Everything you need to know about Cloud Kitchen in Dubai

Recently many people asked me what is a cloud kitchen? Why is it called cloud kitchen? What was the purpose for coining that particular word & it got me thinking?

Cloud represents ‘The Internet’, mainly all the things you can access from the internet. From that perspective, ‘Cloud Kitchen’ is a place where you can also access food from the internet.

Imagine you want to eat Biryani today. You will go to a restaurant that serves biryani or as is the trend now, you order it online from the hotel that serves the best.

And if you want to eat a Blueberry cheesecake after your biryani. You will go to a bakery or again order it online from the pastry shop that serves the dessert.

Now imagine if you could have the menu of a restaurant and the menu of a bakery under one roof! It would be a huge benefit to all of those who wish to eat those two products and for the people making them.

But simply having a menu isn’t enough, the staff who bake cakes will not be able to cook biryani and vice versa without the necessary training. Moreover, these two separate kitchens will not be making only biryani and cake. They have a hundred different items on their menu as well.

Setting up a separate restaurant and a full-fledged bakery is not a small investment in terms of money and space.

This is where the concept of Cloud Kitchen/Internet Kitchen/Invisible Kitchen/Ghost Kitchen/Dark Kitchen/Virtual Kitchen/Satellite Kitchen comes into play.

Ghost Kitchen famously known as Cloud Kitchen is a restaurant that has all the features of a restaurant,except dine-in. It is simply a Kitchen space where food is being prepared without people eating there. It has only takeaway and online ordering facilities.

Some of the biggest advantages of a Cloud Kitchen are:

  1. Saves a lot of space & infrastructure
  2. Saves on equipment & necessities
  3. Saves separate Commercial licences, Rent & legal obligations
  4. Saves employee overhead
  5. Saves time through easy ordering & faster delivery

You are located in a decent area within the delivery radius, of a high volume of your target customers rather than high foot traffic areas. This means you can save a ton of cost and obligation from choosing a high-visibility spot in a prime area, signage & advertising, a large parking space, front house furniture, etc.

You only need to have a smaller team of trained staff under one roof to handle different cuisines, delicacies, and dishes. This also means you do not require front-of-house labor because there is no dine-in.

With the back-to-back pandemic waves, staying at home and ordering has become the new normal. Hence it is much preferable in terms of cost and safety.

Since online surfing has garnered an unavoidable momentum and revolutionized our learning, our understanding, our daily shopping and even the way we conduct business. It is no surprise that the demand for our basic human need has also taken new heights and is branching out into many newer opportunities as we breathe.

The brick-and-mortar model of running restaurants is not only high risk from a profit-loss point of view. But a hovering nightmare due to real estate fluctuations which go on to play a crucial role in the price of ‘Brick-and-mortar’ literally.

How does a Cloud Kitchen work?

  • While licenses are getting approved you can start by listing out the menu options that will be displayed in the app or website.
  • You can reach out to various restaurant brands that specialize in those items that will appear on your menu. Make sure to create a diverse array of food options to lure various segments of customers. Your brand name is the food that you offer. Make sure to decide your cuisine before taking off.
  • After finalizing the menu, you can begin talks with the Food aggregators such as Clean Eat Me, Talabat, Careem NOW, Noon, EatEasy, Deliveroo, Zomato, Munch:On, Uber Eats, etc. which help your customers in placing their online orders and delivering it to them.
  • Maintain proper contact with the delivery agents to deliver your food safely and quickly. If you can invest more, then you can have people under you deliver food directly from your kitchen.
  • If you have the extra money, you can also invest in an interactive website or app where people can place orders easily. Otherwise, you can simply make use of the existing Food aggregators.
  • It is advised by many top players in the market to make use of Point of Sale (POS) Software for your kitchen, which will help you in managing the order and delivery.

How to start your Cloud Kitchen in Dubai?

  • You can start by scouting for a kitchen space based on your budget.
  • Then you need to get these two licenses from the respective authorities
  1. Food Safety License from Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department &
  2. Trade License from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED)

Step 1: Area Requirements & Location:

The kitchen should be a minimum of 300 sq. ft, located in well-ventilated and hygienic surroundings.

Step 2: Name & Activity Registration:

Reserve a trade name/ brand name and get the name, choose a legal form and register the activity from the Dubai Development of Economic Department (DED). This will be the initial approval to start the process with Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department. Apart from these, the kitchen is also required to obtain the following permits and licenses depending on the list of activities it wishes to perform:

  • Vehicle permit for transporting or delivering food products
  • Pork permit for handling and serving pork products

Step 3: Municipality Approval:

The next step is to get approval from Dubai Municipality by producing the following documents.

i) Initial Approval from DED

ii) Plan Layout

iii) Ejari

Upon completion of the requirements, the Food & Safety Authority of Dubai Municipality will view the above documents and issue the approval certificate. If there are any changes required in the kitchen layout the Municipality will suggest them, review the changes, and then issue the approval certificate.

Step 4: Trade License

Once you get the approval from the municipality, submit all the above signed and attested documents to the DED to obtain your Trade License.

How CorpLex can help you?

So, there’s a lot to do, and you can expect some challenges along the way. It’s frustrating for any business owner to see their hard work sink into a pile of paperwork and vanish.

By seeking professional advice and investing time to set up your business properly, you have a better chance of running an effective and profitable kitchen.

Contact our company formation experts at CorpLex and we can help you to establish your company on your behalf, make your license, visa applications and take care of all the necessary administration, leaving you free to focus on other aspects which require your attention. We also offer assistance with visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits, and visas applications that are required to trade in the UAE.