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How to Start A Cloud Kitchen Business [Step-by-Step Guide]

In this article, we would like to cover everything you need to know about the cloud kitchen business. Consider it as a ready-to-use handbook.

This guide is accurate for entrepreneurs, startup founders, and anyone wanting to start a cloud kitchen business.

What we will cover in this article is as follows:

  • What is a cloud kitchen?
  • Why do you need to start a cloud kitchen business?
  • How to start a cloud kitchen business?
  • 5 types of cloud kitchen business model
  • Advantages of cloud kitchen business.
  • Famous examples of cloud kitchen business 2023.

Suppose you are wondering why we are writing this article, being an experienced mobile app development company in the UK, we know the potential and value the cloud kitchen business offers to startups.

Through our experience in developing online food delivery and cloud kitchen apps, we aim to share valuable insights and guidance on getting started with the cloud kitchen business.

So, let’s dive in.

What is Cloud Kitchen?

Cloud kitchen is a virtual kitchen that provides food services leveraging online food delivery platforms and food delivery services to reach customers.

A cloud kitchen or virtual kitchen is a restaurant without dining room facilities.

Cloud Kitchen, a ghost kitchen or satellite restaurant, provides a professional kitchen facility designed solely for cooking and fulfilling food orders for delivery and takeout, relying on digital technology and third-party delivery services to connect with customers.

The famous examples of cloud kitchens in UK are:

  • Foodstars
  • Jacuna
  • Karma Kitchen

Now that you know the definition of cloud kitchen let's discuss the reasons you should start a cloud kitchen business.

Why Do You Need To Start a Cloud Kitchen Business?

Investing in a cloud kitchen business is a wise choice due to the increased demand for food delivery and takeaway restaurants, the cost-efficiency of the models, and their adaptability to changing markets.

The COVID-19 crisis was the most prominent example of the adaptability of the cloud kitchen business.

As there is no need for investment for making dine-in and need for extra expense on staff, the cloud kitchen business is becoming the first choice for investors.

Plus, due to its minimal investment requirements, cloud kitchen is becoming widespread and a top preference for entrepreneurs and founders.

Here are a few statistics that cement why you need to start a cloud kitchen business in the UK:

  • According to Statista, by 2027, the global cloud kitchen market size is estimated to reach $112.53 billion.
  • According to Precedence Research, the growth rate of cloud kitchens is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% between 2023-2032.
  • According to The Restaurant Times, there are 750+ cloud kitchens currently operating in the United Kingdom.

Knowing the reason and stats that encourage you to get started with cloud kitchen business let us discuss the process to start a cloud kitchen business.

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How to Start A Cloud Kitchen Business?

Cloud kitchens are centralized kitchens that prepare food for delivery only. So, If you're considering starting a cloud kitchen business, you'll need a mobile app to make it work.

Your app should allow customers to browse your menu, place orders, and track their deliveries. It should also be easy to use and have a user-friendly interface.

Yet, if you are still deciding whether to develop a mobile app for your cloud kitchen business, you should check out our detailed guide on why your restaurant needs a mobile app.

The blog thoroughly encompasses the need for apps in food services.

However, before developing a mobile app, many other important factors must be addressed while initiating a cloud kitchen business.

Define Your Target Audience and Market Research

Cloud kitchen concept mainly depends on the target audience, so conduct in-depth market research to identify your target audience and their preferences.

Understand the demand for different cuisines and food types in your area. Analyze your competition, including other cloud kitchens and traditional restaurants that offer delivery services.

Identify gaps in the market and areas where you can differentiate your app. Survey potential customers or conduct focus groups to gather valuable insights into what they expect from a cloud kitchen business.

Plan Your Virtual Kitchen App

Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your mission, vision, and objectives. Define your unique selling points (USPs) and strategies to achieve your goals.

Include financial projections detailing your revenue, expenses, and profit margins. That will be crucial when seeking investment or loans.

Decide on a business model. You can opt for a commission-based system, where you take a percentage of each order, or a subscription-based service that benefits loyal customers.

Follow Legal Requirements

Food safety regulations in the UK are critical to running a cloud kitchen business.

Following government compliance is essential for your cloud kitchen's reputation and continued operations.

Register your business with the appropriate government authorities, adhere to food safety regulations in the UK, and obtain the necessary licenses from a food standards agency and permits for a food delivery business.

