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Cloud Eatery – how this food startup overcame initial pitfalls

By: Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Matthias Schneider and Remo Gianfrancesco love food and, as experienced experts, had already made a big splash in the food service and supplier market. Then they came up with a completely new idea, and put it into action. When founding Cloud Eatery, these two didn’t make the usual startup mistakes. Then suddenly, a huge problem popped up.

A lot of people want to shake up the economy with a gastronomic start-up. But numerous start-up challenges await – first and foremost financing, which can only be secured if you have a compelling business plan. It’s also not always easy to find the right location. What’s more, if you don’t do your homework when it comes to market analysis, you might have a range that competitors can sell better and cheaper. And then there’s the issue of staff: Finding and retaining good employees in the fast-paced gastronomy industry is not easy. Last but not least, you have to focus on digitization – the be-all and end-all of success.

CloudEatery team in own store

Image: CloudEatery GmbH

Digitization for USP

Matthias Schneider and Remo Gianfrancesco got all these things right when they launched their digital food court in Frankfurt am Main at the end of 2021. Their USP? Not only are they faster than any conventional delivery provider, they are also more delicious, more sustainable, more reliable and more affordable. Sounds unrealistic? Not when you use the latest digitized kitchen technology, like these two experts do. From product development and purchasing to order management, all processes are digitized. Orders are placed intuitively using Netflix logic via the company’s own app. The company also relies on a wide range of established delivery service partners.

The founders of Cloud Eatery Remo Gianfrancesco and Matthias Schneider above the roofs of Frankfurt

Image: CloudEatery GmbH

Pro kitchen planning

However, the most important thing was the kitchen planning itself. “Rational helped us a lot with designing the processes and fine tuning the recipes,” Schneider says. All of this was perfectly thought out: Every dish needs around the same amount of time to complete. Each is also tailored to delivery, and the ingredients can be used efficiently for all brands. On offer are dishes from six different virtual restaurants, ranging from vegan to healthy freshness, Italian and curries to home-style cooking, and even cakes and desserts – with an extremely quick delivery time. This kind of variety is normally only possible by ordering from different restaurants.

no pitfalls for CloudEatery - various delicious dishes from the CloudEatery kitchen

Image: CloudEatery GmbH

Initially, everything went according to plan. But then an issue came up with the company name. Originally, the startup was called CloudKanteen, but soon they found out a large food company had this very name trademarked throughout Europe. The solution? “We then spontaneously gave ourselves a new, much more suitable name: CloudEatery!” Schneider explains.

Overcoming founding hurdles of a food startup

Exterior view of the CloudEatery in Frankfurt - finding a great location is a major hurdle when founding a food startup business

Image: CloudEatery GmbH

There was also a brief hitch when it came to real estate. At first, it was difficult to get a property that was prestigious enough. However, since opening the pilot site successfully, high-quality listings have been coming in on a regular basis. There’s a lot of demand. As early as March 2022, the delivery-only location was expanded to include a stylish area for pickup and in-house dining, with a new location scheduled to be added every two to three months. The entrepreneurs are also already working on an international roll-out.

Top technology for a large roll-out

CloudEatery relies on Rational for its cooking technology.

Live cooking with the icombi Pro and the delicious result from the meal

Image: Rational AG

It is important for us to have Rational, a partner who will be the standard for our kitchen infrastructure worldwide. We’re looking forward to new developments that will help us optimize processes, especially in the future when we won’t be preparing 300 to 500 dishes a day like we do today, but ten times as many – per location!Matthias Schneider about Rational


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