Singapore-based GrabFood is expanding its cloud kitchen network, called GrabKitchen, beyond Indonesia with launches in Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City. The company said it plans to operate more than 50 GrabKitchens in five markets across Southeast Asia by the end of this year including Philippines and Singapore. The launch makes GrabFood the largest operator of cloud kitchens in Southeast Asia with 20 live kitchens.
GrabKitchens are set up similar to food courts, except that vendors prepare their dishes only for pickup and delivery.
Thailand's first GrabKitchen was launched at the Sam Yan area. Grab Thailand expects to serve more than 20 million orders in 2019. Some 4 million orders were made in the past four months, compared with 3 million throughout last year.
Between June 2018 and June 2019, GrabFood claims its gross merchandise value (GMV) grew 900%, with delivery volume growing 7x during the same period across its six markets.
Lim Kell Jay, head of GrabFood commented during an interview with Thailand Startup
News, “We see GrabKitchen as a new solution that empowers our merchants to expand and grow, and for consumers to enjoy greater access to a wide variety of food. GrabKitchen also represents a key growth opportunity. Taking learnings from our success in Indonesia, GrabFood is looking to scale the GrabKitchen network rapidly across the region in the coming months.”
By the end of 2019, GrabFood aims to operate a regional network of cloud kitchens totalling over 50 GrabKitchens in five countries to become the only truly regional food delivery platform with the largest footprint.
GrabFood currently operates in 221 cities across six countries.
GrabKitchen offers users a variety of curated food selections by leveraging data from historical orders. GrabFood said the kitchens are strategically located to bridge consumer demand and availability of food selections while reducing the time for food delivery.
For small time food vendors , GrabKitchen is a convenient way for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to expand the geographic area they serve and reach more consumers using technology. Since they are mostly a delivery-only service, cloud kitchens lower operational costs, particularly rental costs, which is one of the biggest expenses for food and beverage operators, the company said.
The concept was launched in Indonesia in April 2019 after a successful pilot. Then, GrabFood launched its first GrabKitchen with a dine-in feature at Capital Place, Jakarta in September to serve a base of consumers working in offices around the area.
Food delivery service
has become a vital business for ride-hailing companies in Southeast Asia. Queries for online food delivery brands on Google have grown more than 13 times in Indonesia, nine times in the Philippines and eight times in Thailand over the past four years, according to the e-Conomy SEA 2019
report. At the same time , may players are entering the market and it does not always mean that a big company like Grab might end up successful as certain smaller companies offers better personalized service. Thais should not also support a Singaporean or foreign companies when it comes to startups or delivery services but rather Thai companies .