Design Your App Menu

Design a menu that caters to your target audience and aligns with your brand identity. Consider offering a variety of dishes, including popular cuisines and unique signature items.

Experiment with different recipes and ingredients to set your menu apart from competitors. Focus on quality, taste, and presentation.

Kitchen Setup and Location:

Choose the right location for your cloud kitchen. It should be easily accessible and spacious enough to accommodate your staff and kitchen equipment.

Equip your kitchen with the necessary appliances and cooking equipment. Ensure your cloud kitchen accommodates near your target audience area for quick and seamless food delivery.

Robust Food Deliveries and Logistics

Managing deliveries and logistics in a cloud kitchen is vital for the success of your business as it directly impacts customer satisfaction, order accuracy, and the overall efficiency of your operations.

Timely and accurate deliveries are crucial for keeping customers satisfied. Make sure you provide a seamless delivery experience, or if you collaborate with third-party delivery services, establish clear agreements, communication channels, and expectations.

Choose App Development Company

After completing market research and addressing other important factors, hunt for an experienced food delivery app development company. Choosing the right app development company helps you quickly design, develop, and deploy your cloud kitchen app.

Further, experienced on-demand food app development companies provide expertise in developing your cloud kitchen app, which can significantly assist you in creating a successful platform.

Choose Platform for Cloud Kitchen App

Many different mobile platforms are available, so you must choose one that is right for your target market and budget.

Ensure you choose a platform that supports technology and software for cloud kitchen management.

You can choose the app development platform from Android or iOS, or you may also want to consider developing a hybrid app that can be used on both iOS and Android devices.

Design Virtual Kitchen App

The design of your app is essential for both usability and aesthetics. Ensure your app is easy to navigate and effortlessly browse your menu, place orders, and complete payment transactions.

Encompass factors like an eye-catching logo, a cohesive color scheme, and high-quality images of your food items that make them look delectable.

Development Ghost Kitchen App

After having a design for your app, the app developer will commence the coding process, transforming the visual concept into a fully functional application.

The developer will employ programming languages, frameworks, and tools to create the features and functionalities you have proposed, from order placement and payment processing to user authentication and order tracking.

Test Cloud Kitchen App

Once your app is developed, it is essential to test it thoroughly to ensure it is bug-free and works as expected.

Types of testing done on your cloud kitchen app include performance testing, functionality testing, and regression testing.

Launch Digital-First Food Business App

Following the testing phase of the Cloud Kitchen app, your app is ready for launch on the App Store and Google Play.

Adhering to app guidelines and compliance, the app development team helps you launch your app on different platforms and make it available for users.

Provide Agile Customer Support

Provide excellent customer support through multiple channels like live chat, email, and phone. Address customer inquiries and concerns promptly to ensure customer satisfaction.

Maintain a responsive and well-informed customer support team that can handle various customer issues.

Create Marketing Strategies for Virtual Restaurants

After developing a cloud kitchen app, create robust marketing strategies to promote your virtual restaurant, ensuring maximum visibility and customer engagement.

These strategies should encompass a range of elements, including digital advertising, social media campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, partnerships with food delivery platforms, and engaging with food influencers and bloggers.

So, here we end the process of how to start a virtual kitchen. If you want to know the cost of developing such an on-demand food delivery app, check out our comprehensive guide on how much it costs to build an app like Uber Eats.

Now, after knowing how to initiate a cloud kitchen business, let us dive into the next section, which provides information on the cloud kitchen business model type.

7 Types of Cloud Kitchen Business Models

If you are confused which type of cloud kitchen business model you should adopt or should choose for your business then you can go through the following table.

The table demonstrates a quick overview on 7 different types of model that help you select one and go through its description and examples.

Type of Cloud Kitchen Business Model


Cloud Kitchen Platform

Single-Brand Cloud Kitchen

  • Focuses on one specific cuisine or food concept
  • All kitchen operations are dedicated to a single brand
  • Provides consistent, high-quality menu.

The Burger Bite

Multi-Brand Cloud Kitchen

  • Hosts multiple restaurant concepts under one roof
  • Offers various cuisines from different brands
  • Food prepared in shared kitchen space.


Franchise Cloud Kitchen

  • Franchises established restaurant brands
  • Franchisees use the central kitchen's facilities and brand recognition.

PizzaKing Express

Grocery and Meal Kit Cloud Kitchen

  • Specializes in preparing and delivering meal kits or grocery items
  • Provides pre-portioned ingredients and recipe instructions.

