Also known as ghost kitchens, shadow kitchens, virtual, or dark kitchens, these are delivery-only restaurant outfits, which do not offer dine-in options. They rely only on online orders, usually placed through online food aggregators. Essentially, ghost kitchens have no physical storefront. Cooks prepare food for delivery or take-out, and no dine-in options are available to customers. Ghost kitchens typically leverage websites, social media, and various third-party apps to reach their customers and offer alternative means for restaurants to continue operations and generate much-needed revenue.
According to a report by RedSeer Management Consulting, cloud kitchens are set to be a $2 billion industry in India by 2024, up from $400 million in 2019. Before the pandemic, there was a distinct divide between delivery centric focussed and dine-in brands. However, the specification will be completely altered in the upcoming years. With the business model still in its infant stages in India, a boost in innovation and technological advancements could increase the operational efficiencies of ghost kitchens. Some of these areas include the more effective reduction of food wastage, the ability to forecast demand more accurately through harnessing big data, as well as the speed and quality of the food preparation process. All of these technological advancements will foster the increased generation of Intellectual Properties which needs suitable protection. Following are the relevant IPRs with respect to cloud kitchens in India.
Cloud kitchens centre around disentangling the menu with the goal that more automation can be instigated. Cloud kitchen companies have effectively automated all the packaging processes. These processes add to about 25% of the total workload. A great deal of pre-planning activities has additionally been completely automatized. Cloud kitchen start-ups are trying to explore and bring new technologies which will allow the whole process to be automatic. Various automated machines and robotic arms are being used in cloud kitchens.