Can I work and run a Cloud Kitchen simultaneously?
It is just another day at work for you when the emails don’t stop and motivation ain’t coming. Suddenly a message on your college Whatsapp group catches your attention. That old friend of yours who shared your passion for food has finally gone ahead and opened his food business. The nostalgia bells chime in your head, and you think, wow! He’s taken the plunge. And then you are back to the same old dilemma. Can I do this with my day job? Can’t I just do both?
Good news is you can.
With some smart planning and a strong-willed determination, you can pull off working AND running a cloud kitchen simultaneously!
And why not! The increasing need for convenience and pocket-friendly options have made cloud kitchens a rage. Not to forget the rent saving, zero location-obsession, lesser staff and easier management they offer.
What Are My Options?
Every shoe does not fit every foot, and every type of cloud kitchen shall not fit your plan. The first step- figure out how much time you can dedicate to the business.
Once that is known, here are the types of cloud kitchens that can complement your work schedule.
The name is self-explanatory. There could be nothing better than this if your job allows you to work from home or opt for a flexible schedule. The kitchen can benefit from your personal touch and can be started with minimal investment. You can scale it up as per your convenience and hire staff accordingly. Have one eye on the kitchen and one on your laptop; there is no lack of control this way.
- Co-working Kitchen Spaces
A definite perk of a co-working kitchen is that your infrastructure investment can be as low as possible. And let’s be honest, the costs of building a kitchen from scratch are dizzying. Simply bring in your team, and you can keep checking on the operations through the POS software while you work. KitchenPlus is a great example of Coworking spaces for cloud kitchens especially. These New Age kitchen spaces are fully equipped and are aggressive in terms of their commissions taken as compared to Aggregator Kitchen Spaces. So all you need to do is get your team in and start cooking while the numerous other things are taken care of by them. However, it may curtail your independence to some extent because you may have to go with their terms and conditions.
Citing the example of Swiggy Access, this is a kitchen that can provide you with an optimally located space with basic infrastructure like gas pipelines etc., in place. You provide for the cooking, team, kitchen design, and the aggregator shall fill in the gaps of an ordering portal, delivery, and customer data. Weigh the pros and cons before you commit, as the commissions can be really high on these models and it will also make you dependent on them to a great extent.
In all likelihood, you would not have the time to cook in your cloud kitchen with a day job and will have chefs to take care of that. In a similar way, what if you could outsource the entire operations to an operator? Kitopi is a well-known operator who functions as per this model. You can work out a commission for the business while keeping your current job.
Dream Team for Your Dream
Since you would have your hand full, make sure that you choose a team that is motivated to take up work. One way to crack the code is to hire right. The employees should not only know how to cook your menu but also cope with taking the orders, dispatching them correctly, managing inventory, etc. Basically, own your kitchen like their own!
In short, everything should run on autopilot in your presence, with you only monitoring it even in your absence.
Check Off the Basics
Before you take off with the idea, it is promising to iron out any impediments. Here are some pearls of wisdom for you:
- Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none – focus on a niche product/cuisine, start with a single kitchen as it helps to reduce the involvement while you take care of your corporate job. Branch out into multicuisine eventually if time and bandwidth permit.
- Have a passion for entrepreneurship as you shall be calling all the shots and making an investment from your own pocket.
- Hire your top chef first because he/she will be your go-to person.
- If you think that cloud kitchens are lucrative, then a hundred others have thought so too. Thus, understand how to uniquely position yourself in the face of fierce competition.
- Be ready to fail, dust and keep at it. Give yourself the due credit for juggling life, work and passion. Don’t lose heart, binge on your favourite food, learn the lessons you need to and start every day afresh.
Lastly, anyone who said that you couldn’t have it all probably didn’t try it enough. Don’t shun away just because it is challenging; after all, you are turning your passion into a profession. It is bound to build you in different ways, just like you are trying to build it!