Chef's Box

Catering and Event Cloud Kitchen

  • Specializes in preparing food for events, corporate gatherings, or large parties
  • Offers a range of catering services
  • Ranges from boxed lunches to elaborate event catering

EventEats UK

Hybrid Cloud Kitchen

  • Combines elements of single-brand and multi-brand models
  • Offers a primary brand with complementary brands or cuisines.


Delivery app-owned cloud kitchen

  • Collaborates with various restaurant brands or creates its own virtual restaurant brands
  • Orders placed through the app are prepared in the cloud kitchen and delivered to customers' doorsteps.


So, after going through different kitchen models we will now discuss benefits of cloud kitchen business in the following section.

Advantages of Cloud Kitchen Business

The advantage of starting a cloud kitchen business is a more efficient and affordable way to deliver food to customers.

Additionally, virtual kitchen business provides business startups with a wide range of opportunities to explore the food business diversely, which can significantly impact success and growth.

The advantages are as follows:

Cost-Effective than Traditional Restaurants

  • >Lower startup costs compared to establishing a physical restaurant with a storefront.
  • Minimal expense to establish kitchen, interior design, and renovations.
  • The least expense related to the dining area, maintenance, and cleaning.
  • Savings on salaries as there is no need for front-of-house staff.
  • Reduced utility bills as there is no need for broad lighting.

These cost-effective aspects and benefits make cloud kitchens attractive for founders and entrepreneurs.

Provides Flexibility

  • Cloud kitchens can adjust operations quickly in response to market change.
  • You can scale cloud kitchen operations up and down effortlessly as demand fluctuates.
  • It optimizes production schedules to match peak orders, reducing idle time and waste.
  • Cloud kitchens experiment with multiple virtual restaurant brands under one roof.

This remarkable adaptability and scalability empower cloud kitchens to thrive in dynamic and competitive markets, offering customers diverse culinary options.

Reaches Wider Geographic Radius

  • Cloud kitchens enable you to cover high-demanding locations strategically.
  • Instead of relying on foot traffic, virtual kitchens can quickly target a wider audience, specifically neighborhoods.
  • Cloud kitchens can adjust their delivery zones based on data and demand, allowing them to target a broader geographic audience.
  • By identifying areas where their cuisine is in demand, cloud kitchens can capitalize on these opportunities.

Wider geographic reach is a strategic advantage that enables cloud kitchens to serve a broader customer base and strategically respond to demand quickly.

Makes Operations Efficient

  • Cloud kitchens can operate around the clock, providing meals 24/7 to cater to customers' varying schedules and late-night cravings.
  • During peak hours, such as lunch and dinner rushes, cloud kitchens can scale up production swiftly to meet high demand.
  • Cloud kitchen's quick adaptability ensures that customers receive their orders quickly, even during the busiest times, and helps maintain a high service quality.
  • Cloud kitchens can quickly adapt to special events, holidays, or promotions by adjusting their production schedules and offering themed or seasonal menus.

Operational flexibility and efficiency allow businesses to serve customers at any hour while efficiently managing periods of high demand.

Let’s discuss a few popular cloud kitchen businesses that you should take as an exemplar for your ghost kitchen business.

4 Most Popular Cloud Kitchen Businesses Globally

Business Name Headquarters Cities Served Current Revenue

London, United Kingdom

800+ Location

£1.39 Billion

DoorDash Inc.

California, USA

7000+ Cities

£5.42 Billion

Uber Eats

San Francisco, USA

Cities, 32 Countries

£9.03 Billion


California, USA

60+ Locations

£7 Billion

Ready to Establish Your Cloud Kitchen Business?

Get started with Intelivita mobile app development or hire dedicated developers who help you convert your cloud kitchen idea into reality.

We are an experienced food delivery app development company in the UK that has helped many startups and entrepreneurs, including SN Lyft, UK Eats, and Olive Garden, to develop their dream apps.

With 50+ skilled mobile app developers and experience working on over 150+ projects, including online ordering platforms for cloud kitchens, it helps you craft your advanced mobile app tailored to your specific needs.

Contact our expert today and plan your cloud kitchen business successfully.

Dhaval Sarvaiya

Hey there. I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the Founders of Intelivita. Intelivita is a mobile app development company that helps companies achieve the goal of Digital Transformation. I help Enterprises and Startups overcome their Digital Transformation and mobile app development challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.

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