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Technology in a Cloud Kitchen – Hot or not? logo 24-08-2022 PCQ Bureau

Why is a kitchen mixing in AI for predictive demand modelling, tech platforms for just-in-time preparations, and robotic arms for cooking at scale? And how it can make sure not to get burnt by Cloud outages? Time to sniff deeper.

As per an Allied Market Research report, the global cloud kitchen industry stood at $29.4 billion in 2020 and can touch $112.7 billion by 2030. Here, the independent cloud kitchen segment has held a major share with around two-thirds of the global cloud kitchen market. At the same time, the kitchen Pods segment can show the highest CAGR of 14.62 percent from 2021 to 2030, thanks to its low operational cost and its waste-reducing, eco-friendly offerings. Also worth noting here is the prediction that the market across Asia-Pacific is expected to register the highest CAGR of 15.07 percent from 2021 to 2030. Let’s get into a Cloud kitchen in India – and find out what role the ingredient of technology plays here. Ankit Nagori, Founder, Curefoods shares his recipe.

One lakh meal per day! How do you balance speed with quality, hygiene standards, minimum wastage, taste, and consistency? Is it hard to meet the needs of high customer impact while maintaining employee satisfaction and sustainability, minimising worker/delivery staff fatigue, and aiming for profitability?

Curefoods currently does around 40,000 meals per day. In my opinion, the ability to meet speed with quality, hygiene standards, minimum wastage, and consistency comes with following a process. At Curefoods, we do this through our three clustered kitchens and one large bakery, which does most of the semi-preparations for the deliveries like gravies and marinades. More than 50-60 per cent of the preparation is done through these kitchens and is controlled through our technology and manufacturing lead platform, which is farm-to folk. This food is then moved to the cloud kitchens based on demand modeling technology. Just-in-time preparation is followed to ensure that a customer’s order is delivered in less than 30 minutes. I believe that this overall process is critical. The fact that we have technology that enables us to service many orders, especially in the peak hours of demand, is beneficial and vital, as this is when the real business is generated. Curefoods can deliver to the demand in a very clean manner.

How critical is a technology for a Cloud Kitchen? Are you using Deep Tech like AI, ML, Blockchain, Robotic assistance, etc. already?

The functioning of a cloud kitchen has multiple aspects, where technology plays a vital role.

The first is demand. Running your brand’s website and application is crucial to generating a robust user demand. Apart from your platform, getting access to all the other major food platforms in the market like Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon, and others, and displaying your brand on their portal will also generate the demand which needs deep integration with each of the third-party brands.

Second is the entire logistics that takes care of moving food from one point to another, from raw materials to the kitchen to the customers. This tracking, and role. Of logistics require a lot of technology integration, given the high demand volumes in the market today.

Lastly, deep knowledge of technology and deep tech platforms is required to decide the food production and its quantity, inventory management, and batch processing.

That said, at Curefoods, we use AI in terms of predictive modeling of demand, which helps us decide on food production and reduce its wastage. We have some robotic hardware installed in our kitchens, which allows cooking on a large scale.

Right now, our objective is to have more robotic arms, which can take away the menial job of simple mechanical actions. Ankit Nagori, Founder, Curefoods

How do you differentiate yourself from other players in this space through clever and ahead-of-the-curve use of technology?

I think Curefoods is significantly ahead of most cloud kitchen players in the market due to the various technology tools used, as I have mentioned. We have built an end-to-end technology right from the farm to folk and from the kitchen to the customer, which allows us to make sure our product is of high quality and that we can deliver it across all the kitchens in less than 30 minutes. This gives us a massive advantage over other players on the market.

Any highlights from the last 2 years? Any tech investments, digital projects, acquisitions, etc. that you can talk about?

Yes, there are a couple of important projects that we have been working on.

There is attention to focus on reducing wastage of supply through analytics and data modeling, which considers various parameters. This is a massive area of investment for us. We are also focusing on using social media and SEO for the brand to drive direct traffic to our platform. While this activity sounds insignificant, it has required a lot of work and energy from the team and has been one of the critical areas for us. Over20-25 percent of our demand now comes from our channels, which is a decent benchmark.

Has technology played any role in portfolio optimization or in ironing out the integration part of the Maverix handshake?

Yes. Both Maverix and EatFit, which are housed under Curefoods, were significantly ahead in the technology curve. The transition required vast migration and the merging of technologies. This has resulted in much more sophisticated and advanced platforms. Today I can say this securely for most of the technology-enabled F&B players in the country.

What can the industry learn from glitches like the ones recently seen at Starbucks, DoorDash, Grubhub, etc.—and from DoorDash's shut-down of Chowbotics?

The industry will face glitches now and then. But the fact that brands like Curefoods are dependent on other platforms like GoogleCloud, AWS, and others for selling, we need to have our backups of technology and cloud in place. There can be days where there is a total outage across platforms, but fortunately, we have not had such an experience till now.

Any changes or lessons from the recent debate around food delivery apps, pricing regulations, etc. in India?

There will always be healthy competition between food platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, and our channels. For us, it is a very symbiotic relationship, where we try to ensure that unique features exist on our channels like on We also sell on a subscription basis, but a bulk of single on-demand sales also come to us from Swiggy and Zomato.

The fact that we are able to sell subscription-based orders is a testimony to the fact that we've built superior technology which allows us to serve thousands of customers.

What next would be exciting to watch on your tech roadmap? How attractive are technologies like robotic chefs, AR/VR, Drones, etc?

We will focus on building technology for middle-mile deliveries where food from the central kitchen can be sent to far-off cloud kitchens. We will also continue to look at the integration of robotics in our kitchens. Right now, our objective is to have more robotic arms, which can take away the menial job of simple mechanical actions. Curefoods will continue investing in Robotics.

Ankit Nagori, Founder, Curefoods

By Pratima H

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