Cloud kitchens have become a common way for F&B businesses to start with little capital as they are essentially ready-to-use kitchen areas.
These companies don't have to take the risk of long-term room rental and, among other things, spend capital on cookware.
While TCH Foodworks co-working foodlab works in a similar way, it is not branded as a cloud kitchen and instead uses the term "coworking kitchen".
It wasn't built on purpose as a cloud kitchen, which means there is only room for one long-term brand in its commercial kitchen.
The culinary studio is an extension of The Cooking House (TCH), a cooking school founded by Edyth Ban in 2006.
From what we could observe at the time, it seemed as if TCH Foodworks Co-Working Foodlab was targeting smaller solo preneurs such as Insta-bakers via larger F&B companies with established teams.
The latter is generally found in common industrial cloud kitchens.
To better understand how this coworking kitchen was different, we spoke to Edyth.
Support for single travelers
“We are aimed at smaller solo preneurs, where they can simply rent a station or a small baking studio to test and film their creations,” confirmed Edyth.
"At the same time, we rent the space to production companies and grocery brands for shootings, FB live sessions and all kinds of events and starts."
Some backgrounds of the food styling in the culinary studio / Image Credit: TCH
There is a large, practical kitchen hall with 10 mobile cooking stations that can be rented out individually on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.
"We also have a smaller private kitchen studio with 4 stations and a commercial Rational combi oven for people who need short-term space for catering, research and development, production, recruitment or special projects, etc." Edyth explained.
Other than that, they have a commercial kitchen that they want to rent out to a small F&B operator with a business model for delivering groceries.
“We present our space more as a lifestyle coworking studio, as most cloud kitchens with mostly stainless steel tables and appliances look very commercial,” emphasized Edyth.
TCH Foodworks co-working foodlab is best for those who don't particularly enjoy cooking in a Halal-certified room, even though the venue is pork and lard free.
For those who need it, the coworking kitchen also offers marketing services that include recipe ideas and creation, food tasting, training, cooking demonstrations, social media content creation, FB live screenings, food styling, Include food photography and videography.
The team that makes the room work / Image Credit: TCH
Flexible but expensive
Cookhouse is another culinary studio that carries the concept of a communal kitchen with individual stations. The 12 hour day pass costs RM400 (RM200 refundable deposit).
On the other hand, a 12-hour rental at TCH Foodworks Co-Working Foodlab costs around RM700.
The prices for the latter are certainly more flexible, as you can book the place for only 2 hours, albeit at a price of RM200.
TCH Foodworks Co-Working Foodlab's higher prices may seem daunting, but they have proven that there is a demand for their services.
You have already had a few tenants and since the start in February have achieved a turnover of approx. 60,000 to 70,000 RM.
They're also fully booked for September, with clients like Astro who will be using it for their filming for 2 weeks, an F&B restaurant renting it for a week to interview chefs, and a health food store selling it for 10 Days will use to make granola bars.
And since they're filled for September, their coworking kitchen marketing efforts won't begin until October.
A favorable situation for the company
During the pandemic, there was a sharp surge in people who started experimenting with baking and selling their baked goods on social media platforms.
It's people like this that Edyth sees as potential tenants. Your short-term goal is therefore to first create awareness of the existence of TCH Foodworks Co-Working Foodlab.
In the long term, they want to offer their tenants more than just a space by creating a close community for networking and learning with added value.
"There is definitely tremendous growth potential in the coworking kitchen space as it costs a lot to set up a kitchen," said Edyth.
"COVID-19 has sparked a boom in the grocery shipping business and a lot of people are eager to find ways to enter that market."
To be honest, based on their prices, I'm not sure if a solo F&B entrepreneur just starting out can afford their spot.
I see it more for entrepreneurs who already have a customer base, stable income and want to scale their businesses.
Even so, I have no doubt that there will still be a lot going on for their services, as their previous track record has proven.
- Further information on TCH Foodworks Co-Working Foodlab can be found here.
- You can find more articles on F&B here.
Selected image source: TCH