Technology industry has a penchant for coming up with unique terms every now and then—the latest one doing the rounds is cloud kitchens, which has emerged as a business model that restaurants are now increasingly exploring during these pandemic times. “Though revenues in restaurants are returning back quicker than expected, online delivery still continues to be a major part of the revenue for operators,” says Ajay Singh, chief growth officer at POSist, a leading cloud-based restaurant technology platform.
Restaurants are exploring ways to control their operating expenses such as rentals, electricity, and manpower costs. In such times, cloud kitchens or delivery-only outlets is a viable option for restaurants. “We have seen a high demand for our cloud kitchen management software from large fine dine operators who are now building a hybrid business model of a delivery and dine-in,” says Singh (ex-CEO of Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee India) who joined POSist early this week to drive global expansion.
Talking about the emerging trends in restaurant industry, Singh says that contactless dining tools such as QR codes, touchless payment options, and digital receipts help restaurants maintain basic hygiene as well as optimise their resources. “QR code technology has remained an underrated technology to connect and transact in India. As per our estimates, nearly one-third of restaurants in India are using QR code ordering technology since the Covid hit. We expect 80% of restaurants to adopt QR codes and online ordering technology by end of 2021,” he predicts.
Technology will enable Indian restaurant chains to go global, he stresses. The global cloud kitchen market, worth $43.1 billion in 2019, is estimated to reach $71.4 billion by 2027 according to a report by Allied Market Research. “India’s restaurant sector will be a good contributor to this growth as we are well-positioned to become the hotspot for startups in the cloud kitchen space. As technology, delivery, and backend logistics capabilities are becoming stronger, we should be prepared to see Indian origin cloud kitchens, and virtual restaurants extending their geographic reach by 2022,” he says.
POSist started in 2012 with the aim to offer scalable, reliable, and easy-to-use restaurant technology. The company has its presence in India, UAE, Mexico, Singapore, and the UK. “POSist has achieved rapid business growth over the years on the back of its advanced technology stack focused on making restaurants’ bottom line efficient,” says Singh.
The year 2020 was a rollercoaster ride for this New Delhi-based firm, according to Singh. “We have seen a V-shaped recovery of our business in just about 10 months from March to December 2020.
As of today, we have recovered our business at 100% of the pre-Covid level. The recovery has come on back of our agility to respond to the needs of the market, we were among the first movers to build a full-stack solution for cloud kitchens. Our rate of growth in cloud kitchen technology for new as well as existing customers is much better than pre-Covid times. In 2020, we ventured into four new markets—Columbia, UK, Indonesia, and Malaysia. We added around 1,200 new restaurants taking our total customer base to 9,000 restaurant outlets in 30 countries.”
It is now focusing on the Middle East, the UK and the US. “As countries open up, we are seeing greater interest from restaurant operators for a scalable tech platform. By the end of the year, we expect our international customer base to double. We aim to cross 15,000 customers by the year-end,” he says.