6 Best Cloud Kitchens in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor 2021 / 2022
If you are looking for the best cloud kitchens in Malaysia, you've come to the right place. Like seemingly everything else, technology has been taking over the food industry. Traditionally, around 60% of new restaurants fail within the first year, and almost 80% shut down before their fifth anniversary.
Historically in tech, we have used the word "cloud" to mean either that the web-based processing happens at some remote data center or the files are saved at a data center. However, the meaning of the word has evolved lately to include anything that happens remotely so you can get the final product wherever you are. Cloud kitchens are restaurants that only have kitchens. They are essentially food production facilities where dozens of restaurants rent space to prepare delivery-optimized food items.
Methodology: The selection is based on Google Search Results, reviews and information available on blogs, forums and our internal sources.
Address: G-03 & G-03A (Ground Floor), 1, Jalan PJU 1a/48, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Address: 3, Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
EPiC Food Hall is currently located at three (3) locations:
- Damansara Perdana - E-105, Metropolitan Square, PJU 8/1, 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
- Bandar Sunway - 22, Jalan PJS 11/7, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
- Mont Kiara - G-3A, Mont Kiara Meridin, Jalan Duta Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
5. Dahmakan Cloud Kitchen
Unlike other food delivery platforms such as UberEats, Deliveroo, and Foodpanda, which act as a middleman who pickup food from stalls and restaurants and delivers to customers; dahmakan delivers food that has been prepared by in-house chefs in a centralized kitchen.
It is a food delivery service that uses artificial intelligence in logistics and cooking automation. It supplies their customers with daily food requests around Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.
The cooking studios meanwhile are priced at RM3,000 but members have to pay for electricity and gas usage, which is metred. The facility also offers refrigerators and chillers that can be rented ad hoc, packing facilities, a loading area and back-end infrastructure like cloud inventory system (by Food Market Hub), delivery partners and even social media and photography assistance. The cloud kitchen can also help businesses buy expensive cooking equipment and lease it back to them, if required. Most impressive of all, the facility is open 24-hours a day to paying members.
The major innovation is not happening in the kitchens but in the cloud. A data-driven approach has all the venture capitalists running to grab a piece of it, as opposed to traditional restaurants, which VCs generally stay away from. There is a good reason for that. Traditional restaurants are capital intensive, not easily scalable and have thin margins, making the ROI for VCs slim.
How do cloud kitchens command higher margins?
The biggest cost for a traditional restaurant is the rent, more often than not. A prime location brings more foot traffic through the door, making the restaurant more money. But the prime-location rents eat into the margins.
Another big cost for traditional restaurants is payroll. You need servers, a bussing staff, etc. Cloud kitchens, on the other hand, can be located in the cheapest parts of a city or even on the outskirts of town with virtually no impact on revenue. And they don't require that big of a staff. This makes their margins great.
Lower setup cost
Cloud kitchens’ initial costs are only a small fraction of that of a traditional restaurant. You don't have to sign an expensive lease or train a large staff. Furthermore, you don't need the furnishings or any decorations that typically come with a regular restaurant. Hence, the initial setup cost is substantially lower compared to traditional restaurants.
One of the major advantages of cloud kitchens is scalability. Traditional restaurants have a limited number of seats. To scale, you need big investments again. For cloud kitchens, which are generally located in warehouse-type locations, all it takes is just renting out another kitchen block. Even if you can't rent equipment at your location, purchasing it and increasing square footage is cheaper for cloud kitchens compared to traditional restaurants because they’re usually located in the cheaper parts of a city already, and you just need to rent extra space for the kitchen, not for the seating area.
Cloud kitchens are more like tech startups than restaurants
Food is the common product of traditional restaurants and cloud kitchens. You need business acumen to run a successful restaurant, but the food being creative and delicious is a huge part of the success.
For cloud kitchens — which are technology-led, data-driven entities — good food is key, but it's way more important to be tech savvy. The only way to get customers for a cloud kitchen is through the use of technology. You must know the unit economics of your partnership with the delivery apps. You need to pay more attention to what customers like and what they don't like. Customer ratings and reviews decide where you'll rank on a delivery app, which consequently decides how many customers you will get.
Potentially, if you want to convert these third-party customers to direct customers and save the commission, you need to have an app and a website of your own.
It is easier to optimize a cloud kitchen business compared to traditional restaurants due to easier access to data. For example, you can predict what items will be in higher demand around what time and start some preparation in advance for faster delivery times. There are various services — such as ItsaCheckmate, Deliverect and Omnivore — that integrate all major third-party platforms directly to your point-of-sale systems. Analytics, marketing channels and mobile apps are essential parts of a cloud kitchen business. Being tech savvy is not just a good-to-have trait but a necessity to be a successful cloud kitchen restaurateur.
Thanks to all these services available, the barrier to entry in cloud kitchens is significantly lower compared to traditional restaurants. Overall, cloud kitchens can be seen as lean startups.