There are more than 20,000 restaurants in Dubai alone, and some of them are starting to upgrade themselves by using cloud kitchens. What is a cloud kitchen, you might ask, and how does it improve a restaurant? What should you know if you want to set up a cloud kitchen for yourself?
How do you know if the decision is worth it? Keep reading and learn more about cloud kitchens, how they work, and how they differ from regular kitchens in Dubai.
What You Need to Know About Cloud Kitchens
The first thing you should know about cloud kitchens is that they do not serve customers in person. You might find this to be a strange concept. After all, how can a kitchen function if it doesn’t serve customers food when they ask for it?
However, cloud kitchens still provide customers with food, but they just don’t do it in person. Cloud kitchens are also known as ghost kitchens and they function mostly on the digital level, hence the name. Cloud kitchens use cloud technology to ensure that the majority of their functions are online rather than in person.
Of course, there still have to be physical cooks making physical food for customers. This is something that is impossible to move to the digital level. However, almost everything else except for the creation of the food itself is digital.
What is the point of this, you might ask, and what does it aim to accomplish? First, you should understand that any cloud kitchen business model mainly aims to satisfy its customers by delivering food to them instead of serving them in the physical kitchen. The cloud kitchens themselves aren’t even the ones delivering the food.
What You Need to Know
Instead, cloud kitchens usually employ third-party companies to do the food delivery for them. So, cloud kitchens don’t really need to do anything except take orders, make the food, and then give it to a delivery platform to be taken to the customer. You might have not heard of cloud kitchens before and that is because they are still relatively new not just in Dubai but throughout the rest of the world as well.
However, because cloud kitchens are so efficient, they have been becoming more and more popular in recent years around the world, especially in Dubai. Its popularity comes from the fact that cloud kitchens are far more efficient than any regular kitchen. You might wonder how this could be.
After all, cloud kitchens generally function on a smaller scale compared to traditional kitchens. However, because the majority of cloud kitchens function on the digital level, this gives them plenty of room to grow. More than that, they often grow at a much faster rate compared to traditional kitchens.
But what goes into a cloud kitchen that makes it so efficient and how can you know if such an establishment is sustainable? What are the benefits of cloud kitchens and how do they compare to the benefits of traditional kitchens?
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Kitchens?
The first thing you should know about cloud kitchens is that they don’t need a lot of space to function perfectly. Regular kitchens don’t have the opportunity to enjoy this luxury. Instead, regular kitchens have no choice but to be relatively large.
That way, there will be enough space for the workers, the cooking equipment, food storage, customer seating, and so on. While traditional kitchens can function just fine, they can be quite expensive to run. After all, the bigger space you have to manage, the more expensive it is going to be whether you rent or buy the space.
This is not to mention that you also have to heat or cool the space which can increase your utility bills quite a lot. On the other hand, you naturally will save quite a lot of money on space. Even if you only save a small amount of space at first, the amount you save will soon build up over time until you end up saving hundreds or even thousands.
And, due to the smaller amount of space, you also won’t need as many workers in a cloud kitchen. Having many employees working for you at once can be quite expensive. Sometimes, the cost of employing staff alone can make running a kitchen very difficult financially.
After all, besides the chefs, you will also need to hire someone to greet customers when they come in as well as waiters to serve the customers. The more employees you have, the harder it will be to keep your kitchen afloat. But when you run a cloud kitchen, you can cut the number of employees in half, if not more.
You will only need a very small amount of employees to keep your cloud kitchen up and running, mainly chefs to make the food. There will be no need for waiters or greeters at all since customers will not come to the kitchen to get their food. Instead, it is all delivered.
This not only saves you money but it makes your cloud kitchen an especially efficient business. The few workers you do have only will focus on preparing the food and ensuring that it is ready to be delivered. Instead of spending money on a bunch of employees, you can direct some of that money to hire food delivery services.
You will still save money in the long run by doing this since hiring food delivery services will not cost you as much as maintaining an entire staff. Another benefit is that it will be very easy for your cloud kitchen to grow. After all, since the majority of the kitchen’s functions are digital, it will be easy for people to find your cloud kitchen just by browsing online.
