Is your F&B business suitable to operate with a cloud kitchen?

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Australia is no stranger to cloud kitchens, especially as the concept continues gaining traction in major cities throughout the country. As most F&B business owners have been forced to adapt and pivot their business models because of the COVID pandemic, the growth of cloud kitchen spaces and the solutions they offer makes sense. 

Between 2016 and 2021, the market size of the Online Food Ordering and Delivery Platforms industry in Australia has grown 43.8%, with annual increases predicted well into the future. Because opening a cloud kitchen is cost-efficient and low-risk, F&B restaurant owners who choose this path can benefit from this boom relatively easily. But, not all cloud kitchens are the same. Before jumping in, it’s essential to consider all the different types of cloud kitchens there and which is the right fit for your restaurant. 

By definition, cloud kitchen spaces (also known as dark kitchens or ghost kitchens) are delivery-only, streamlined kitchens with just the right amount of equipment required to run a fully functioning kitchen. 

There’s no dine-in area or storefront, and they get their goods to paying customers by partnering with third-party food delivery services—like Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Menulog. Because of this stripped-down business model, cloud kitchen owners benefit from major cost savings by paying lower rent and needing smaller teams. This allows them to focus on making amazing food with the most efficient food preparation methods possible.

By working with a reputable cloud kitchen operator in Australia like Chef Collective, you can choose from various turnkey kitchen space solutions. Each space comes equipped with everything you need for success—from the most up-to-date F&B industry technology to marketing support for growth and more. 

To help you figure out which cloud kitchen model is the right fit for your brand, here we highlight the different types of cloud kitchens and brands we’ve worked with in each area.

Local entrepreneur / startup

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If you’re a local entrepreneur or small startup, our cloud kitchen spaces provide the ideal solution. There are low upfront costs and minimal operational costs which means that, as a business owner, you have the flexibility to experiment with strategies and test what works best for your restaurant with greater speed and lower spend. And since our team of experts can help you every step of the way, dark kitchens are especially valuable if you’re new to the industry.

Consider that a cloud kitchen owner can get their business up and running with around AU$23k, which is a meagre investment compared to the AU$1M investment often required to open a dine-in eatery. Also, when you compare with the traditional restaurant model, it only takes a cloud kitchen 6 months to break even with 10% profit margins on a $1M run rate compared to the typical 5 years.

An example of a startup that uses Chef Collective’s kitchen spaces is Chuanizuier Chinese food.

Local Chains

For local chains, cloud kitchen spaces provide a low-risk opportunity to operate multiple locations with similar operations. All our cloud kitchen spaces are fully equipped with streamlined processes in place, and new locations can be set up and ready to do business with a new target audience in a fraction of the time. 

Typically, traditional restaurants take 48 weeks to launch, whereas a cloud kitchen can be ready to start cooking for customers in as little as 3 weeks.

Many notable local chains work in our cloud kitchen spaces including Wing Culture by Seoul Bistro, Jack & Wills Burger Joint, Greek Street Katina, Clayfields Seafood & Burgers, Schnitzengiggles, and Thai Ginger Express.

National chains

National chains can take advantage of the same benefits as local chains. With the cloud kitchen business model, national chain brands can profit from quick expansion with local costs. With a traditional F&B business model in Australia, restaurant owners must take on a hefty upfront investment and high levels of risk, as expanding into new areas is never a guaranteed success. 

Our cloud kitchens are strategically located in areas with access to an active customer base, so jumping into one of our locations offers national chains the possibility of low-risk, cost-efficient expansion into new regions.

Ayam Penyet Ria is an example of a national change that successfully entered into new territories with our cloud kitchen offerings.

Regional and international chains

Similarly, regional and international chains maximise success with quick expansion and market testing by taking the cloud kitchen route. International chains can avoid the hassle of figuring out the logistics of securing local permits, insurance and such because our Chef Collective experts handle all of this. This approach saves brands both time and money and lets the chain step into a ready-to-go kitchen space and get the business going in no time. 

Especially as COVID restrictions continue to complicate the point of entry into the F&B industry, having a turnkey solution becomes even more attractive to business owners. Popular burger chain, Carl’s Junior, is an example of an international chain that has used our cloud kitchen spaces to enter into Australia’s food delivery market.

Cold / dessert brands

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Cold/dessert brands find great success using cloud kitchens, as well. For these types of brands, dark kitchens serve as storage space so that business owners can access more customers in a bigger market. Such brands can grow their virtual brand awareness and simply pay a minimal cost to store their ingredients or food products.  

KIV kitchens

Dark kitchen spaces also serve as food storage space for KIV (keep in view) kitchens. Storage equipment, food licenses and all necessities are built into all of ChefCollective’s cloud kitchen spaces. Plus, our team handles all of the maintenance like cleaning, insurance and more, so it’s a hassle-free solution for KIV businesses looking to store ingredients or dishes that can be transported at a moment’s notice as needed. 

Get in touch with us today!

Would you like to get more information about starting a restaurant in a cloud kitchen space in Australia? Simply contact us and one of our ChefCollective experts will be happy to help you get started.


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