As a result of the pandemic, Asia’s “ghost kitchens” are booming.
Chefs plate dishes that will never be served in a restaurant in an industrial unit on the outskirts of Taipei: welcome to the world of “ghost kitchens.”
The “Amazonification” of commercial kitchens was well underway even before the pandemic shook the global restaurant industry, but coronavirus lockdowns and limitations have fueled accelerated expansion in Asia.
Customers were already accustomed to getting restaurant-quality meals delivered to their homes because to the recent surge in food delivery applications.
To accommodate this demand, an increasing number of restaurants are opening delivery-only kitchens, often known as “cloud kitchens,” or renting space in existing ones.
Then came the epidemic, which put an end to billions of people eating out.
According to Jason Chen, the chief executive officer of Just Kitchen, “that actually drove the entire sector into sort of hyper growth, so that really helped us.”
Just Kitchen opened its first ghost kitchen in Taiwan early last year and currently operates 17 around the island, as well as one in Hong Kong, with plans to expand into the Philippines and Singapore by the end of the year, he added.
Regional delivery heavyweights like as Grab in Singapore and GoJek in Indonesia have also jumped on the bandwagon. In Southeast Asia, Grab added 20 new cloud kitchens last year, up from 42 before the outbreak.
According to a survey by Researchandmarkets.com, the global ghost kitchen business is predicted to increase at a rate of more than 12% per year until 2028, when it will be valued $139.37 billion.
With a population of 4.3 billion people, Asia Pacific now controls 60% of the global market.
Eating everyday from cheap eateries or food stalls is more reasonable and viable than cooking at home for many in the region’s densely crowded cities, where living space is at a premium.
According to Euromonitor, China already has 7,500 cloud kitchens and India has 3,500, compared to 1,500 in the United States and 750 in the United Kingdom.
Because of the pandemic, Natalie Phanphensophon, a third-generation Thai restaurateur, had to convert her family’s 45-strong restaurant business to takeout only for much of the previous year.
Her family owns the popular Mango Tree and Coca-Cola franchises, which are mostly located in now-empty shopping malls with expensive rents.
They established their first cloud kitchen on the outskirts of Bangkok earlier this year, with plans to open two more.
The 35-year-old explained, “Our goal is to ensure that everyone on our boat can sail through this together.”
She described cloud kitchens as such. Brief News from Washington Newsday.