Food delivery startup Swiggy said that its cloud kitchen programme, Swiggy Access, now hosts kitchens by 1000 restaurant partners across India. The initiative in which Swiggy provides restaurants with the space and infrastructure needed to run a remote kitchen will now expand into Tier 2, 3 cities like Guwahati, Surat and Kochi, according to the company. The company, which leads the food delivery sector in India in terms of market share, has invested INR 150 Cr in setting up Pods — spaces purpose built for setting up multiple cloud kitchens and is investing an additional INR 75 Cr to bring more partner cloud kitchens in 12 new cities by March 2020, said Vishal Bhatia, CEO, New Supply, Swiggy.
For instance, cloud kitchens have allowed local restaurants like Buhari and Kumarakom to serve cities like Coimbatore. Likewise, eateries like Biryani Blues from New Delhi are now accessible in Chandigarh.
Cloud kitchens run by Swiggy in Chennai
Bhatia tells us, “Swiggy has over 125 partner kitchens through Swiggy Access across 16 locations in the city. Our 500th partner cloud kitchen was opened in the city a few months ago. Brands like Zaitoon, Fireflies Night Restaurant, Ghuma Ghuma Lu, Ratna Cafe, Loiee Mithai and Rasoi, Pulusu are part of the city’s Swiggy Access network.”
Convenience to restaurants, diners and delivery platforms
According to Bhatia, the food delivery industry has undergone transformative changes over the last three years. “This is true in the case of India, which has leapfrogged the widespread restaurant dining culture that was prevalent in international markets. Factors like traffic, parking woes and hectic schedules make consumers turn to delivery for convenience,” he says.
While demand is on the rise, India currently faces a big supply gap where consumers in metros and Tier-II, III cities do not always have a wide selection vis-à-vis cuisines or quality brands. Bhatia emphasises that restaurant expansion via cloud kitchens is simple as it removes major barriers like setting up dine-in facilities at prime locations, hiring and retaining staff, customer acquisition, market fit etc. “Cloud kitchens are easier to set up and run and are streamlined for delivery which helps in improving consumer experience with quicker deliveries. With the help of technology and data science, we have made it possible for even smaller restaurants to run a high-volume delivery business,” he tells us.