Culinate: Serving International Cuisine with Innovative Dark Kitchen Model

Food has a deep connection with emotion and psychology, and it is quite a good reason to make one feel better and happy. Thus having a sumptuous breakfast is always the key to a great start of a day. While a staggering 20 percent of working professionals skip breakfast, due to the non-availability of healthy, value-for-money food every morning, Culinate has come up to solve the impasse in the most extraordinary manner.

The Kingpin of the Recipes

Rajiv Kumar, the Founder and CEO of Culinate, curated recipes from world-famous restaurants across thirty countries and used locally grown, mostly organic ingredients and delivered to the customers. He has been a Management Consultant in his professional life, but food has always been his passion; though it was restricted to only enjoying the different cuisines. The best part is, from the initial days of his venture Culinate, the confidence of Rajiv was visible, “Culinate started, when other famous well-funded Food Tech startups were failing.

The Rudiment of a Unique Food Experiment

In November 2015 Culinate started with dark kitchen model which is exclusively a “Delivery only” food service business without any seating or takeaway facility. It started its journey with just one kitchen, six staffs and fifteen menus and has reached the status to serve 15000 customers with 250 menus from 30 countries with 50,000 orders, 75,000 meals and 80% repeat orders in 2018. It has a 5,000 sqft central kitchen that feeds to satellite kitchens and is in ‘On Demand Food Delivery’ business. “The idea of Culinate germinated from the fact that people want something new every day and the trick is to satisfy them with varied choices that are cost-effective while authentic,” Rajiv says. The cuisines are designed to suit the average office goers and senior executives alike, who are looking to challenge their pallet and it is the fastest growing segment in Food Ordering. “We started with Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, then gradually expanded to Breakfast and Main Course. We now operate from 8 am till 3:45 am 7 days a week, across 5 locations in Delhi-NCR.”

Culinate adds that extra pinch of consciousness while expanding. While designing the menu, the brand keeps in mind the countries Indians travel the most and the famous cuisines of the most famous eateries in those places. Then the brand looks at localizing the ingredients, cooking the sauces in-house to avoid expensive and erratic imported ingredients. The team has innovated on the temperature at which it cooks, as well as it takes care of the packing and the delivery of the food.

The brand has priced very competitively, considering the quality of ingredients. The CEO believes it is the best time for Culinate to expand and it is launching their ‘New menu with a minimum order value of Rs 150.’

An Extravagant Platter for Foodies

Culinate stands for honesty in ingredients. Most of the ingredients are certified organic. Right from the beginning, the establishment makes all its sauces in-house to reduce the use of chemical preservatives while modifying the taste as per customer requirements and all of them are 100% natural. The kitchen is steam cleaned three times a day, providing a chemical-free cooking environment. It is the third food company of India to deploy ultrasonic technology to clean vegetables and meat. The brand has started to use local ‘superfoods’ like millets which use 70% less water than rice and has 200% more protein to make recipes healthier and environment-friendly.

The best part of Culinate is its unique menu and it is what sets the brand apart, as it focuses on Psychographics that helps to define the target customers. For Culinate, food is just not a source of addressing hunger pangs; it must bring variety as well to break the monotony. The brand constantly experiments with food and looking for ways to challenge their competitors and value the globally aware consumers who are looking for the quality experience even while ordering food at home.

Rajiv adds “We are also launching the ever more exotic menu items and will entail ingredients like Black Pomfret, Atlantic Salmon, Crab Meat, Imported Pork, New-Zealand lamb and so on. We also have a Board Room Menu specially designed to cater to the high-end board meeting, these are specially designed meals with choices ranging from Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, to calorie and portion control meals.

Vow to Provide Health and Hygiene

Apart from taste and variety, hygiene is also a factor, which Culinate always keeps in mind. Thus the team is well aware of the quality of ingredients and quality of Non Toxic packaging as well. It takes care of biodegradable packaging too, along with saving at least 25 liters of water every day through water portability, wastage segregation and composting the waste and so on. These are some of the ways it is contributing to the environment while serving the customers.

Preparing for a Lip smacking Future

Food tech as a viable entrepreneurial pursuit is back in vogue after a disastrous 2015 and 2016. Customer is now being chased by 100s of local restaurants with amazing offers and discounts and Culinate’s differentiation is the ease with which it manages the enormity of the menu and offer choices to the customers. What works for Culinate is the rising trend of eating healthy, more authentic and trying out new recipes.

The brand has recently launched its first food truck ‘Culinate on Wheels’ for events and other touchpoints, and it has some more innovative ideas for the future to entertain their customers and keeping up with the expectations.