Over the last 5 years the UK food scene has been in a state of rapid evolution. With the likes of UberEats and Just Eat changing fast food forever and more recently, companies such as Mindful Chef bringing health focused food boxes and handmade ready meals, technological innovation has meant that ordering a full range of delicacies delivered straight to your door has never been so simple. The virtual food industry has been expanding with more companies seeing the value of the home delivery offering.
It’s no longer just a space for your naughty Saturday night takeaway but now includes everything from a tailored calorie controlled diet to a free-from weekly meal packs . Behind the scenes, the introduction of ‘dark kitchens’ by companies such as Titus, has also allowed for those, who saw home delivery as a secondary revenue stream, to increase or expand their brand exposure without it having a detrimental effect on their primary source of income.
However, in the last 3 weeks the global food industry, as a whole, has seen a seismic shift in how they operate, the rule book has literally been thrown out of the window. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that overnight companies, big and small, have had to diversify in order to survive. Some have thrived, some have joined forces to reduce running costs and unfortunately, some have made the decision to close their doors for good. What they all have in common is that instantly they are operating out of a dark kitchen.
True entrepreneurial spirit has been shown throughout the UK with stories emerging of how the country pub has now turned into the community store, taking online deliveries for the essentials and delivering to the venerable or, how chefs have teamed up to provide affordable meals for healthcare workers, delivered to their place of work. The astonishing thing about this is how quickly these plans have been implemented and these changes occurred with very little resistance. Especially when the management norm is to have your 3 year plan, containing your secrets to gain competitive advantage under lock and key until the time is right.
Some might argue that these businesses aren’t ‘reinventing the wheel’ and that they are just going back to what was the norm half a century ago. Maybe there’s something to be said for keeping it simple in tough times as your customer base seems to buy into it. The exciting thing for us is to see of these businesses adopt their diversification into their long term strategy.
Here at Cook:Chill we pride ourselves on the non-biased advice we offer. Having had the experience of providing specifications for many different types of food establishments, from Dark Kitchens and complete modular NPD Kitchens to, Central Production Kitchens and even increasing catering and refrigeration equipment capacity in a restaurant to cope with new demand. If your diversification has sparked a few more light bulb moments or, you want to fully integrate your new venture into your business plan, contact one of the Cook:Chill Team below.