Food startups have come a long way to gain a strong foothold in India. What differentiates food startups from traditional restaurants? Use of technology! One such internet restaurant startup is “Rebel Foods.” So, what does Rebel Foods do? You may ask!
It is a food startup that made significant strides in the Indian food industry with breakthrough innovations.
Do you know the reason behind the popularity of Rebel Foods? It’s a revolutionary concept of cloud kitchens! But to your surprise, let me tell you, it was not a cloud kitchen platform from the beginning. Really? Yes. It has a long journey of ups & downs that led to its success.
So, in this write-up, we will decode the core working strategy of Rebel Foods.
A Brief Overview of Rebel Foods
Before proceeding further, let’s have a brief overview of the company-
|Company’s Name||Rebel Foods|
|Type of Company||Private Limited|
|Operating Segment||Food & Beverages; |
Online Food Delivery through Cloud Kitchens
|Year of Establishment||2011|
|Founders||Jaydeep Barman (CEO) and Kallol Banerjee|
|Headquarters||Mumbai (Maharashtra, India)|
|Market Valuation (As of 2021)||$1.38 billion (Rs.11,316 crore)|
|Revenue (FY22)||Rs.859 crore ($110 million)|
|Expenses (FY22)||Rs.1,429 crore|
|Profit/Loss||Loss of Rs.564 crore|
Rebel Foods: A Long Journey
The company- Rebel Foods is a famous start-up that pivoted multiple times! It means that it shifted its entire business model to adapt to the changing market dynamics. Eventually, it achieved outstanding growth during the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic era.
Let’s dive into the journey of Rebel Foods!
2005: A QSR Experiment
Eighteen years ago, Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee started a QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) in Pune. Reason? To make money through the popularity of traditional Indian food! Unfortunately, the business faded soon…
While studying abroad, the duo (Barman & Banerjee) realized the absence of Indian food brands that serve popular Indian cuisines. So they returned to India to elevate their food business which is now known as “Rebel Foods.”
2011: Faasos Food Services Private Limited (Faasos)
This was the first restaurant of the company and was traditional in nature (like a common restaurant). It served snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the span of 5 years (2016), Faasos expanded to three prominent Indian cities- Pune, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. It generated Rs.66.21 crore annual revenue through 40 outlets present in those cities.
But it didn’t last long.
Why? You may ask.
Because of high rental prices and difficulty to maintain the balance with dine-in and delivery customers. Soon, their losses mounted to Rs.105 crore in 2016.
So how did it survive? By pivoting the “dine-in QSR model” into a “cloud-kitchen & food delivery business model”!
2016: The Company was renamed as “Rebel Foods”
This was the time when the first business pivot of the food company occurred. In 2016, the whole company was renamed “Rebel Foods” and Faasos was declared a sub-brand.
Don’t you wonder what led to this pivot? The reasons were-
- High rental costs for restaurants.
- Steep rentals affected profits.
- Losses piled up.
- The food delivery industry boomed due to the Internet evolution.
Initially, it opened 50 cloud kitchens in four cities and this step drastically changed the entire business economics. The ratio of rent-to-sales fell from 15% to 4% in the period of 2016-18.
After 2016: Multiple Sub-brands of Rebel Foods
After seeing the success of the cloud-kitchen model, Rebel Foods launched numerous sub-brands. Its motto was to target specific customer segments and emerge as a kingpin of the respective food category.
Below is the list of Rebel Foods sub-brands-
|Sub-brand of Rebel Foods||Food Category||Year of Launch|
|Behrouz Biryani||Biryani packets||2016|
|Firangi Bake||Oven-baked dishes|
|Mandarin Oak||Chinese dishes||2019|
|The Good Bowl||Bowl Meals|
|The Biryani Life||Single-serve Biryani|
|DIY Meal Kits||Traditional Indian Food||2020|
Don’t you wonder why it adapts to the umbrella/multi-branding system? Because of the following benefits-
- Efficient management of operations that includes food preparation & delivery.
- Improve cost-effectiveness
- Offer a diverse range of food options to consumers
Thus, Rebel Foods launched multiple brands from a single kitchen using technology.
2020: Expansion of Rebel Foods
A diverse range of food segments made “Rebel Foods” a reputed food brand in India. This paved the way for its expansion around the globe. Rebel Foods entered the food markets of-
- UAE (United Arab Emirates)
- UK (United Kingdom)
By now you must have got a brief idea about its functioning- Cloud Kitchens serving food through online delivery. But still, the question remains unanswered. What does Rebel Foods do? Well, it does a lot of things through tech innovations that are beyond the imagination of common folks. All of it is described in the next section.
Go through it!
What does Rebel Foods do?
