Southeast Asia’s GrabFood is the latest food delivery service to launch a ghost kitchen accommodating several restaurant brands, turning up the heat on competition, DealStreetAsia reported Tuesday (Jan. 8).
Residents in the Singapore communities of the Hillview neighborhood can place food orders from over 10 brands, including three new virtual restaurants. Orders can be in-person pick-up, on-demand delivery, or dine-in at the kitchen’s Hillview location.
The GrabKitchen platform gives restaurant partners an opportunity to introduce different food concepts and new brands. The kitchen and dining space are provided in addition to utility management, marketing assistance and financial support.
The move is part of the company’s 2020 expansion strategy. Grab already has 50 ghost kitchens — also called cloud kitchens, virtual kitchens and KaaS (kitchens as a service) — across five Southeast Asian markets to date, including Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Cloud kitchens are not new to Singapore; Grab rivals Deliveroo and FoodPanda have launched similar concepts. Grab is also planning to launch more cloud kitchens in the city-state during the first half of the year.
“Together with our merchant-partners, we hope to bridge cuisine demand and supply gaps, complement and expand the variety of food options at different price points in the area, and offer them conveniently to consumers through on-demand delivery, self-pickup, or dine-in,” said Dilip Roussenaly, head of GrabFood Singapore.
The Grab platform uses a unified merchant app and a dashboard with access to GrabFood, Grab Financial Group and GrabAds services, according to Tech In Asia. Food delivery is one of Grab’s biggest and busiest divisions.
“2019 was about expansion and becoming consumers’ most preferred service,” said Lim Kell Jay, regional head of GrabFood. “In 2020, we’ll combine our capabilities across food delivery, financial, and advertising services and provide merchants with the tools of the trade that will take their businesses to new heights.”
One of the hottest trends in food commerce is the rise of ghost kitchens, and they are probably more common than most consumers realize. The operations have emerged as a new model, driven by the rise of online ordering and delivery services.