Coronavirus has brought many industries to their knees. The two badly battered are aviation and hospitality. So many people have lost their jobs and several have been sent to an everlasting leave without pay. In such a situation, most of us would lose hope and accept COVID-19 as the harbinger of doom. However, a corporate couple took this opportunity to actuate their love for food and start their own cloud kitchen from home!
A few months back, Vikas Sachdeva was a corporate executive. Today, he is the founder of a cloud kitchen called Foodelish. He says, “I am among the many people who were stranded because of the pandemic. I was not getting any pay. Thankfully, my wife Deepika was still working as a trade advisor at a European embassy. The months of March to May were especially difficult. Two months back, my wife and I decided to start our own venture to honour our lifelong love for food.”
The concept of cloud kitchen is not new in India. However, it has gained traction after the onset of the coronavirus. It is a commercial space where food is prepared for the purpose of home delivery. Vikas says, “We deliver hygienic and home-cooked food across Delhi NCR. Health and hygiene are our primary focus. Our home chef of 12 years prepares the food and we have taken steps to ensure that the delivery is as contactless as possible. We have also tied up with delivery partners to get the food to the people.”
In the overcrowding of home delivery services, it is essential to practice safe and sanitary cooking to make a mark. Vikas and Deepika have dedicated one free kitchen in their home towards their venture. “Nobody from outside comes to the kitchen. We have also invested in biodegradable packaging to keep the food as away from human contact as possible.”
Lengthy lockdown and COVID-19 scare have forced people to cook their own food and live in solitude. But now people are getting tired of doing both. Vikas says about customer behaviour, “People are still apprehensive about going to the restaurants, but they are opening up to the idea of ordering online. It probably has to do with the fact that they are getting tired of cooking food for themselves. People are also starting to get together with their near and dear ones in the safe environment of their homes. But they can’t cook for so many people, so they order online. In the past 45 days, we have catered to 6 home parties.”
When asked about his inspiration behind the venture, Vikas said, “My wife and I are crazy about food. Before the pandemic, we used to travel a lot and try different cuisines. I have been associated with the hospitality industry in the past, so it came as an instinct to make something good out of this crisis. We are just two people trying to survive the pandemic. The message that we want to put out there is that it is not all doom and doom. I never dreamt about starting a cloud kitchen, but now, here I am, excited to serve people who just want to unwind a little.”
All photos courtesy: Vikas Sachdeva: Foodelish home kitchen
By: Shikha Prasoon