'Customer behaviour has accelerated growth in online food delivery' - CEO, KLC Virtual Restaurants
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‘Customer behaviour has accelerated growth in online food delivery’ – CEO, KLC Virtual Restaurants

‘Customer behaviour has accelerated growth in online food delivery’ – CEO, KLC Virtual Restaurants

Online food delivery has grown significantly during the last several years

The Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental in the acceleration and adoption of digital technologies that have, in many ways, altered the way we live, learn and operate.

With digital adoption and e-commerce at the forefront, customers gained comfort with shopping over the internet. Online food ordering was understandably, the next organic step.

Customers inured to to e-shopping, hoped for the same convenience and ease when it came to ordering dinner, which led to the pickup of the online food delivery segment. Accordingly, back-end technologies took flight too.

Cloud kitchens were among the various technologies that raced ahead to leverage the social restrictions bought on by the pandemic. Cloud kitchens – commercial facilities purpose-built to produce food to be delivered to customers at home or work – gained steam as the overall F&B industry was put through the wringer.

As consumers that once walked through the doors pared, new F&B structures, such as virtual restaurants, ran point. Several foodservice establishments, that deliver food often through third-party delivery services, and do not offer an dine-in service, sprung in due course.

“Online food delivery has grown significantly during the last several years specifically across the GCC. Covid-19 has accelerated the rise of virtual restaurants as many traditional established food players see this as a solution to utilise their infrastructure during the current landscape along with the rise in cloud kitchens,” Mubarak Jaffar, CEO and co-founder, KLC Virtual Restaurants told Gulf Business. 

“Even though there has been a huge rise in restaurants that started delivering prior to the pandemic, we have seen a great response from the market towards our virtual brands during the last five years. Consumer behaviour has changed drastically and has accelerated growth in online food delivery as many restaurants have shifted their businesses from dine-in and take-away to delivery which has saturated certain cuisines on the aggregators.”

KLC Virtual Restaurants operate more than 40 virtual restaurants developed in-house across a variety of different cuisines from 15 cloud kitchens in Kuwait, said Jaffar.

KLC Virtual Restaurants operate more than 40 virtual restaurants

“We are also finalising the launch of two further cloud kitchens and 20 new virtual brands within the next several months as the majority of our kitchens have reached capacity targets. This will allow us to tap into upcoming new cuisines that are trending online and becoming more popular in the delivery scene as consumer behaviour has changed drastically due to the limitations and restrictions a lot of dine-in establishments have had to deal with.”

The company has a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Kitopi and has launched more than 20 of its brands in the UAE with plans to launch all of its current and new brands later this year.

“We have also recently opened our third cloud kitchen in Motor City [in Dubai] and are planning on opening several more kitchens and hopefully cover the majority of areas across the UAE by end of the year,” said Jaffar.

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