In March this year, food discovery platform Zomato has been using its data repository of restaurants that have recently shut down to build a new business unit that will rent out kitchen space to restaurants for increasing their ability to deliver food. In a bid to raise its guard against Zomato, if sources are to be believed, Swiggy is in the process of building a new cloud kitchen vertical. In a push against Zomato, the food delivery startup is also looking to recruit a CEO for its new vertical.
Cloud Kitchens are basically online restaurants that do not have a physical restaurant. They take orders via virtual websites/apps, but unlike traditional restaurants that offer food delivery, cloud kitchens do not have a dine-in space.
Apart from Zomato and Swiggy, Delivery Hero’s FoodPanda, and new entrants UberEats and Google Areo have also entered this segment. The real battle though is between Swiggy and Zomato. While Zomato’s Cloud Kitchen is focussed on supporting new restaurants to deal with the hurdle of starting up, Swiggy’s move is seen as an option to generate more revenue.
Swiggy’s arch rival Zomato expressed its intentions to set up its first cloud kitchen in November 2016 in Delhi as part of the pilot phase of its new project – Zomato Infrastructure Services. In March 2017 the dream actually came to life and Zomato set up its first Cloud Kitchen in Dwarka.
However, Swiggy already beat Zomato to the chase and in January 2017 launched its cloud kitchen, ‘The Bowl Company’. The cloud kitchen caters to select areas in Bengaluru. It provides Pan-Asian, Continental, Indian cuisines. The Swiggy platform provided lead generation, payment and delivery of orders for its partner restaurants at The Bowl Company.