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Wonderla experiments with cloud kitchen business in COVID-19 times

Starting its operations in Bengaluru with two kitchens, one on-premise and the other from a rented space (West Bengaluru), it delivers in the radius of five kilometres and has tied up with Swiggy and Zomato for online orders and home delivery

Rukmini Rao | June 19, 2020 | Updated 20:02 IST
Wonderla experiments with cloud kitchen business in COVID-19 times
Wonder Kitchen, a food takeaway and home delivery division as part of business expansion

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Wonder Kitchen is cloud kitchen services with takeaway and home delivery
  • Being debt free, the company has leeway of one-year with opex covered
BSE-listed Wonderla Holidays recently announced its entry into the food business. The Bengaluru-headquartered firm announced the opening of a cloud kitchen Wonder Kitchen, a food takeaway and home delivery division as part of business expansion.  Starting its operations in Bengaluru with two kitchens, one on-premise and the other from a rented space (West Bengaluru), it delivers in the radius of five kilometres and has tied up with Swiggy and Zomato for online orders and home delivery.

"The idea completely came from the staff and I'm just guiding them," Arun Chittilappilly, Whole-time Director of Wonderla Holidays said. Although the initiative is new, the first couple of days have seen some traction. "In these difficult times, we have decided to step into the new business venture with the support of our experienced staff. This is one way of engaging them," he added. "The decision to scale up the food business and to look at it from a revenue stream perspective will depend on the response we receive from customers."

In view of the pandemic breakout, the company had temporarily shut down its  operations in March. The Kochi park was closed on March 11, while  Bangalore Park, Resort and Hyderabad park were closed between March 14-15.

For FY20, the revenues decreased marginally by 4 per cent  on a year-on-year basis from Rs 282 crore to Rs 270.8 crore. In the company's earnings call last month, Joint Managing Director George Joseph said that since the  company was debt free with no short-term or long-term outstanding loan repayments obligation and with liquid assets of approximately Rs 123 crore in mutual funds and bank balances, operating expenses for more than one  year could be taken care off.  While the company is waiting for the government to permit operations, the preventive healthcare protocol for visitors have been already thought through and put in place. "The average capacity of our parks ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 footfalls per day. Even with one-third capacity, we will be able to have a footfall of around 3,000 to 3,500 in each park," Joseph further added.

Also Read: Coronavirus: Hospitals to face action if salaries of health workers not paid on time

ALso Read: RIL share hits all-time high after firm becomes net debt-free ahead of target

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