NRAI has partnered with E-Vistas India as ‘Official Events & Media Buying Partner.’ With the combined strength and expertise of NRAI and E-Vistas India, they aim to further strengthen and support the restaurant fraternity through regular events and annual summits. To build a roadmap to the cloud kitchen, new normal in the restaurant business, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) in partnership with E-Vistas India, conducted its first virtual event on Thursday, September 23, 2021, with the Industry Stalwarts.
The event provided an insightful and informative opportunity for entrepreneurs and people who are zealous about cloud kitchen business. Cloud kitchens are a boon for bootstrapping early-stage restaurateurs, ambitious home chefs who can set up food service businesses and get immediate access to a growing digital market, without the expense and enormous risk of opening a dining-in restaurant.
Sagar Daryani, Vice President – NRAI; CEO & Co-Founder, Wow! Momo moderated the leader’s panel with industry stalwarts like Kabir Suri, President – NRAI; Co-Founder & Director – Azure Hospitality; Riyaaz Amlani – NRAI Trustee; CEO & MD, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd, Anshul Gupta- Co-Founder, Box 8 and Saurabh Gupta – Co-Founder & CEO, UrbanPiper took part in the event.
The event started with a warm welcome address by Kabir Suri. Thereafter, the esteemed panel discussed all major aspects of a successful cloud kitchen business model like Growth V/s Sustainability, Dependency on Aggregator/Self-Delivery Model, Cuisine Selection, Pricing Strategy, Use of Data in Selection of the Location, Marketing, Demand Creation, Profitability v/s Scale, Future of Cloud Kitchen, Retention Strategy and much more.
“COVID-19 has gently nudged us towards digitization of business. Traditionally, restaurateurs have been emotive and intuitive but with Order Direct and Delivery Business, now tech also plays an important part. Earlier, dining-in restaurants had 5-10% of the delivery business but now in the post-COVID-19 era, most of the restaurants have tripled their delivery business over the last 5-6 quarters. However, I would like to add that delivery is not competing with dining-in Business, and dining-out will always continue to be a celebration for our guests,” said Riyaaz Amlani, NRAI Trustee; CEO & MD, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd.
“The delivery business has to be looked at in two different ways – High Average Order Value (AOV) Brands and Low AOV Brands. The biggest advantage of cloud kitchen business is that it helps you to expand into new markets and you also get to test the market’s sentiment through delivery business without opening a restaurant. We all spend years on building a brand and hence, I believe that instead of keep on opening new brands, one should always bank upon the existing brands and the brand equity built over years. With this strategy, we have managed to achieve 95% of Pre-COVID-19 sales. We used to order direct in the pre-tech world as well. Order Direct has always been there and technology is developed only for convenience. The ownership of deliveries needs to remain with the businesses and thus, data is of utmost importance which NRAI as an industry association has been trying to resolve with various partners and authorities,” said Kabir Suri, NRAI; Co-Founder & Director – Azure Hospitality.
“We automate all online aggregators and provide a single dashboard or integrate with your existing PoS systems to make it easier to manage the online presence. The restaurant business is mission-critical in a new era of the same location and multiple brands. Hence, technology plays a building block to help restaurants in optimizing their sales,” said Saurabh Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, UrbanPiper.
“We thought of setting up cloud kitchens very early which gave us an edge over other players. Technology has also played a pivotal role in our growth. Additionally, we realised that running logistic/last-mile delivery is operationally intensive. Hence, we invested a lot of time and effort in building our delivery fleet and Box 8 food app which has proved to be very advantageous in reaching out to our customers directly,” said Anshul Gupta, Co-Founder, Box 8.
“Over the last few years, the entire restaurant industry has reinvented itself and every format has found a way to survive, revive and grow. Cloud kitchen has become an integral part of the restaurant fraternity and is going to be a patient game for new entrants,” said Sagar Daryani, Vice President – NRAI; CEO & Co-Founder, Wow! Momo.