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NRAI hosted its virtual event – ‘Cloud Kitchen: The latest trend in Restaurant Industry’

Friday, September 24, 2021, 16:23 Hrs  [IST]

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, we aim to further strengthen and support the Restaurant Fraternity through our Regular Events and Annual Summits. With an aim to build a roadmap to the Cloud Kitchen – new normal in Restaurant Business, 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 the Cloud Kitchen Business. Cloud Kitchens are a boon for bootstrapping early-stage restaurateurs, ambitious home chefs who can set up food service business 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. 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. Some of the highlights of the event are as follows: Riyaaz Amlani said, “COVID has gently nudged us towards digitization of business. People are approaching restaurant business from many different sides be it Tech or data, emotion or heritage. 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 delivery business but now in post COVID era, most of the Restaurants have tripled their delivery business over 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. I am happy that both businesses have their own stakes and it’s beautiful that both the businesses co-exist and are growing together.” He further added, “Packaging plays a crucial role in delivery business as that is the only way to enhance the customer’s experience. Packaging is brand’s story telling. Furthermore, Delivery can also fulfil specific/critical nutrition needs of people like Keto, Calorie-specific diets.” Kabir Suri said, “The Delivery business has to be looked 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 sales. He further added, “We used to order direct in 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 it with various partners and authorities.” Saurabh Gupta said, “We founded UrbanPiper with a mission to make every restaurant successful online. 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 new era of same location and multiple brands. Hence, Technology plays a building block to help Restaurants in optimizing their sales.” Anshul Gupta said, “Nine years ago, we realized that people want convenience of quick food delivery in their homes, offices and it is very difficult to set up restaurants in all corporate hubs. This is how our journey began and 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 also realised that running logistic/last mile delivery is operationally intensive. Hence, we invested lot of time and efforts in building our own delivery fleet and Box8 food app which has proved to be very advantageous in reaching out to our customers directly. The Moderator, Sagar Daryani concluded the event saying that “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. He further urged all Cloud Kitchen Players to become a part of the NRAI and strengthen the Association. It’s high time for the industry to come together and stand united!”

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