Full delivery service on request. These are cloudy (or ghostly) kitchens, which, unlike aggregators and new food delivery services, do not work with third-party organizations (pizzerias, restaurants, cafes), and instead build their own kitchens and hire cooks who work only on online food delivery. Couriers at such platforms also have their own.
Rebel Foods owns 235 ghostly kitchens
Ghostly kitchens work according to the traditional model:
users place an order on the site, confirm it and wait for the restaurant courier to deliver food to their doorstep. But, unlike traditional restaurants, in the cloudy kitchen, the client has a much greater choice in terms of ingredients and the way of cooking. In addition, food in cloud kitchens usually costs less, since they do not need to spend money on large halls, restaurant furniture and the salaries of waiters.
The largest cloud kitchen is Rebel Foods. It is an Indian chain that has received over $ 170 million in support from McKinsey, Coatue Management, Gojek and Goldman Sachs to build 100 new restaurants in Asia and the United Arab Emirates. The closest competitor is startup Deliveroo, which, under the leadership of Amazon, received $ 575 million in investment to conquer the world market.
Step 2: Defining a Niche and Target Audience
Practice shows that it is better to start any project on the Internet with a limited area, and then gradually expand it as popularity grows. It’s easier to distinguish a site from competitors, get a stronger response from users and save on promotion. Food delivery sites typically target:
Region, Country. GrubHub, one of the most popular food ordering web platforms, started out with Chicago. Once the project became a regional hit, it turned its attention to San Francisco, then to New York and other US cities. GrubHub is now represented in 2400+ cities in the US and the UK.
You can go the same way: start work from one city and then expand your business to other regions. If you live in a country where there are no major players in online food delivery, it is best to start immediately with several of the largest cities in order to be the first to conquer an empty market.
Target audience. Among the busy people who more often than others order food delivery, there are three main target audiences: working specialists, parents and students. Each has its own needs of preference, which you can rely on when starting your site:
- Working professionals. People who work hard and do not have time to cook and / or go to restaurants. This takes a lot of time, which they always lack. But they like to eat tasty and satisfying, especially if for this you do not need to go far from the workplace.
- This group is prone to natural foods and healthy eating, but because of congestion, they often do not have enough time, and therefore they like to use platforms for ordering food at home. Usually these are fresh products or dishes from a children's or healthy menu.
- Their main fuel is fast food. So if this is your target audience, focus on fast delivery and local fast food restaurants. In addition, such food should be relatively cheap.
As you can see, each group needs something special, so it’s better to choose your target audience in advance in order to think about how to draw up the right value proposition, as well as determine the functions of the site.
Type of kitchen. The last way to stand out at the start is to work with restaurants that cook certain types of dishes: homemade food, fast food, seafood, etc. You can also focus on establishments of Chinese, French, Hawaiian, Ukrainian or other cuisines. Here are some interesting restaurant niches:
- food at affordable prices;
- set meals for the office;
- vegan and / or vegetarian dishes;
- healthy and / or dietary cooking;
- recipes without soy, without gluten, without nuts or without sugar;
- exotic cuisine or folk dishes;
- dishes with insects;
- food for children.
This approach is only suitable for large cities, where there are many restaurants operating in one niche. For smaller cities it’s better to choose a different positioning method.
Step 3: Functionality and UI / UX Design
Role functions. When creating a food delivery site, you should divide its functionality into two groups of users (customers and restaurants), if it is an aggregator site, or into three groups (customers, restaurants and couriers) in all other cases. Each user group should have its own set of functions. Typically, this separation is as follows:
UI / UX design. When people order food online, they want to browse as simple and clean sites as possible, where nothing will distract them from the key action - ordering food. Therefore, you should not create something beyond creative or innovative. Better to focus on conciseness, simplicity and convenience.If you want to stand out among your competitors as much as possible, you can also integrate functions, for example, food delivery by drones, AR and VR elements for visualizing dishes or dish designers (the client decides what and how to cook).