The incredible story of Rebel foods..

The Uber founder is building a cloud kitchen company. But, almost 12 years back, two Indian founders started building a cloud kitchen company that’s making 900 Cr revenue. This is the story of Rebel Foods 👇🏼

Important to understand that Rebel foods ≠ Zomato/Swiggy. It’s not a food delivery tech. It’s more like a McDonald’s chain with the a difference – it’s key focus on online delivery-first revenue model.

Rebel foods in giant numbers.
→ 4,000 virtual restaurants
→ 350+ cloud kitchens
→ 40 cities (tier 1/2)
→ 7 countries

India has 3 crore restaurants/ 90 lakh workers & only 30% so-called ‘organised’. The rest are – Dhabas, food trucks, street stalls & hawkers. Food disruption is limited to organized sectors.

So what did Rebel Foods really crack? 👇🏼

1/ Beating location failure 🗺️
Location is highly co-related to the revenue upside a single food joint can make. When Rebel started as FAASOS, with 50 locations, it struggled to turn breakeven. The rent ate into the margins.

2/ Take-aways contribute > 70% revenue 💸
Small eateries serving on SwiggyZomato make a ton of their revenue online. These online customers never cared to walk into these small restaurants. First trigger – Why do we even need a physical store?

3/ Less chefs than great software engineers 👨🏻‍🍳
Every Dhaba owner will tell you this – it’s extremely hard to get great chefs to get and retain – so most make chefs business partners. Rebel couldn’t do it, so it solved it by creating massive SOP + automations of every single receipe.

4/ Reduce raw ingredient wastage ✨
On average, each of us wastes 137 grams of food every single day (52 kilograms every year). This is complex with restaurants balancing supply and demand. With multiple brands in one kitchen, Rebel still reduced wastage to < 2% for most outlets.

5/ The cloud kitchen scales non-linear ⤴️
So between 2016 & 2018, it opened 50 new cloud kitchens (30% growth) and was still able to 500% the revenue. 50 locations = 900 individual brands on swiggy/ zomato.

6/ The common costs are shared 🪙
Rebel kitchens have no server staff. The cleaning staff serves the entire kitchen, so operational expenditure per brand is extremely low. The capital payback period for each restaurant is < 12 months (conventionally it takes 3 years)

7/ Rebel now is plug & play for D2C 🤯
SLAY Coffee was one of the first to leverage this model & scaled to 100+ locations in 12 months using Rebel’s kitchens. More to the list being added include Wendy’s & Mad Over Donuts, Haldiram, Chai Point & Anand Sweets.

The only catch – this whole model is built on top of Swiggy & Zomato. This means Rebel doesn’t own it’s customers – something Domino’s has solved.