Virtual restaurant company eatwhatnxt has announced that it has secured $ 1 million seed funding from its parent company, Cravito Group (known for MyeongDong Topokki).
eatwhatnxt helps existing restaurants earn additional revenue by putting their underutilized equipment to use under a virtual restaurant brand, which is delivery only.
Restaurants have the option to choose from several Cravito Group virtual restaurant brands, such as Ado-Rabowl, Rice Society, and Tacology.
Depending on what they have chosen, Cravito Group will guide them in implementing the system and technology in their existing restaurant.
The company will also provide training and there is no need to hire additional staff to manage virtual restaurant brands.
If all goes according to plan, Vincent Lua, CEO of Cravito Group, previously told us that restaurants should be able to earn an additional 1,000 to 3,000 yuan a day per brand.
Observing aggressive growth in SEA
Since we last wrote about eatwhatnxt in December 2020 (pre-launch), it has expanded its portfolio of virtual restaurant brands from 12 to 15 names after its launch in January 2021.
With this seed funding, you now have 12 cloud kitchens, 2 of which are operational and 10 locations that are undergoing renovations.
Although the business is still new, Vincent wants to grow aggressively by adding another 20 cloud kitchens to his portfolio in Malaysia.
At the same time, the company is in talks with venture capitalists to grow eatwhatnxt regionally by opening 50 cloud kitchens in Indonesia.
Their confidence stems from the fact that they can collect readily available data through MyeongDong Topokki and adapt it to drive operations on eatwhatnxt.
This allows them to suggest the right virtual brands to restaurants and advise them on which are the best-selling items in their specific region / area.
You are likely to face the competition soon
The concept of a virtual restaurant brand is far from new even in Malaysia, but most operate from cloud kitchens that have been built for the sole purpose of operating a delivery-only business.
On the other hand, using an existing restaurant’s idle equipment to run a virtual brand alongside its regular operations is a less common concept, especially one that is done on the eatwhatnxt scale.
Vincent believes that eatwhatnxt is capable of taking advantage of the untapped opportunities in the SEA region, and Malaysia is a good place to start for the above reason. Not to mention the fact that you have a firm grasp of how to run F&B business here.
However, the next market you are considering, Indonesia, has already seen what it claims to be its first multi-brand virtual restaurant, Hangry, in 2019. There may be several differences in how Hangry and eatwhatnxt work, but Hangry’s increased experience operating such a business in Indonesia may give you an edge over eatwhatnxt.
However, this is not to say that Cravito Group is at a great disadvantage, because the MyeongDong Topokki brand had I already stepped foot in Indonesia through a master franchisee in 2019. With that, Vincent and Cravito Group probably already have some idea of how to take advantage of Indonesian food trends.
- You can learn more about eatwhatnxt here.
- You can read more F&B related content here.
Featured Image Credit: Vincent Lua, CEO of Cravito Group