening dark kitchen/ cloud kitchen as an option to survive the lockdown losses.
The cloud kitchen model has various pros that work best in the industry's favour. For example, Swiggy and Zomato didn't play a big role earlier in the hospitality industry but have now become significant platforms for the growth and visibility of cloud kitchens. Cloud kitchens have lower operations costs along with saving a lot of money as you don't invest in large premises which is definitely profitable than a restaurant. In a nutshell, because of their low-cost maintenance and broader reach via online visibility, they are far profitable than restaurants. And, with delivery taking the centre stage, it is also important that restaurants and delivery players also focus on packaging of food and creating the same experience at home via delivery.
“Packaging is becoming the new storefront. People love visiting new restaurants and share their opinions on the interiors, ambience, and customer experience. With social distancing, in-store experiences have taken a backseat and food packaging becomes the new customer touch-point,” shared Karan Singla, Head Operations- India Business Unit, Rebel Foods who believed that people will take note of great packaging experience; share it on social media making it a good conversation starter.
Also, restaurants and delivery players are adopting innovative ideas, trends to serve their customers the best way. And, as hygienic food practices have always been a part of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping in view the current situation where in the country is facing a serious outburst of the covid-19 second wave in the Delhi-NCR region, it becomes utmost important to maintain hygiene in food consumption.
Given the situation, many leading food delivery platforms including Swiggy are now tying up with Prakritii Cultivating Green for disposable cutlery and mitigate plastic waste.
The patients of covid-19 are being served with the simplest quality of food and proper resources for cutlery. The large expansion of “Covid Tiffin” has been introduced to the general public so that the environment-friendly method might be accessible. As per resources, Swiggy runs an initiative called “Swiggy Packaging” which assists with paper and glass as alternative options.
“Episodically, Covid is fixing practically everything we have done on the disposal of single-utilized plastic and we should find some alternatives to it before it goes much worse. A ton of Covid-19 patients grumbled that restaurants have been declining their food orders in light of them testing positive and their housekeepers had quit coming; the patients were themselves too powerless to even consider cooking. That is the thing that pushed us to step in,” added Vaibhav Jaiswal, Director & Co-Founder of Prakritii.
Packaging v/s The Food
“We are very unique and distinctive when it comes to packaging. Our starters/ Tikkas are tightly tucked in earthen pots and items like Biryani comes in Mutka which you can reheat by placing a candle below. For the main course items, we use paper/ cardboard containers and other packaging alternatives to ensure heat insulation and regulate temperature. We also use bottled jars for salad, raita and our signature desertand test tubes for chutney,” said Ishaan Kapoor- Founder, Madam Curry.
Besides this, safety will also be of the utmost concern for customers. To address this, brand like Rebel Foods have also introduced – ‘UV sure bag’. Food which is ordered on any of the Rebel Foods brands will be put in an outer bag, which is run through a UV chamber, deployed at all partner kitchens, before being handed over to the delivery person. The UV chamber disinfects both the outer and inner surfaces of the bags making sure that it’s completely safe.
Hence, we can say that restaurants and delivery kitchens will co-exist and grow together.