Scaling a business takes motivation and effort, but it also takes careful planning. To scale successfully, a business cannot simply put a foolproof plan in place and then expect the business to grow on its own; nor can it launch without a plan in place and expect to adapt as it grows. A business will only continually evolve if it is prepared at every stage of the process, in all areas of its operations. These truths will apply to any business, but there is no industry where they are more relevant than industry.
Whether it’s a storefront kitchen with counter service only or an international food distributor, any business in the restaurant industry will be dealing with a large number of orders. Some of these orders come from restaurants or other small distributors; many others come from the customers themselves. With takeout and delivery becoming the norm in an increasingly remote world, restaurants and other foodservice providers are taking on more orders than ever. For these businesses to be able to track orders and transactions and keep a reliable record of all the information associated with each, they will need scalable solutions that can handle massive volume. To build and host solutions like these, there is no alternative to the cloud.
The cloud has more data capacity and more native security infrastructure than many much more expensive on-premises architectures. Cloud service providers share responsibility for security, so the burden of maintaining on-premises security systems will not fall on the business. Additionally, small businesses and startups managing the kind of data volumes that restoration companies collect cannot risk hardware failure if they hope to scale. Backing up data to a secure and adaptable platform like the cloud will be critical to the growth of these businesses.
The primary benefit of cloud adoption for early-stage concepts is the relatively low cost of cloud services. Companies that want to bring a product to market quickly can do so much more easily when purchasing services because they opt for a small technical team instead of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront for a complete architecture on site. The numbers show that businesses aren’t missing out on this chance for big savings: according to a recent report from Forbes Currents, “86% of startups and small businesses increased their reliance on cloud services in 2021.”
Once a company has established product-market fit, its main challenge will be to successfully scale. This is a crucial time for start-ups, and a time when too many of them fail. To scale successfully at this stage, a business needs a plan and a set of processes in place that will support its growth as revenue and staff grow; this comes before spending money on sales and marketing initiatives in an effort to generate revenue and increase hiring. A growing business needs a dynamic and flexible architecture. Using tools like Google’s CloudSQL to build a microservices architecture on a scalable platform like Google Kubernetes Engine or fully serverless Google Cloud Run will allow businesses to support and maintain their processes as they grow. ‘they increase their workforce and their income.
There are many resources available on Google Cloud that food service businesses can use to build scalable processes and systems. Restaurants can use Google My Business to create a business profile and partner with third-party delivery services to make their delivery options available on Google Maps and through Google Search. Through Google Maps Platform, businesses can work with ISVs like Olo to develop a single online delivery platform. Other providers like Route 4 Me Route Planner offer mapping options that show delivery people the best routes to their destinations.
For businesses that want more control over their own systems, it’s also easy to use Google Maps Platform to create an in-house delivery solution. Using APIs such as Autocomplete API, Geocoding API, Distance Matrix API, and Directions API, in-house development teams can build a platform capable of evaluating ETA and distance, position delivery addresses and reduce delivery errors and payment friction. In-house solutions allow for full customization and oversight, without sacrificing any of the security or scalability benefits that the cloud provides.
Commercial kitchens that prepare orders exclusively for takeout or delivery are called “cloud kitchens” for a reason. Food service and customer preferences are changing with advances in digital technology and the new opportunities these advances offer in a world where the future is still uncertain. As the industry evolves to meet new needs and challenges, small businesses and startups in this space will need to develop a range of solutions that can handle any eventuality, but also keep processes up to date. that these companies scale to generate more revenue and grow their teams to manage. In the future, regardless of its business model, one way or another, every kitchen will run on the cloud.
Josh berman is President of C2C Global and a community building expert with a long history of connecting technology companies with their target audiences. In his role at C2C Global, Josh organizes and facilitates timely industry discussions for cloud users—often representatives from partner organizations attend to provide expert feedback on how to use the cloud for success. It brings together thousands of users every day to work together to solve problems such as cybersecurity, data management, cloud storage and management, and e-commerce issues.