The Philippine dining scene was bustling pre-pandemic and although the industry took a hit over the last year, innovation and entrepreneurship ran wild. The cloud kitchen business model is one that was prevalent in other countries but had only made its eye-catching entry into the Philippine scene, thanks to the pandemic’s harsh effects on the local F&B ecosystem. With minimal overhead costs and no dine-in service, cloud kitchens can spend time perfecting delivery, customer service, branding and R&D.
However, the road to establishing a new business and operations model does come with its challenges. “In general, I think the most complicated part of any industry’s evolution is customer adoption. Most of the time, when something brilliant and new enters the market, even if the product is good, mass adoption is very difficult because people naturally resist change. Creating customer behaviour is extremely difficult, but once you achieve this, it’s not easy to unchange it either,” says Lim.
The biggest challenge that any cloud kitchen provider should be dealing with is the question of capacity— Victor Lim
Interestingly, Lim foresees public interest in the cloud kitchen space dying down, post-pandemic. “Right now, cloud kitchens are all the rage because it is new and every food brand was forced to at least entertain the idea; but when life returns to ‘normal’, most likely some food brands will lose interest in the model as they return to their traditional F&B assets and go into recovery mode. But F&B brands that are growing will continue utilising cloud kitchen strategies, while customers will be ordering food from cloud kitchens, whether they specifically are aware of it or not,” he states.