Its funny how over the course of just few months since our inception in July 2020, the definition of Ghost Kitchen Bangladesh has evolved so much. Starting just as a multiple cloud kitchen operator, now we call ourselves a tech-enabled internet restaurant company with a portfolio of delivery-only brands, which in combination with technology and digital branding is distributed nationwide via Fulfillment Centers.
The urge to get into the food business was nothing that happened overnight. Almost 15 years ago, I was helping my father to start a fast-food restaurant chain in Bangladesh which, unfortunately, got halted due to unfortunate reasons. After all these years, when COVID-19 struck, I finally decided to enter the industry by launching a virtual cloud kitchen company after seeing the continuous growth in food takeaway/delivery business. Even during my time in the UK, I rarely visited fast-food restaurants like Domino’s Pizza, even though I used to eat their pizzas every fortnight. Because of the convenience and ease of ordering through their website, I would always eat pizzas while being in the comfort of my home. Although there was a huge opportunity in the cloud kitchen space in Bangladesh, I did not have the right resources then to start this project. After moving to Bangladesh, I was personally going through extensive pressure due to my commitment towards Best Electronics where I have worked for four years as the Marketing Director. During my tenure at Best, we have seen phenomenal growth in a very short time. In a matter of just 4 to 5 years, we took our retail network to the next level, covering almost 80% of all districts in the country.
And then 2019 happened, and I left Best Electronics to start my very own venture (TRI Digital) with a wonderful group of talented people. So far, in that marketing agency firm, we have had a fantastic business year and from here on, we are only hoping to continue our remarkable revenue growth, Insha’Allah.
One fine night in early 2020, I just felt that we, TRI Digital, as a team, can do way more than what we were doing at that point in time. And at that very moment, I felt we should start working on the cloud kitchen business which I was hoping to start one day. The next day, quite interestingly, I shared a business plan with our board and very smoothly we managed to secure additional investment to get things started. Once I had the confirmation from the board, we started digging into this so much that now we have excellent insight into the cloud kitchen industry, not only in Bangladesh, but also in India, Canada, and more. While carrying out our comprehensive market research, we quickly realized that the traditional cloud kitchen model might not actually work at this point if we just focus on one single brand. We thought of doing this in a much bigger way.
To get an idea about this whole concept, we don’t need to go very far. If we look into companies like Rebel Food (Faasos) in India, we can see how they are actually doing a wonderful job with this cloud kitchen business model. Definitely, there are multiple models within the cloud kitchen space. We felt at this point, in Bangladesh, we need to launch at least 3 distinct and unique brands to ensure optimum efficiency at our kitchens. And hence, we started our journey with 3 brands at first: Friggy’s, Party Pizza and Wrappo.
Burger and Fries
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our team continuously moved around the city to find suitable commercial spaces where we can build our kitchens. With the help of our lead investors at Amader Group, we managed to secure our first kitchen at Tejgaon where we have built a state-of-the-art facility which runs as our R&D Centre and Master Kitchen. All the kitchen staff, whom we have hired so far, started their journey at this kitchen for their initial training and orientation.
Our pursuit in search of more commercial kitchens is being continued, and as of 31-Dec-2020 we have started our second kitchen in Moghbazar and about to launch our third kitchen in Banani. Furthermore, we have a realistic plan of setting up more kitchens in Dhanmondi or Zigatola, Mohammadpur or Adabor, Mirpur, Badda, Bashundhara, by the end of 2021.
We want our kitchen priorities to define our expected kitchen-management standard from our Fulfillment Partners. We want all our partners to believe that we exist to do something wonderful. And the success that we dream to achieve will only come if we execute our kitchen operations according to these priorities.
It is our top priority to establish a firm set of personal hygiene rules for all staff within our kitchens. We also take adequate measures to maintain a proper ventilation system for the well-being of our kitchen staffs. We would never risk our long term growth targets by showing negligence towards the vital hygiene factor.
We give utmost importance to speed, and optimize the order preparation and packaging time to ensure that the ordered food leaves our kitchen in a flash. Analytical reports from GKB KitchOS platform help us to optimize the overall time taken from accepting the order to finally delivering it to the customers.
We are a strong believer of the fact that consistency is key, because with consistency comes dependability, and with dependability comes customer loyalty. We use a centralized distribution network that delivers ingredients to all kitchens, where every kitchen gets the exact same products. Even the utensils are exactly same.
Our vision of setting up 300 restaurants in 12 months – that’s easier said than done. However, we strongly believe, if anyone can do it, then it has to be our team. Coming from a family which has seen the food business for the last 20 years, with 4 years of extensive nationwide retail networking experience, a brilliant IT and branding team, and an unparalleled love for food – we have everything needed to succeed in this venture. Insha’Allah. In this journey we will be having multiple investment rounds going forward, and if you want to be part of this venture, I am just a message away.