Cloud kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens, are professional food preparation and cooking facilities that are designed for delivery-only operations. They allow restaurants and food brands to operate without a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment, focusing solely on preparing food for online orders.
Like other Southeast Asian countries, cloud kitchens are growing rapidly in Thailand, especially with a fast growing economy and a rising middle class that are increasingly ordering food online or via third party food delivery apps.
Starting a cloud kitchen in Thailand involves several steps. Here is a general guide to help you get started:
- Research and Planning:
- Conduct market research to identify potential demand and competition in the area.
- Define your target audience, cuisine type, and menu offerings.
- Determine the location and size of your cloud kitchen based on target customer base and delivery radius.
- Legal and Regulatory Requirements:
- Register your business and obtain the necessary licenses and permits required by the Thai government.
- Ensure compliance with food safety and hygiene regulations.
- Check if any specific licenses are required for operating a cloud kitchen or delivery-only restaurant.
- Infrastructure and Equipment:
- Secure a suitable space for your cloud kitchen. Consider factors like size, ventilation, utilities, and accessibility.
- Equip the kitchen with essential appliances, such as ovens, refrigerators, prep stations, and storage shelves.
- Set up a reliable internet connection and ensure your cloud kitchen is equipped with necessary technology like POS systems and online ordering platforms.
- Menu Development and Vendor Selection:
- Create a menu that aligns with your target audience and differentiates your cloud kitchen.
- Source high-quality ingredients from reliable suppliers or vendors.
- Consider partnering with local or popular food brands to expand your menu offerings.
- Online Presence and Marketing:
- Build an online presence by creating a website and establishing profiles on food delivery platforms like LINE MAN, Wongnai, GrabFood, Foodpanda, or Deliveroo.
- Optimize your online listings with attractive food photography, compelling descriptions, and competitive pricing.
- Implement digital marketing strategies such as social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and targeted online advertising to promote your cloud kitchen.
- Operational Workflow:
- Establish efficient operational workflows for order taking, food preparation, packaging, and delivery.
- Implement a robust order management system to track and process orders smoothly.
- Train your kitchen staff on food safety, hygiene, and efficient kitchen operations.
- Delivery Logistics:
- Develop a reliable delivery infrastructure or partner with third-party delivery services to ensure timely and efficient deliveries.
- Implement systems for order tracking, driver management, and customer support.
- Customer Feedback and Improvement:
- Encourage and monitor customer feedback to identify areas of improvement.
- Adapt your menu and services based on customer preferences and market trends.
Remember to consult with legal and business professionals in Thailand to ensure compliance with local regulations and specific requirements for starting a cloud kitchen in your area.
Thailand Online Food Delivery Market
According to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report, Thailand’s food delivery market is estimated to be worth over U.S. $1.1 billion, with a 17 percent growth rate for 2020, and has been growing gradually at around 8-10 percent since 2017, before the COVID-19 epidemic. However, as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, Thailand’s food delivery market saw a significant rise.
According to Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research), The market value of Thailand’s food delivery market is expected to total 81-86 billion baht in 2023.
With over 52 million internet users in Thailand who spend roughly nine hours per day on mobile internet, Thailand’s online food delivery accounts for 15 percent of restaurant revenue on average.
In terms of food delivery platforms in Thailand, GrabFood has a market share of around 52%, followed by Foodpanda with a share of around 31%. LINE MAN Wongnai, which is a joint venture between LINE Corporation and Wongnai Media, is also a significant player in the market, though their market share is not publicly known.