Let’s delve into the core of this write-up i.e. functionality of Rebel Foods. When numerous other start-ups were fading away due to the pandemic and recession, Rebel Foods was flourishing. Why? You may wonder. Due to its key innovations. Its potent key innovations are-
- Cloud Kitchens
- Rebel OS
- Rebel Launcher Program
- Catering Services
Let’s look into it one by one.
(A) Cloud Kitchens
The concept of Cloud Kitchen was the key behind the breakthrough business model of Rebel Foods. Cloud Kitchen is nothing but a centralized cooking space that is specially created for delivery-only food brands. Here, you won’t find any dine-in space. Thus, it reduces the need for expensive restaurant spaces.
(Note: We have explained the concept of the Cloud Kitchen Business Model in detail. Go through it to get in- depth information about cloud kitchens.)
The robust supply chain of the company helped it to manage logistics, warehousing, sourcing, raw materials, and secured delivery. Thus, Rebel Food’s wide supply chain network across India aided the scale-up of its brands.
(B) Rebel OS
Do you know, Rebel Foods rules the segment of Cloud Kitchen? Most prominent brands in this category belong to Rebel Foods. This fact boils down to one question. How did Rebel Foods successfully tap Cloud Kitchen? All thanks to its operating system i.e. OS. It invested heavily in its in-house R&D.
As a result, it developed most of its systems, application, algorithms, and data science models on its own. This factor conferred immense control over its operations.
(B.1) Innovative Culinary Tech Platform of Rebel OS
These are described below-
- Menus based on SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and in-house training of chefs.
- Smart Kitchen Platform: Automated products in kitchens.
- IoT (Internet of Things) enabled deep-fryers.
- Sensor-based quality check station: maintained consistent taste profiles in all the dishes. For instance, the taste of Behrouz Biryani will be the same whether you eat it in Pune or Bengaluru.
- Automated cooking process with the help of modern technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence).
- Intelligent Kitchen Equipment: Robotic wok, Steam (dum) machine, automated frying pans, or Auto fryers.
- Large screens that display recipes for the dishes. Usually, it is called a “Learning Display.”
- Visual AI & Video Analytic Tools: Monitor the activities of the cloud kitchens. In case any problem occurs, it automatically alerts the staff.
- Kitchen Monitoring System: All the kitchen equipment (Freezers, chillers, steaming machine, etc.) is connected to it.
(B.2) Robotic Wok
We are giving a separate explanation of Robotic Wok because it is the show stealer of Rebel OS. It entirely works on the instructions fed in its system. This intelligent work can automatically identify the food shape, detect temperature, and dispense oil/water. And that too without the involvement of humans.
Thus, it ensures minimal wastage of ingredients and a standardized cooking process.
An ideal hygienic status is a crucial factor for food companies. Therefore, Rebel Foods use Wobot Intelligence Pvt Ltd’s protocols. These are associated with the safety and good quality of operations in kitchens. The visual AI quality testing machines can detect the SWAT of every dish.
SWAT refers to Size, Weight, Appearance, and Temperature. If your dish fails to meet even one parameter among these, then the machine will raise an alarm to notify chefs in the kitchen. Thus, it assures the hygienic quality of food.
(C) Rebel Launcher Programs
The prime objective of this program is to empower the food entrepreneurs. Apart from serving food through cloud kitchens and online delivery, Rebel Foods funds them to establish their own food brand. Sounds complicated? Let me explain it in simple terms.
Suppose you are looking forward to opening a food company through cloud kitchen. Then you can utilize the Rebel launcher program. In this program, you will get funding from Rebel Foods Company. Also, you will get access to Rebel Foods’ existing kitchens. It is a sort of partnership.
Do you know this is an essential revenue source for the company? Yes. Because when the food entrepreneur has to give a commission to Rebel Foods. Thus, Rebel Launcher programs are a significant source of revenue apart from food sales.
(D) Catering Services
The food catering services efficiently help to build a loyal customer base for a food company. Your food will be remembered for better or for worse. This may sound a bit risky. However, if you are confident about your food’s quality then this strategy is perfect to increase your brand value. Hence, Rebel Food also followed the same approach.
It has capitalized on its strong brand presence to offer catering services for events and corporate functions. Thus, it aided in the exponential increase of the company’s customer base and revenue!
Now, it’s time to wrap up! Rebel Foods is no less than a revolutionary food company that gives tough competition to its contemporaries. It has leveraged technology and innovation to reinvent the food delivery industry. Its visionary strategy to adapt to changing market demands has made them a key player in the food tech sector. It efficiently competes with other food-tech giants like Swiggy, Zomato, Ola Foods, FreshMenu, QSR Foods, etc.
Thus, the numerous pivots of Rebel Foods represent the company’s flexibility and dedication to staying ahead of industry trends. Thus, it always meets the evolving demands of its customers and retains a loyal customer base.