January 25, 2023

Five Types of Cloud Kitchens – Which One is Best?


The phenomenon of CloudKitchen® delivery kitchens is here to stay and is continuing to grow increasingly popular as they provide a cost-effective way for F&B companies to run their business. Any owner, chef or industry professional knows that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the restaurant, but if you don’t have the space needed or want to venture into new markets without having to fork out significant sums of money, then a CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen may be the ideal answer.

With five major types of CloudKitchen® delivery kitchens available to choose from, you may be scratching your head and wondering which one best suits your business. Not to worry, we at Chef Collective have got you covered with our in-depth guide to finding the type of CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen that’s perfect for your eatery in Australia. 

What exactly is a cloud kitchen?

Before delving into which CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen is best for you, it’s important to know what the concept is all about. A CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen, also known as a virtual kitchen or dark kitchen, operates out of a commercial unit and delivers food directly to customers, without operating a physical restaurant space. They are typically located in and around busy areas with high foot traffic, such as office buildings, schools and universities or shopping malls. By eliminating the need for front-of-house staff, cloud kitchens can operate with much lower overhead costs than traditional restaurants. 

What are the benefits?

There are several benefits attributed to working out of a CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen, including:

  • Lower overhead costs – With no dine-in area, there is no need to hire waiters, bartenders, or general managers. All you need are the chefs to make the food and you are ready to go. 
  • Lower food prices – Since there is no furniture and the rent is significantly lower in comparison to traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, businesses operating out of CloudKitchen® delivery kitchens don’t have to hike their prices up, which makes them even more attractive to the general public. 
  • Cutting-edge technology – Many CloudKitchen® delivery kitchens utilise the power of technology to streamline the cooking process. At Chef Collective, we provide an all-encompassing software that allows you to receive all orders on a single tablet, no matter how many delivery platforms you are partnered with. Through this, the restaurants are able to provide customers with fast, convenient service. 
  • Great locations – Many CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen providers are situated right in the heart of the city in order to ensure the businesses that operate out of their facilities can cater to a massive customer base. When it comes to us, we have locations in three major Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 
  • Deeper insights – When receiving orders, you can identify which items on your menu are a hit and are making the most profits. You will also be able to pinpoint which dishes aren’t making the cut and can 86 them from your menu. 
  • Everything is online – While traditional restaurants have to carefully curate menus that will be passed out to each customer, those operating on a CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen model can do everything online. All that needs to be done is getting set up on food delivery apps like Menulog, Uber Eats and DoorDash. Once that’s done, sit back and watch the orders come rolling in. 

The different types of cloud kitchens

1. Commercial kitchens 

Mainly for restaurants and catering companies that require large, industrial kitchen spaces to fulfil massive orders. What makes them so popular is that there isn’t a need to rent out a space for a specific period of time or have to share equipment with other businesses. Instead, you have your own, dedicated area and can use it to prepare what’s needed to satisfy your customers. 

2. Commissary kitchens

Perfect for F&B businesses that need to make food and send it out to different locations. For example, if you own a burger truck in Sydney, this would be the ideal kitchen space for you. Commissary kitchens can be rented out based on when you need them. Furthermore, should you need more space to prepare food or store ingredients, you won’t incur any additional costs. Given that there is no commitment to rent the place on a full-time basis, you can see why it’s a sought-after option among food businesses. 

3. Incubator kitchens

Essentially, these are temporary pop-up kitchen units that are located in a food truck or kiosk right next to a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Incubator kitchens provide enough space for eateries to prepare delivery orders instead of catering to dine-in customers and delivery customers from one kitchen. It eliminates all the confusion and hassle, and ensures eateries can deliver top-notch food and avoid careless errors that will anger their diners and could potentially ruin their reputation. 

Incubator kitchens are generally shared spaces too, so identify a time slot that’s best for you and utilise it to your advantage. In addition to maximising profit, you can get creative and test out different types of food concepts to see which ones are a hit with your customers. 

4. Kitchen pods

While they usually come in the form of a shipping container, don’t let that put you off. These spaces can be used efficiently to prepare food for delivery orders and don’t require a lot of equipment and staff, meaning restaurants can save a ton of cash. One word of advice, it is worth investing in some form of lighting as kitchen pods can get quite dark since they usually don’t come with any windows. 

5. Cloud Kitchens

CloudKitchen® delivery kitchens are spaces within a larger commercial facility where eateries mainly adopt a delivery-only business model. They are generally situated in central locations, meaning there is already a customer base to tap into. These types of kitchens are perfect for new businesses that don’t want to take too much risk when starting up or for F&B owners that want to dip their toe in a new market without having to take a huge financial risk.

Which one is best for you?

With five different types of CloudKitchen® delivery kitchens to choose from, you need to pinpoint what your restaurant requires to fire on all cylinders and then complete the puzzle by fitting the final piece – the type of CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen that best suits your business’s needs and requirements. 

Ready to open a CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen in Australia? Fill in the form below or feel free to reach out to us

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