The internet is used by billions of people around the world, and Dubai alone has more than 3 million people that might have an interest in what your cloud kitchen has to offer. But if you decide you want to open up a cloud kitchen, where should you start and what do you need?
Get a License and Choose a Location
All cloud kitchen startups need a license to get started. If you try to open a cloud kitchen without a license, you could end up in big trouble with the law. Fortunately, getting a license isn’t as hard as you might expect, but you will need to have all the right documents to apply.
In particular, you will need to apply for a trade license. Keep in mind that there are many different types of trade licenses, so it is important to choose the right one for your cloud kitchen. If you are unsure which one to choose, you can always consult with professionals that will help you get your business together.
To choose the right trade license, think about what you plan to sell out of your cloud kitchen. Do you only plan to sell food or do you also want to sell alcohol? If so, then you will need an additional license for that.
When you apply for a trade license, you will need to provide copies of several important documents such as your visa, your passport, your lease agreement, and last but not least, your Ejari certificate. Also, keep in mind that a trade license is not free and you’ll need to pay a certain fee to get it.
However, don’t let the fee stress you out since it usually isn’t very large. Once you get your trade license in order, you’ll also need to register your business. You can do this by submitting some documentation to the Department of Economic Development.
Again, you will need copies of your lease agreement, your passport, and your visa. You will also need to show your new trade license. Once you get that out of the way, the worst will be over.
Just be sure that you don’t forget to choose a good location for your new cloud kitchen. Your location is very important because it will determine how much you are going to spend on your kitchen. As mentioned before, you don’t need a very large space to house a cloud kitchen.
You mainly just need enough space to cook an adequate amount of food for your customers. It might take some time to find a space that is the right size and the right cost, but you should eventually find a nice new location to base your business on. Also, when choosing a location for your cloud kitchen, make sure that it is somewhat close to your target audience.
It wouldn’t make sense to choose a location that is across the city from the majority of your customers. This would only make your business less efficient since you would need to pay your food delivery services more for the longer routes and the food wouldn’t reach your customers in a satisfactory amount of time.
Get a Food License and Hire Employees
Unfortunately, a trade license is not enough to get your cloud kitchen up and running. You will also need to get a food license if you legally want to sell food. As mentioned before, if you want to sell alcohol from your cloud kitchen, you will also need to apply for a liquor license.
Applying for a food license is not that hard. You’ll just need to supply the same documents that you used to get your trade license. After that, your cloud kitchen will be subjected to an inspection for food safety.
This inspection will ensure that your cloud kitchen is in good shape and adequate to distribute food to customers without being a health hazard. Before the inspection, make sure that your cloud kitchen follows all the legal requirements for the handling and storage of food.
For example, your food storage areas need to be as clean as possible, your cooks will need to be trained in food safety, and any food processing equipment needs to follow certain regulations.
As long as everything in your cloud kitchen is in good shape, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a food license.
But what about your employees? While you won’t need to hire very many employees for your cloud kitchen, it is still important to hire high-quality employees.
Mainly, you will need people to cook the food. You may only need one or two people to do this, depending on what kind of food you’re serving. For example, if your kitchen’s food is relatively simple, you might only need one person to do all the cooking.
On the other hand, if the kitchen’s food tends to be more complex or comes in large portions, then it might be best to have more than one cook. Whatever the case, make sure that your staff has all the right documentation to work in Dubai. In particular, check for their visa documents, work permits, and so on.
You’ll also want to make sure that they’re skilled with the handling of food and food safety. Background checks are also very important. As long as you do all that, your cloud kitchen should be ready for business.
All About Cloud Kitchens
Cloud kitchens are only getting more and more popular due to the many benefits they have to offer. They are far more efficient and convenient compared to traditional kitchens since they don’t require a lot of space or many staff members. All you need to do is obtain the right license, choose a good location, and gather some good employees, and your cloud kitchen should be ready to go.
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