Expérience gastronomique à domicile avec la start-up de cuisine dématérialisée CloudEats

  • Nom: CloudEats
  • Pays / Territoire: Philippines
  • Droit(s) de P.I.: Marques
  • Date de publication: 23 mars 2022
  • Dernière mise à jour: 23 mars 2022

People are increasingly attracted by cuisine meals delivered at their doorstep to be enjoyed in the comfort of their home, and the Covid-19 crisis has all but accelerated the trend. Kimberly Yao is the co-founder of CloudEats, what is known as a cloud restaurant, a dematerialized series of 46 culinary brands with a wide offering going from burgers to coffee, and from chicken wings to veggie meals.

Kimberly Yao, co-founder of CloudEats
(Photo: CloudEats)

Kimberly, who is Chinese-Filipino, and grew up in Manila, wanted to be an astronaut when she was a child, “reaching new heights and exploring new worlds.” After university, she spent some ten years in the hospitality/Food and Beverage industry before launching a startup called Boozy, which became the leading-on-demand delivery company for beverages in the Philippines.

By 2019 she had launched CloudEats starting with one small cloud kitchen in Metro Manila. Back then, Kimberly explained, the cloud kitchen business model was still novel in South-East Asia.

Barely three years after its launch, the company owns and operates over a dozen kitchens in the Philippines, and is also quickly opening kitchen locations in Ho Chi Min, in Vietnam, a new market for CloudEats, since late 2021. CloudEats has served almost 2,000,000 customers since its launch as a delivery-only restaurant.

Cloud Kitchens with Real Chefs, and Cooks

Cloud kitchens are a new business model, said Kimberly. “We are both brand owners and cloud kitchen operators.” CloudEats develops brands and manages the cloud kitchen facilities. “We build everything around the brand: the recipes, the menus, the cooking process, and the identity of the brand.” Their Product Development team composed of chef-engineers builds delivery-focused recipes and the line cooks in the kitchens are responsible for fulfilling the thousands of orders every day.

Food delivery platforms working with CloudEats, such as Grab, Foodpanda, GoFood, Baemin, and ShopeeFood ensure the delivery of the meals in less than an hour.

Co-founder Iacopo Rovere, former CEO of Foodpanda Philippines, and Kimberly’s vision “is to become the largest cloud restaurant group in the region, creating brands and food that are made for delivery.” “The foodservice industry is extremely traditional and is one of the last frontiers for digitalization,” Kimberly said.

A burger by Burger Beast, one of the four “Hero” brands of CloudEats
Photo: CloudEats

Promoting Food Diversity, Working with Celebrities

“We understood very early on that with food, variety is important,” said Kimberly. South-East Asia’s youthful population is very “cuisine curious” and likes to try out new tastes, she added, explaining the diversity of CloudEats’ brands.

The company manages a multi-brand portfolio and for these virtual brands, it is crucial to understand what works and what does not in the next two months after the launch of a new brand. After which the company evaluates it, or upcycles it, Kimberly explained.

CloudEats’ Hero brands today consist of four homegrown brands – Burger Beast, Healthy To Go, 24/7 Wings and the first virtual food court in the Philippines called 24/7 Eats.

They also launched celebrity virtual restaurants wherein they co-create online brands with popular celebrities, who then promote the brand to their audience and fans. Their popular celebrity brands include Healthy Appetite with Filipina actress Rhian Ramos and an upcoming big launch with Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

Kusina ni Angeline offers a variety of meals, like green chili fingers, squid balls, and a choice of meat
Photo: CloudEats

The CloudEats’ Proprietary Enterprise Resource Planning System

All kitchens can manage the multiple brand portfolio thanks to CloudEats’ proprietary Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which helps the company manage orders, inventory, and content of the menus. In the Philippines, CloudEats has established a rare full integration with all major food delivery platforms, which allows them to grow the business much faster compared to other less tech-focused restaurant groups. When customers order through their food delivery platforms’ apps from one of the CloudEats brands, at the backend, the ERP is consolidating all orders into one single system.

For the moment, all their brands are registered in the Philippines, and CloudEats is also registered across target expansion companies across Southeast Asia. The company is looking into protecting its name internationally through the Madrid Protocol and expanding its IP coverage of some of its brands outside of the Philippines.

Protecting its assets with intellectual property has been extremely valuable for the company in securing the brand assets and identity, as well as attracting investors, according to Kimberly.

Three salad dishes by Healthy Appetite, a virtual restaurant selling plant-based meals for the health conscious
Photo: CloudEats

More Expansion on the Way - Opening Cloud Kitchens in Southeast Asia

After closing a funding Series A in October 2021, CloudEats means to continue expanding its reach. “We are looking at growing our kitchen locations significantly across two markets by the middle of 2022 and looking beyond Philippines and Vietnam next,” Kimberly said, adding, “Every kitchen that we open allows us to reach a new customer base.”

In the next 12 to 18 months, the company is looking to expand to other key markets in Southeast Asia. The sky is the limit, as Kimberly puts it “The opportunity for the digitalization of foodservice is now, and the potential is everywhere!”

CloudEats is creating the restaurant group of the future - one that is purely online.”