After a successful year in Indonesia since its pilot kicked off in September 2018, GrabFood is now expanding GrabKitchen, its network of cloud kitchens, to Thailand and Vietnam.
The launches in the two countries make GrabFood now the largest operator of cloud kitchens in Southeast Asia, with 20 “live” kitchens.
GrabKitchens will also be coming to Singapore and the Philippines, and it’s likely to happen as soon as this year.
According to their press statement, quoted by Vulcan Post, GrabFood wants to launch more than 50 kitchens across five markets by the end of 2019.
GrabKitchens are delivery-only cloud kitchens that gather multiple F&B brands in one place to provide lower operational costs, much like those run by other food delivery firms Deliveroo and Foodpanda. Local Indonesian media Warta Ekonomi also noted that the GrabKitchen services were similar to Go-Food Festival from local competitior Gojek, where food partners prepared and cooked their food in one location and drivers partners delivered the food to customers.
While their model appears to be no different from competitors’, GrabFood is banking on rapid expansion to give them an edge when they become “the only truly regional food delivery platform with the largest footprint”.
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.
“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,” said Lim Kell Jay, head of GrabFood to Tech in Asia.
“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.”
GrabFood said the kitchens are strategically located to bridge consumer demand and availability of food selections while reducing the time for food delivery.
Grab Indonesia’s head of marketing for GrabFood and new business, Ichmeralda Altri Rachman shared the success story of GrabKitchen in Indonesia on The Jakarta Post, “Through GrabKitchen, users can enjoy various perks such as cheaper delivery fees, quicker delivery time and the freedom to choose various food types [from various vendors] within just one order. These new benefits will by themselves alter the way our users use our application,” says.
GrabFood currently operates in 221 cities across six countries, e27 noted.