Five minutes in kitchen utopia with Mohamad Ballout

Five minutes in kitchen utopia with Mohamad Ballout

Mohamad Ballout, CEO and founder of Kitopi — a renowned cloud kitchen platform — prides himself on being in the business of “satisfying the world’s appetite.” Here, he speaks about allowing brands to scale up across borders.

Kitopi is short for “kitchen utopia.” What can you tell us about the company? 

We are the world’s leading managed cloud kitchen platform. As F&B concepts develop and grow, we make sure our kitchens are perfect, technologically advanced with state-of-the-art infrastructure, hence the name: Kitchen Utopia.

How does Kitopi help F&B concepts?

Let’s assume that you are an F&B brand that wants to expand its delivery catchment to reach new customers without opening more outlets — Kitopi can help you do that. By replicating a firm’s menu and offering access to any of our 60 plus kitchens in UAE, KSA and Kuwait, we take care of the operations on behalf of the brand, so that they can focus on what they do best — marketing and product innovation. We are a customer-centric organization, so we seek continuous feedback in order to help our existing and new brands succeed.

What is behind the success of Kitopi?

We owe our success to our talented Kitopians, more than 1,500 individuals, who drive forth our mission every single day. We invest in training and developing our people across the board and build them up for success. We also work hard to promote a culture where everyone feels safe and part of the team. Being tech-enabled and customer focused, we’ve pioneered in launching a cloud kitchen technology — SKOS or Smart Kitchen Operating System — which is an in-house suite of applications that optimizes all aspects of kitchen operations in real time to maximize efficiency and increase utilization. We use it to be customer centered as an organization. We have a global customer experience hub in Dubai that services our three markets. We ensure tech is integrated into everything we do, both from an efficiency standpoint and to ensure that we always deliver the best service possible to all our customers.

What do you anticipate the new normal will be post Covid-19?

From a business perspective, the new normal is the work-from-anywhere culture. Last year, we were one of the first companies in the region to launch a #WorkFromAnywherePolicy that gave our Kitopians the freedom to work wherever they felt most comfortable, with our offices open for those who wanted to use them. Our Kitopians have embraced it wholeheartedly; productivity is not confined within office walls.

From an industry standpoint, customers today have access to thousands of additional options than they had a year ago due to the rise of on-demand delivery and cloud kitchens alike. Dine in will never be the same again, and the winners will be organizations and brands that not only put the customer first but those that are highly customer focused.

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